The presidency was not the only important election last night.
Republicans kept control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. We no longer will have a divided government. Which means that the Republican administration could, conceivably, get something done. (Although gridlock is not always a bad thing.) [Read more…]
Democrats need to take 30 seats to win control of the House of Representatives. But they only need to turn four to take the Senate.The former is unlikely to happen. The latter will be close.
Read about the closely contested seats after the jump. [Read more…]
Whoever gets elected president will oppose free trade. In fact, both parties are rivaling each other in condemning trade agreements such as NAFTA (which forms a common market with Canada and Mexico) and the not-yet-ratified TPP (which eases trade with Australia and Asian countries other than China).
Such a turnabout is astonishing, since Republicans have long championed free markets and Democrats have come around to agree with them. Credit, or blame, for this new stance goes to the popularity of Donald Trump, who has roused the masses against American industries moving factories and jobs overseas and American products being driven out by cheaper imports.
I can see the appeal of a self-contained national economy, but getting there would seem to involve some dangerous tradeoffs. If we erect trade barriers such as high tariffs and our trading partners retaliate, won’t that be economically disastrous? American companies will suddenly lose a major part of their markets. Prices for consumers will skyrocket. After awhile, maybe new companies would take up the slack, but, in the short term at least, wouldn’t this cause recession and even more unemployment?
This is not my field, so I am open to instruction. [Read more…]
At the Republican convention, Donald Trump and company invoked what have traditionally been Democratic themes: quoting dubious statistics about how women earn less than men do; opposing free trade; wanting to regulate capitalism; claiming workers are oppressed; cheering gay rights; promising no more war, etc.
The Democratic convention has done the reverse, invoking what are usually Republican themes: support for the military; character; “USA” cheers; aggressive foreign policy; “faith, family, & values” rhetoric (to use a Tim Kaine phrase).
Read what William Saletan says about this at Slate, excerpted and linked after the jump.
Are the parties just trying to reach out to the disaffected members of the other side? Is this just the old tactic of playing to your base in the primaries, then going to the center in the general election? Or does it represent a shift for both parties, heralding some ideological changes on both sides? [Read more…]