The Senate confirmation of US Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh by a vote of 50 to 48 was the final episode in a drama that has divided America. It has also gripped foreign audiences. The midterm elections promise to do the same.
Historically, Supreme Court nominees and midterm elections have garnered little attention abroad. Today, the rest of the world looks to America’s domestic politics as a barometer of where America is heading.
Beyond the Twitter feed
In year one of the Trump presidency, the news media and many of the world’s diplomats spent countless hours trying to decipher the significance of the president’s tweets.… Seguir leyendo »
Contrary to the worst fears, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the two controllers of 92% of the world’s nuclear weapons, did not fall out badly and Trump did not concede a Soviet-era sphere of influence to Russia. But their unprecedented meeting in Helsinki has still given a win to the Kremlin and sent shockwaves through the United States, with effects on American foreign and domestic policy that will play out over the coming weeks and months.
Just by getting the summit held, the Kremlin scored a post-World Cup goal – the event, at least for a while, puts Russia on a par with the United States in terms of political weight, a key Russian objective.… Seguir leyendo »
Europe has spent the past 18 months experimenting with an array of tactics to influence President Donald Trump, but so far neither Angela Merkel’s tough talk nor Emmanuel Macron’s red carpet treatment has fundamentally changed Trump’s policy decisions.
So what can Britain possible get out of an official visit from the American president that is worth the risk? Public protests have the potential to inflame Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May is in an increasingly weaker position. But just possibly, there is a chance to rewrite the storyline.
Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom should be judged for what it is – a vital component of Britain’s public diplomacy with Americans, and especially with Trump’s base of supporters.… Seguir leyendo »
This weekend marks the end of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The honeymoon period will be officially over, and Trump will post the lowest approval rating – 44%, according to a CNN/ORC poll – of any newly elected president since modern polling began.
The biggest surprise for many at the end of these first 100 days will be the degree to which the Trump presidency has been normalized. For some, this is justified by the fact that few US policies have changed as radically as feared and international institutions remain intact. Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda has not produced radical change in the nation’s formal international commitments, and few of his more incendiary campaign promises have materialized.… Seguir leyendo »
The recent botched raid on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen is emblematic of Trump’s governance style: bold, impulsive, and with a very certain disregard for consequences.
Nobody is yet sure whether this is by design or not. For some, Trump’s policies are best explained by a version of chaos theory, largely attributed to the work of chief political strategist, Stephen Bannon. The first weeks’ policies seek to create as much chaos as possible, provoke a liberal backlash that discredits its participants and (so the theory goes) fully consolidate the support of Trump’s base.
For others, the first two weeks have been trial by fire, reflecting an untamed narcissistic desire to generate attention and affirmation, and made possible by creating an inner circle that has seemingly removed apolitical expert oversight.… Seguir leyendo »