Tag Archives: us midterms

Observations of an ex pat: Stones v Avalanche

In the wake of the victory in the House of Representatives, Democrats are preparing to hurl stones at President Trump. The Donald—flushed with Senate victory– has responded by setting loose a pre-emptive avalanche.

The cheers had yet to subside when presumptive Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that Democratic victory in the lower house meant the restoration of legislative oversight and the constitutional system of checks, balances.

In practical terms this means the House withholding funds for Trump’s wall and immigration programmes and launching corruption investigations into cabinet members. Of course, there is also the number one target—Trump and his family. This involves inquiries into sexual misconduct, obstruction of justice, violation of campaign funding laws, possible tax evasion, ethics violations, Russian collusion and, support for the Mueller investigation.

Impeachment is lurking about in the political background. A Democratic majority in the House means they could quickly pass a resolution. But it would hit the brick wall of Trump acolytes in the Senate where a two-thirds majority is required to remover the president from the White House.

Nancy Pelosi also extended the traditional olive branch in her victory press conference. Donald Trump initially responded with a corresponding show of traditional bipartisanship. It lasted—at the most—five minutes. The suspension of White House credentials for CNN reporter Jim Acosta and the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions insured that the political chasm that divides America has only widened.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Looking ahead to the US mid-terms

Two years ago, I was a bit worried that everyone seemed to assume that Hillary Clinton would win the US Presidency. The lesson from the Brexit vote is that you can’t assume anything and that you need to fight for every vote in every seat right up till the last minute. I just wish Hillary’s campaign had done that.

Never again do I want to feel the sense of horror and grief I felt on both June 24th and November 9th 2016.

Trump’s election, though, wasn’t the scariest thing that happened to me that week. But then my husband having open heart surgery was, understandably, the most terrifying thing that has ever happened in my life – except that two hours in the middle of the night following the operation when he was rushed back into theatre to deal with a complication.

I do have something to thank Trump for, though. My husband’s blood pressure remained stubbornly low after all the drama, extending his stay in Intensive Care. It didn’t start to rise again until just after he had been told the election result. Coincidence? I think not.

The midterm elections happen this Tuesday. The 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs along with a third of the seats in the Senate, both of which are controlled by Trump’s Republicans at the moment. All Trump has to offer is a platform of fear and lies about a mythical caravan of terrorists coming to take over the US or warnings to young men that they aren’t safe from false allegations of sexual harassment. But as we know, that sort of fear could turn his base out. Will the Democrats’ messages on bread and butter issues such as healthcare be sufficient?

Again, most pollsters agree that it’s likely that the Democrats will take back the House. It is vital that they do because if the Republicans retain it, Obama’s health reforms will be dead, leaving millions of poorer, sicker Americans without any health insurance.

A Democrat House will also be able to investigate the hell out of Trump and his associates.

The most likely outcome for the Senate is a hold for the Republicans who may even gain some seats from the Democrats. This is simply because 23/33 seats up this year are held by Democrats and some of them in quite tight races. Claire Macaskill in Missouri is one of them. Five Thirty Eight gives her a 5 in 8 chance of retaining her seat but that’s a bit close for comfort.

The one gain everyone of a liberal nature would like to see but is unlikely to happen is Beto O’Rourke beating the appalling Ted Cruz in Texas. Beto has got closer than most Democrats. His championing of key liberal issues like support for abortion and gun control has not held him back. A lesson, perhaps, for those who want to turn this party into some sort of centrist mush. It’s not impossible for Beto to win, so keep everything crossed.

In addition to this, governors are up for election in 36 states. Out of all the elections, the person I want to win most is Stacey Abrahams in Georgia. She is in a very tight race with a Republican whose attempts at suppressing voter registrations amongst likely Democrat voters have just been ruled against by a Judge.

I heard Stacey on Crooked Media’s Pod Save America podcast earlier this year and thought she was brilliant. She’s had Obama and Oprah Winfrey campaigning with her this week as the Guardian reports:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 13 Comments
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    Good effort by Vince...... and, as per usual..... good post by Katharine..... The only spresm a dodgy mike.
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