Whether you think the new decade starts at midnight Tuesday or a year from then, the eve of 2020 seems like a good time to look back on the top political stories of the 2010s.
It was a tumultuous decade in politics that saw everything from the presidency and reelection of the first black president to the rise of the Tea Party and the improbable election of Donald Trump as president. The 2010s were marred by political polarization and gridlock, as American society struggled to deal with changing demography and a white grievance backlash.
Here are some of the top moments of the decade that helped reshape American politics.
Obamacare signed into law
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March 2010 after passing the Senate on Christmas Eve of 2009. No single piece of legislation would come to define the decade more than Obamacare.
Obama’s signature legislation brought down the number of uninsured in the country dramatically. It also led to the rise of the Tea Party and sweeping Democratic officeholder losses across the country. Despite dozens of GOP attempts to repeal it, the health care law remains a permanent fixture in American society.
Support comes from
It’s notable how the politics, especially of Democrats, have changed on the law since the ACA was passed. Progressives back then were pushing Obama for a “public option,” but tactically Democratic leadership didn’t think it could pass. Today, as is being fought out on the 2020 campaign trail, many progressives now see even a public option as not going far enough.
The rise of the Tea Party
The Republican Party was reshaped by the rise of the Tea Party. The GOP rode the 2010 Tea Party wave to take over the House, but governing proved difficult. Legislative priorities