It's amazing how so many reporters feel the need to tell us what politicians really think. Sorry, but I don't believe they know.

The example this time is a piece reporting on how 2018 may be a wave election with defeats for the Republicans comparable to what the Democrats experienced in 2010. It concludes by discussing the effort to shove through a tax bill before the end of the year:

"Republicans do not think the tax bill will be a political albatross once voters gain a fuller appreciation of its advantages. Of course, that is exactly what Democrats thought about the health care bill at this point in 2009."

It's entirely plausible that Republicans don't say that they think the bill is a political albatross. After all, what would that look like? Would members of the House and Senate be telling reporters:

"...we know the public hates this bill because it gives so much money to rich people, but these are our campaign contributors and we have to come through for them. Furthermore, even if we lose our election, they will pay us millions of dollars a year to work for them as lobbyists."

If something like this were, in fact, the case it is extremely unlikely that Republican politicians would be saying it to NYT reporters. It is far more likely that they would be uttering nonsense about how the tax bill is really good for the country and that people will come to realize this after it is approved.

Competent reporters would just tell readers what the politicians say. They would not try to tell us what the politicians actually believe, since they don't know.