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For the political left in America, the end of the year brought good news and bad news. The good news was that the election of Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York City seemed to promise a new era of progressive success both in that city’s government and at the polls elsewhere—a left turn for the nation and not just the Big Apple. The bad news was of course the fiasco of Obamacare, though that didn’t seem too bad so long as you could persuade yourself, as the media generally did, that it was just a matter of a temporarily buggy web site and not a permanently unworkable system. Persuading the nation of the same thing was naturally a job for the ever-reliable New York Times, whose Sunday...

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