Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

People have the power on Trump and Brexit. But will we use it?

03/09/2018, 09:04:23 AM

by Jonathan Todd

“Ultimately,” as Edward Luce wrote in the Financial Times recently, “the American people will decide Mr Trump’s fate.”

Impeachment depends upon majorities in both houses of Congress. Which the Democrats do not have. But might after November’s mid-terms.

If Republican voters rally to an embattled Trump, they might retain both houses. Conversely, if the stench of corruption emanating from Trump drives an anti-Trump vote, the Democrats would triumph.

Beto O’Rourke, seeking to unseat Ted Cruz to become the first Democratic Senator for Texas in 25 years, describes the election as, “the most important of our lives”.

Like all Democrats, however, he is riding against the headwind of an economy enjoying (at least in the short-term) the sugar rush of Trump’s tax cuts. In which case, recovering one of the two houses might be a reasonable Democrat performance. Albeit this would leave them requiring Republican votes to impeach Trump.

These votes would only be forthcoming if Republicans deduced they would be in their interests. This would depend upon another people’s verdict: polling on Trump and impeachment.

While unpopular with the rest of America, Trump remains viscerally popular with his base. This is an advantage that he enjoys over President Nixon in the early 1970s, creating a firewall against elected Republicans turning against him.

Robert Mueller is methodically diligent, but the questions that hang over Trump are more political than legal.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Obama must be more ambitious if he wins a second term tomorrow

05/11/2012, 04:30:36 PM

by Jonathan Todd

“Obama is forty-seven years old”, noted Russell Baker prior to the 2008 presidential election. “McCain is seventy-two, old enough to be Obama’s father … In classical mythology the son must kill the father to allow for the earth’s renewal.”

Has Obama’s vanquishing of McCain really brought the renewal that it might have done?

Yes, he arrived in office in the midst of the biggest economic calamity since the Great Depression. But, unlike FDR, he has not reformed Wall Street, often seeming keener to pacify than challenge financial interests.

Yes, Obama became president with America’s moral capital debased. But Guantanamo bay remains open. And his escalating use of drone attacks threatens to recruit violent anti-Americans as effectively as Guantanamo bay. His failure to meaningfully support those who oppose the Assad regime in Syria also seems to be increasingly driving them towards extremism.

Yes, China’s rise is about decisions taken over the past 30 years in Beijing, not anything done in DC or on Wall Street. But the tone and content of Obama’s attacks on Romney has hardly encouraged America to look outward to the great opportunities that are opening up as a consequence of Chinese communists doing capitalism better than American capitalists. Nor has any substantive reform of global institutions been secured to make them more democratic, inclusive and credible in a world where economic and political power shifts ever more south and east.

Yes, the American political system is designed to necessitate compromise and Obama was confronted by a Republican party determined to not compromise. But it took him an age to accept this. And he still struggles to adapt to it. He thinks, for example, that his re-election will sufficiently wipe the slate clean that the fiscal cliff will be averted via a deal somewhere close to the Simpson-Bowles plan. It is unclear, though, why Republicans who have not voted for any tax increases since 1990 will suddenly do so.

Obama misapplied the exhortation of Rahm Emmanuel: Never let a serious crisis go to waste. There are at least two crises that Obama has failed to fully exploit.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon