Looking around it looks like we’ll be hearing about the same issues for the foreseeable future:
- The Blue and Red States will be touting their opposing strategies for weathering the COVID-19 epidemic. Currently the Blue States have selected as their strategy of inflating the death toll to include anyone who dies in their states. Along with this they are dragging their feet on re-opening their businesses. The Red States are moving ahead with normalizing life in their states. Interestingly they are not seeing large numbers of deaths like we see in New York and New Jersey. And even with the death toll inflation in the Blue States it appears they haven’t been able to hide the fact that the epidemic is receding. I’ll predict that in a couple of more weeks even the blue States will be anxious to declare victory and start opening up their businesses and try to salvage their economies.
- The Flynn prosecution will spawn a controversy with the Right touting the DOJ investigation into the illegal basis of the Russia-gate prosecutions and the Left condemning Barr and Durham as partisan hacks motivated by allegiance to the Trump administration. With Durham releasing information about the scope of the conspiracy this may quickly turn into the most interesting story of the summer and fall. If the DOJ decides not to prosecute the conspirators but instead expose and embarrass them through publication of their dishonest actions it could have the effect of vindicating President Trump and vilifying Obama and his whole administration. And that would be very bad for a Biden candidacy.
- The Trump and Biden campaigns will spar ceaselessly over any and all issues. What you will hear endlessly is that Joe Biden is ahead by some number of points, between 5% and 10%. It’ll never be explained how someone as universally disdained by even the Democrat voters as Biden could manage to remain perpetually popular and ahead but that is their story and they’ll be sticking to it.
- Currently the Tara Reade story will be a lightning rod allowing the Republicans to brand anyone who condemned Justice Kavanaugh on the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford but disbelieves Reade about Biden as hypocrites. If Reade begins to gain traction with women voters, I think we’ll finally see the Democrat party either convince Biden to step aside or begin the process of selecting an alternate candidate. And that will be a difficult process. Bernie Sanders will be bypassed again and that is bound to alienate his many staunch supporters. If Bernie is left waiting at the altar again the Bernie Bros will stay home in droves, or even worse, a bunch of them will vote for Trump.
- Nancy Pelosi has assembled a three trillion-dollar bill that would allow the bankrupt Blue States to stick the federal government with the cost of the public sector union pension funds. The Senate Leader Mitchell McConnell isn’t interested in funding this. But President Trump may be interested in additional relief for small businesses that have been crushed by the long shutdown. He may try to broker a deal between the House and Senate. I know that the President also favors some kind of public works projects. This will be a large story in the fall.
- The China story will be a continuing saga for the Trump re-election campaign. The President has indicated that he holds China responsible for the outbreak and the subsequent damage to the American economy. It remains to be seen if this translates into a specific policy or policies. You could imagine some kind of incentive for American companies that relocate industrial capacity from China to the United States.
As you can see these are interesting times but currently all of these issues will be moving forward in fits and starts. Right now, none of them has a blockbuster event occurring so there will be a lot of opinion stories producing a lot of smoke and heat but little light. I’ll try to restrain myself from piping in on every little ripple in the pond. What I’m hoping to see is something from Durham. As I’ve said, I don’t think we’ll get anything too spectacular. But I would like to see something before summer. Failing that I’d like to see the President formulate an economic rescue plan for small businesses that is more comprehensive and fairer than the halfway measures we’ve seen so far.
So, there’s my update. Stay tuned for whatever is breaking next.