Donald and the giant impeachment
Even with hindsight, and irrespective of the predictable partisan-lines outcome, I do think it was (largely) the right call to impeach Donald Trump. To not have done so would have given tacit approval to his continued behaviours but the outcome further highlights the fragility of both American and worldwide democracy, which can all too easily die the death of a thousand cuts.
The disturbing facts remain that after three years in office The Don is more popular than ever, the Democrats are in disarray and his second term is assured. Mind, don’t expect this year’s campaign to be any different from the last as his launch speech contained no great vision, no change of tack or updated policy focus. Instead, it offered the same concoction of aggression, aggrievement and self-aggrandisment, along with the catchy new slogan of Keep America Great. Think you’ve heard that one before? Somewhat worryingly, it was the strapline for one of the horrific ‘Purge’ movies.
It’s an irony that Trump dwells on the past so much (mentioning ‘Crooked Hilary’ an average of 2.56 times per day since his 2016 inauguration) as he could, with a little nouse, make a half-credible case that, after years of relative stagnation under Obama, his deregulatory free-market actions and tax cuts have contributed, along with low unemployment and inflation, to the US economy doing well. Notwithstanding his showboating in North Korea and hard-balling in China, his belligerence has paid off with NATO countries all agreeing to increase their defence funding and even Mexico are complying with some immigrant and asylum-seeking controls he demanded.
Were Tiny Hands to make the election more about the economy and less about himself he’d be in with just as good a shout but he’s clearly not looking to expand his appeal and is merely digging-in and doubling-down with his traditional base. Expect an even more divisive time ahead.