Even the circuitry of the democracy remains essentially unchanged; a nation of voters who can find their cars and pay their mortgages online still can’t envision the day when they can cast their votes from an iPad.OK, it's true that we don't vote from an iPad -- but actually voting methods are completely different than they were, say, 30 years ago. Back then, the mix of technologies was heavy on old-fashioned voting machines (which were, by the way, absolutely great) and the infamous Harris Votomatic type systems, which worked so well in Florida in 2000.* Now? We have mostly optical scan, last time I checked, not to mention that we have vote-by-mail in some places, and early voting in others...it's basically a completely different system than in 1980.
In fact, a reporter covering electoral politics should know that there's actually right now, going on in a whole bunch of states and in the Obama Justice Department, a huge fight over how we're going to vote in 2012 and going forward. It's sort of a big deal.
Oh, and while I'm at it, there's this:
Either we’re being told that centralized, 20th-century systems can never be changed to accommodate more individual flexibility (like say, decoupling health care from employment), or we’re being told that all federal programs are wasteful and that every American should basically fend for himself. Either we’re supposed to rely entirely on large institutions, or we’re supposed to rely only on ourselves.Is one of these options supposed to be the ACA, which deals with that decoupling by making health insurance choice feasible for those without employer-based insurance? Really? Or did Bai miss that one, too?
I mean, he is supposed to be following politics and government, isn't he?
*Mr. Harris's money made my graduate school years a lot more tolerable/enjoyable, so I'm obligated to point out that the Harris Votomatic was the greatest thing since sliced bread and absolutely terrific in every possible way.