Hey, my ardent followers! I know I haven’t posted in quite awhile, but it’s for a good reason (I hope). I’m working on various projects, one is a longer political work that I don’t know when will see the light of day. The other is a fiction novel (a little horror is never a bad thing). Just got done with that, and now comes the editing phase. So, in short, I’ve been pretty busy. But to be honest, I’ve felt a little guilty not keeping up with this blog. I miss the thrill/mild terror of American electoral politics.
What’s new, then?
- Pennsylvania special election
It seems fairly certain that Democrat Conor Lamb won the Pennsylvania special election. I have incredibly mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it’s nice to see Trump’s soulless Republicanism get trounced again, even if it’s in name only. Keep in mind that although Democrats might have found a strategy to win in deeply red areas, we are seeing The Great Compromise of national democratic values. While many will see this as further justification to prophesize that a Blue Wave will drown Republican opposition in the midterms, we shouldn’t fixate on labels. Lamb supports gun rights and is anti-abortion. He’s also firmly against Nancy Pelosi. I guess that shouldn’t matter, as I did refer to her (and Chuck Schumer) as a marshmallow stuffed Democrat.
Lamb won against Saccone, but in a very close race. A winning strategy, toeing the line between national party values and local ideology, means that even if Democrats emerge victorious in Trump territory, they’ve already compromised themselves. Doug Jones, last year’s star from Alabama, is a red Democrat. So, we’re seeing the emergence of “soft Republicans” in the Age of Uncertainty. What implications does this have for the midterms? Well, for starters, labels might hoodwink ideological shifts or compromises that make the Democratic party unrecognizable. For instance, Lamb has hedged his bets when it comes to having a firm policy on immigration, which means that the somewhat strong-willed Democrats of yesteryear might fall by the wayside in favor of more conservative Democrats. This is something to keep an eye on.
- Tillerson is gone. Gone like the wind.
Yep, the discord between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump has finally culminated in the now infamous “you’re fired” governing strategy that Trump has leaned on so generously in the past. Tillerson gone, C.I.A head Mike Pompeo in. Pompeo is more of a Trump loyalist. Even though Tillerson thinned out the State Department and has proven himself to mostly an inept diplomat, will he look like a shinning beacon of diplomacy skills in comparison to Pompeo? Actually, it might be the opposite. Pompeo has proven himself capable of walking a very thin line between Trump loyalism and his duties at the C.I.A. He will incorporate Trump’s tough stances on Iran and North Korea, but has shown a decent level of political skills that might help him survive Trump’s ire if the occasion arises. If Pompeo is effective at carrying out Trumpist ideology at the State Department, he will be associated with the current nationalist angst of the Republican party. So, if we make an analogy between Sessions and Pompeo, we will probably be seeing a Secretary of State that’s on much less shaky ground than Tillerson.
Originally, Trump wanted to tap Senator Tom Cotton, but that would’ve prompted a special election…
Well, guess that’s all for now. Sorry for the long hiatus!