CommentPlus: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning’s papers.

1. Nick Clegg: Florida, here we come (Guardian)

The coalition's rush to redraw constituency boundaries will disenfranchise millions of poor and minority voters, warns the Labour MP Tristram Hunt.

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2. Five years? Four years? Keep counting down (Times)

Given David Cameron's private scepticism over the war in Afghanistan, the timescale for withdrawal is shortening by the day, writes Rachel Sylvester.

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3. Today's Keynesians have learned nothing (Financial Times)

The choice is not between stimulus and austerity, argues Niall Ferguson, but between policies that boost private-sector confidence and those that kill it.

4. But what if the big society doesn't work? (Independent)

David Cameron's "big society" is likely to struggle without greater resources and investment, writes Steve Richards.

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5. Big society? It's all about liberating the locals (Times)

Elsewhere, the Tory MP Rory Stewart says that if we set local communities free, many services now threatened could be saved.

6. Britain's nuclear choice can be cheap and scary (Financial Times)

There is no point in spending billions on renewing Trident, argues Gideon Rachman. Instead, the government should choose an unspecified, cheaper option, build it -- and then shut up about it.

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7. Some say Zimbabwe's diamonds are drenched in blood. They are wrong (Guardian)

To the NGO and human rights world, Zimbabwe's diamonds are a symbol of repression, writes Petina Gappah. But if channelled properly, these riches could transform the country.

8. BP and Lockerbie matter more than Obama (Times)

David Cameron must promise full co-operation with the Senate investigation into BP and the Lockerbie bomber, says John Bolton.

9. It will take more than jam and Jerusalem to create David Cameron's big society (Daily Telegraph)

A fractured Labour Party will not be forgiven for standing by as Britain is broken apart, writes Mary Riddell.

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10. Hungary blunders (Financial Times)

In its treatment of Hungary, the IMF should send a signal to other governments tempted to flirt with indiscipline, says a leader in the Financial Times.

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Donald Trump's healthcare failure could be to his advantage

The appearance of weakness is less electorally damaging than actually removing healthcare from millions of people.

Good morning. Is it all over for Donald Trump? His approval ratings have cratered to below 40%. Now his attempt to dismantle Barack Obama's healthcare reforms have hit serious resistance from within the Republican Party, adding to the failures and retreats of his early days in office.

The problem for the GOP is that their opposition to Obamacare had more to do with the word "Obama" than the word "care". The previous President opted for a right-wing solution to the problem of the uninsured in a doomed attempt to secure bipartisan support for his healthcare reform. The politician with the biggest impact on the structures of the Affordable Care Act is Mitt Romney.

But now that the Republicans control all three branches of government they are left in a situation where they have no alternative to Obamacare that wouldn't either a) shred conservative orthodoxies on healthcare or b) create numerous and angry losers in their constituencies. The difficulties for Trump's proposal is that it does a bit of both.

Now the man who ran on his ability to cut a deal has been forced to make a take it or leave plea to Republicans in the House of Representatives: vote for this plan or say goodbye to any chance of repealing Obamacare.

But that's probably good news for Trump. The appearance of weakness and failure is less electorally damaging than actually succeeding in removing healthcare from millions of people, including people who voted for Trump.

Trump won his first term because his own negatives as a candidate weren't quite enough to drag him down on a night when he underperformed Republican candidates across the country. The historical trends all make it hard for a first-term incumbent to lose. So far, Trump's administration is largely being frustrated by the Republican establishment though he is succeeding in leveraging the Presidency for the benefit of his business empire.

But it may be that in the failure to get anything done he succeeds in once again riding Republican coattails to victory in 2020.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.