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Expect the expected from a second Biden or Trump term

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  gregtx  •  one month ago  •  2 comments

By:   Harlan Ullman

Expect the expected from a second Biden or Trump term
A lot of Americans will hope the nation can survive until 2028.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Predictions, speculation and guesses about what a second term would bring for either President Biden or former President Trump have not yet become a cottage industry. But after Trump wins the Republican nomination in the coming weeks, assuming he does, expect a deluge of commentary on what the next administration might or might not do.

In reality, no one really knows.

In a second term, Biden could ignore his far left and tack toward the center. One reason he did not do that in his first term was to keep the party more or less united. He will no longer be so bound.

In a Panglossian moment, perhaps Trump has learned his lessons from the first term. Does he now realize that if he is to be a successful president, truth, fact and reality cannot be of his making, or how he sees all three? This would be a born-again Trump.

But now that we have dispensed with the least likely scenarios, is there any way of forecasting how a Biden or Trump administration would take on the responsibilities of governing what to most Americans is probably an irreparably divided country? After all, some three-fourths of us see the United States as heading in the wrong direction.

When asked about what would determine the future, former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan responded, "Events dear boy, events." Anticipating some of these events will at least shape the possible contours defining the next administration. And some are determinant even now.

How the next president is elected and the margin of defeat or victory matters. If the Electoral College count is close, it will be contested even if one candidate wins a very large share of the popular vote. Trump repeatedly denied the results of the 2020 election, calling it rigged. Suppose the winner is elected based on a tiny number of votes in a few precincts in a few states. Imagine the opportunity for mischief and chaos.

Which party wins control of Congress likewise will determine the next administration's actions. The permutations are straightforward. One party will win control of both houses. Or will it be a divided government? Obviously, one party controlling both ends of Pennsylvania would aid the White House. A divided government is too likely to produce gridlock and stalemate no matter who wins the presidency.

For opponents of Biden and Trump, should the other win, the hope will be that a divided Congress will be an anchor on the presidency, preventing too much damage from being done. That, however, is hardly the best foundation for governing the nation. It is possibly the most likely outcome.

How then would Biden and Trump cope with the most critical issues challenging the nation — from the border and mass migration to the economy, environment, foreign policy, national security and the huge political divisions that the election may only exacerbate? The answer is probably not well.

The national debt has exceeded $34 trillion. A safe prediction is that the debt will only increase because no one is prepared to make tough choices in dealing with swollen and ever-growing entitlement and defense programs. It is difficult to see how either administration, given the vast political differences dividing the country, will be able to develop bipartisan policies toward China, Russia, Ukraine, the Gaza war and the Persian Gulf/Red Sea.

Trump may threaten to withdraw from NATO and punish China and Europe with tariffs. But Congress has passed legislation to make the former more difficult. And tariffs would harm consumers.

The good news is both will be less dependent on their bases. The bad news is that may no longer constrain the more extreme left or right policies each might follow. And whomever Trump selects as a running mate may confuse or exacerbate how the former president decides to govern.

One guess is that an 81-year-old running against a 79-year-old will be unsettling based simply on life expectancies. Under these conditions, possibly the vice presidential choice could make a real difference — reversing the history for the first time. Hence, what can be deduced about the nature of the next administration?

Here are three predictions.

First, the uncertainties about what a future administration will or will not do will worsen the political divides to a near breaking point. This makes a bad situation worse.

Second, if the White House and Congress are controlled by different parties, expect impeachment proceedings in 2025 no matter who is president.

Third, a lot of Americans will hope the nation can survive until 2028.


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GregTx
PhD Guide
1  seeder  GregTx    one month ago
The good news is both will be less dependent on their bases. The bad news is that may no longer constrain the more extreme left or right policies each might follow.
 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2  Sean Treacy    one month ago

It's a choice between a man who is personally radical but pretty lazy or a mentally decrepit puppet of a radical party.

 
 

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