America’s 2020 election


in Politics

Now that it seems virtually certain that the US senate will acquit Donald Trump the key question about resisting him effectively is who the Democrats could nominate to beat him in November.

There are passionate arguments in favour of both a progressive and a moderate. William Saletan at Slate argues that being able to run against Bernie Sanders and socialism is just what Trump wants: enough Americans are or can be made fearful enough of socialism to give him a path to victory. On the other side are those who argue that a moderate candidate like Joe Biden has the best chance of winning, even if there may be less reason to hope that such an administration will make big positive changes. Of course, there are also those who argue that a progressive candidate will be so out of step with congress that even if they win they will spend their term getting blocked from implementing all their big ideas.

What’s happening in the US is frightening. Republicans have proved terrifyingly willing to back an incompetent president who aspires to authoritarianism, and America’s checks and balances have somewhat hampered but not really impeded his agenda. Republicans seem to have made the cynical calculation that supporting Trump can get them what they care about – whether that’s gun rights, conservative judges, uncritical support for Israel or whatever else – and that the steamroll strategy which blocked Obama’s last supreme court nominee can help them keep winning. At the same time, relatively mainstream Republicans perceive the intense emotions of Trump supporters and fear what will happen to them if they openly break ranks.

It’s a mark of the decay of US politics that it was ever possible for Trump to be nominated and elected. It’s even more disturbing that his contempt for the law has now been ratified by the senate and chief justice. Virtually anybody would be better and might have some chance to start repairing the damage, but it’s also quite possible the Democrats will elect someone whose flaws are sufficient to let Trump win again. If so, we can expect a second term to be a further erosion of the supports which maintain America as a free and democratic society.

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. February 5, 2020 at 12:02 am

What to expect as the Trump impeachment drama draws to a close

As the impeachment drama skids to a close, Republicans and Democrats alike turn their attention to the Iowa primary, the State of The Union speech and the 2020 Presidential campaign. But the echos of the trial seem likely to linger, says The Nation’s National Correspondent Jeet Heer.

. February 5, 2020 at 2:13 am

When Iran Took Americans Hostage, Bernie Backed Iran’s Defenders

As Democrat Socialists condemned Khomeini’s hostage taking, Sanders stood with a communist party that condemned “Carter’s war drive against the Iranian people.”

. February 5, 2020 at 2:36 am

‘Try to stop me’ – the mantra of our leaders who are now ruling with impunity

Trump, Bolsonaro, Modi, Johnson. Across the world, flouting the law has become normalised. We have to stop it

. February 26, 2020 at 8:16 pm

A Bernie Sanders presidency could be a nightmare for Saudi Arabia | Saudi Arabia | Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia spent $18bn on US weapons in 2017, has nearly doubled its ownership of US government debt under Trump to just under $180bn, and is now the biggest source of capital for US startups. It could threaten to shift its resources to China and Russia, among other places.

. March 24, 2020 at 6:18 pm

Trump has improved his numbers with the evangelical Christians, Tea Party supporters, and observant Catholics who make up the core of his Republican Party, but it is a diminished party. The percentage of people identifying as Republican since Trump took office has dropped from 39 to 36 percent, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Trump has pushed moderates out of the party, and those moderates are changing their voting patterns accordingly. Fully 5 percent of the voters in the South Carolina Democratic primary had previously voted in the state’s Republican primary. In Michigan, Republican strategists tried to make sense of the 56 percent increase in Democratic turnout in Livingston County, a white, college-educated, upper-class community that Trump won by 30 points. Republicans are shedding voters.

. March 30, 2020 at 12:05 pm

According to our analysis of states that have reported, as well as estimates for California, Mr Biden now has roughly 671 of the 1,991 delegates he would need for the nomination. Mr Sanders has 589. (Ms Warren, with only 89, dropped out of the race on Thursday). That leaves plenty of room for doubt about which septuagenarian will prevail. Yet Mr Biden has demonstrated his advantage. While Mr Sanders mainly won votes from his usual fanbase—made up of white lefties, young voters and Hispanics—the former veep drew support from across the party. For example, he also did well in the sorts of affluent, mostly white suburbs that gave Democrats their House majority in 2018 and where they would need to win again to defeat Mr Trump in November. In Virginia, for example, where he beat Mr Sanders by 30 points, he ran up sizeable margins in both the heavily black Tidewater region and in the diverse, highly educated suburbs of Washington, dc.

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