Trump tweets his disagreement – and supporters protest the rulings – after Supreme Court rejects latest challenges to election result

The very foundations of United States democracy have been shaken this weekend as President Donald Trump marshalled his Republican supporters – and the far right – to confront the US Supreme Court.

Twice last week the court threw out challenges by Republicans who alleged widespread voter fraud.

On Friday the court considered the second challenge, by the Attorney-General of Texas, challenging electoral results.  He accused Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin of violating their own state laws, and thereby the US Constitution, by adjusting absentee voting procedures to accommodate the surge in mail-in ballots from voters following public-health guidance during the coronavirus pandemic.

This was President Trump’s last chance to overturn election results before the Electoral College convenes today to formally cast ballots: 306 for Joe Biden, 232 for Trump.

In a brief order, the court said Texas lacked legal standing to bring the case.  Continue reading “Trump tweets his disagreement – and supporters protest the rulings – after Supreme Court rejects latest challenges to election result”

US presidential election: polls show it’s a close race in swing states

The United States of America stands on the cusp tomorrow (Wednesday NZ time) as 257 million Americans vote for their next president and a host of Congressional and senatorial candidates. On the eve, President Donald Trump trails by 10% among voters facing substantial public anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic but with broad approval of his management of the economy, according to the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls.

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump, 52% to 42%, in the poll’s final reading of voter opinion before Election Day, essentially unchanged from Biden’s 11-point advantage in mid-October. In particular, women and seniors have turned against the president, the poll finds, with both groups favouring Biden by double-digit margins.

Surveys finds the race tightening when the landscape is narrowed to a set of 12 battleground states.  Biden holds a 6-point lead across those states, 51% to 45%, compared with a 10-point lead last month. Continue reading “US presidential election: polls show it’s a close race in swing states”

Should liberals be voting for Trump?

You don’t come to Point of Order for a 5,000 word essay on liberalism (for that you read ‘Liberalism and its Discontents’ by Francis Fukuyama at American Purpose).

But he does have a handy definition:

“Classical liberalism can best be understood as an institutional solution to the problem of governing over diversity … The most fundamental principle enshrined in liberalism is one of tolerance: You do not have to agree with your fellow citizens about the most important things, but only that each individual should get to decide what those things are without interference from you or from the state.

And using this yardstick of containing diverse views, let’s look at some of the ways in which Trump’s Republicans or Biden’s Democrats might go should they prevail in America’s national elections next week.

Continue reading “Should liberals be voting for Trump?”

US law officials brace for the contingency of Trump refusing to accept election defeat

US law enforcement agencies from the FBI down are preparing contingency plans in case of violence after the November 3 presidential elections. These have been triggered by President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful exit from office, arguing the election results will be “rigged” because of his opposition to postal voting.

Ironically, he voted by mail because he will be in Washington DC rather than at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, now his home.

Trump has shocked even hardened Republicans during the campaigning with his language and easy facility with “factual inexactitudes”.   He maintains the coronavirus pandemic is “turning the corner” despite rising infection rates in most of the 50 US states.   He consistently undermines public health measures recommended by his own officials. He dog-whistles the white supremacists and branded Democrat vice presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris a “monster”. Continue reading “US law officials brace for the contingency of Trump refusing to accept election defeat”

Die-hard Republicans are among those who have bridled at Donald’s idea of delaying the election

Is the Republican Party actually coming to terms with President Donald Trump and the challenge he poses to the GOP flame – the party of Abraham Lincoln?

Since 2016 the GOP blazed its support across crises and challenges.  Now, with the elections only three months away, it is in what looks like a modest revolt.

First, the White House had to pull the nomination of an ex-army general, Fox News contributor and Trump supporter Retired Army Brigadier General Anthony Tata to become the Department of Defense’s next undersecretary  for policy.

Tata was scheduled to testify in front of the committee yesterday but the hearing was pulled at the last minute after several Republican senators jibed at supporting him following claims he had made numerous Islamophobic and offensive comments and promoted conspiracy theories.

In the course of the day, Trump tweeted that he might delay the November 3 elections because of the risk of fraud in mail voting. This brought the house down. Continue reading “Die-hard Republicans are among those who have bridled at Donald’s idea of delaying the election”

Polls show Biden well ahead of Trump – but don’t forget the role of the Electoral College in presidential elections

When the Wall Street Journal, once the house-magazine for the old Republican Party, chides President Donald Trump for not having an agenda for his second term, the GOP should be ringing alarm bells.

The polls aren’t any more promising – a weekend New York Times poll has Joe Biden ahead of Trump 50% to 35%. Other polls are showing the over-65s, who tend to vote for the Republicans, are swinging to Biden.

Trump is unfazed – or so he says.  He has a “good team” around him and his next term would see more of the same, rebuilding the economy.

But Trump is not a strategic thinker and his  ratings have fallen to 40% or below the levels recorded by presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, the last two Presidents who failed to win a second term.

The Journal says with the November 4 election only four months away, voters know Trump well and he has reverted to his worst form. Continue reading “Polls show Biden well ahead of Trump – but don’t forget the role of the Electoral College in presidential elections”