Is the US About To Have A Quiet Political Summer?
Sometimes the loudest noise is the one you cannot hear
This country has been through a lot in recent years - The Trump Presidency, 2 Impeachments, COVID, an armed insurrection, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and associated elevated energy prices, an unprecedented indictment of a former President, the Republicans almost blowing up the global economy this month….it has been a tumultuous time.
But as I sat down to write today about what comes next what I kept coming back to was….not very much. Very little of domestic political consequence is likely to happen this summer. Perhaps Trump is indicted again. Perhaps the war in Ukraine continues to keep getting worse for Putin. Given Friday’s strong jobs report a recession this summer is unlikely. As Rob Shapiro recently wrote in the Washington Monthly, inflation has come down further than is understood, and the economy is on the verge of returning to something that looks like normal. The President’s new border plan is working, the flow to the border has plummeted and “the border chaos” so important to MAGA’s mythmaking has largely disappeared. Our cities aren’t burning, and this dangerous “radical left/Antifa” terrorism threat so central to the 2020 election sure appears to have been a Trump/Barr fabulation.
I am not for a moment saying that the threat of MAGA here in the US, and authoritarianism more broadly, has abated. Too many people will die this summer due to gun violence. Too many women will be denied the basic health care they need. McCarthy’s willingness to take down the global economy was a CONFIRMATION of their ongoing extremism, as is the rhetoric we hear daily in the early GOP primary fight. MAGA is still here, and in many ways, it is getting worse. But just like we have to get better at taking electoral wins when they come (like in CO, FL, PA, WI these last few weeks), we need to recognize the potential power and import of a quiet American summer. Normalcy, quiet, letting us get back to our lives after the historic disruptions of COVID and MAGA were among the core promises of the Biden Presidency. And it is one he is currently delivering on, powerfully.
I end this post with the President’s first campaign ad this year, below, which opens with four words - Courage, Opportunity, Democracy, Freedom. We are as the President likes to say in a battle for the soul of America. Today it feels like this is a battle we are in the process of winning.
Keep working hard all - Simon