Feeds:
Inlägg
Kommentarer

VAL 2016 | Här är två omslag från The New Yorker som ganska väl sammanfattar hur media generellt har framställt Hillary Clinton och Donald Trump.

The New Yorker - May 23, 2016

Här är Trump (“Grand Illusion” av Barry Blitt) kandidaten som ingen tog på allvar.

Men Trump lyckades besegra alla motkandidater och samtidigt knäcka det gamla gardet i det republikanska partiet. Och det med politiska idéer som ingen uppfattar som vare sig seriösa eller genomförbara.

Efter Trump blir inget sig likt igen för Abraham Lincolns och Ronald Reagans gamla parti.

The New Yorker - June 20, 2016

Och här är Hillary Clinton (“Ready for a Fight” av Barry Blitt) som kandidaten som tvingades slåss hela vägen till partikonventet. Vägen blev jobbigare än väntat. Men leendet visar att det var mödan värt.

Nomineringen har varit säkrad ett tag nu även om hon aldrig lyckades slå knockout på Bernie Sanders. Mot honom får hon nöja sig med poängseger. Nästa fight: Vita huset.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New Yorker den 23 maj respektive 20 juni 2016.

EKONOMI | President Barack Obama har varit bättre för USA:s ekonomin än vad företagen vill erkänna.

bloomberg-businessweek-27 June-July 3 2016

När Obama intervjuades av ett team från tidskriften Bloomberg Businessweek lyckades han även få in en giftig kommentar om att Donald Trump inte uppfattas som speciellt framgångsrik bland många affärsmän.

The stock market has tripled. Profits are very high. And yet you still have this label of being an anti-business figure. How do you look at that?

Well, first of all, toward the end of my second term, I think among the business community, there’s maybe a greater acknowledgment, a less grudging acknowledgment, that we steered through the worst financial and economic crisis in our lifetimes successfully—certainly more successfully than many of our peers. We’re now 10 percent above the GDP pre-crisis. In Europe, for example, they’re just now getting back to even.

As you mentioned, the stock market, obviously, has come roaring back. But I think more relevant for ordinary folks, we’ve cut the unemployment rate in half. We’ve been able to have the longest [stretch of] consecutive months of private-sector job growth in our history. Biggest job growth since the ’90s in manufacturing. The auto industry has come roaring back and is selling more cars than ever. We’ve doubled the production of clean energy. Our production of traditional fossil fuels has exceeded all expectations. We’ve been able to grow the economy, reduce unemployment, and cut the deficit by around three-quarters, measured as a percent of GDP. So it’s hard to argue with the facts.

I think where the business community has traditionally voiced complaints about my administration is in the regulatory sector. And yet, if you look at the results—Dodd-Frank being a good example—it is indisputable that our banking system and our financial sector are safer and more stable than when I came into office. Now, what’s also true is that banking profits are not as outsized as they were, but I don’t consider that a bad thing, and I think most Americans don’t either. They’re still making a profit, it’s just that there is a froth that’s been eliminated, and that’s good over the long term for the financial sector.

[…]

We’re going to have a global entrepreneurship summit—the last one of a series that we began when I first came into office. And the enthusiasm from around the world about these summits speaks to the advantage that we continue to have here in the United States. It’s this notion that if you get a good idea, and you organize some people to support you, and you learn from your mistakes, you can create something entirely new.

You can become Bill Gates.

You can become Bill Gates. Or, in some cases, you can electrify a village. You can save water in a desert. That’s the thing about the U.S. economy that continues to be unique. And it’s tied to capitalism and markets, but it’s also tied to a faith in science and reason and a mindset that says there’s always something new to discover, and we don’t know everything, and we’re going to try new things, and we’re pragmatic. And if we ever lose that, then we will have lost what has made us an incredible force for good in the world. If we sustain it, then we can maintain the kind of progress that has been made. I always tell interns and young people who I talk to that as tough as things seem right now, do not believe people when they tell you they wish they could go back to the good old days. Because the good old days aren’t—I’m now old enough where I remember some of those good old days.

Does it annoy you, then, that the guy who wants to go back and is America’s most successful businessman, at least by his own reckoning, is Donald Trump?

Well, I—there’s no successful businessman in America who actually thinks the most successful businessman in the country is Donald Trump. I know those guys, and so do you, and I guarantee you, that’s not their view.

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 27 juni-3 july 2016.

VAL 2016 | Tror Donald Trump på vad han själv säger? Eller är det bara ett sätt att skilja ut sig från mängden och få gratis uppmärksamhet?

The Hollywood Reporter from 10 June 2016

Frågorna blir aldrig riktigt besvarade när Michael Wolff träffade Trump för The Hollywood Reporter.

Men rubriken på hans artikel – ”Politics’ ‘Dark Heart’ Is Having the Best Time Anyone’s Ever Had” – säger en ungefär var Wollf landar i sin bedömning av Trump.

”The biggest thing is the theme. It’s what he always wants to come back to. Bigness is unavoidable and inevitable. Bigness always wins”, skriver Wollf.

Det skulle förklara varför Trump alltid pratat om sig själv. Ju mer vi pratat om honom ju mindre utrymme blir det för Hillary Clinton.

Detta kan möjligtvis kallas en valstrategi. Men en framgångsrik sådan? Knappast. Väljarna röstar inte på politiker bara för att de är fascinerade av dem.

If there’s any pattern to his conversation, it’s that he’s vague on all subjects outside himself, his campaign and the media. Everything else is mere distraction.

[…]

I broach his problems with women and Hispanics and the common wisdom that he’ll have to do at least as well with these groups as Mitt Romney did in 2012. The ”pivot” is the word more politico pros are using to refer to his expected turn to the center. ”Unless,” I offer, ”you think you can remake the electoral math.” He says he absolutely can. So no pivot. ”It’ll be different math than they’ve ever seen.” He is, he says, bigger than anything anyone has ever seen. ”I have a much bigger base than Romney. Romney was a stiff!” And he’ll be bigger with the people he’s bigger with, but also he’ll be bigger with women and Hispanics and blacks, too. He believes, no matter what positions he holds or slurs he has made, that he is irresistible.

[…]

It is hard not to feel that Trump understands himself, and that we’re all in on this kind of spectacular joke. His shamelessness is just so … shameless. So how much, I ask — quite thinking he will get the nuance here — is the Trump brand based on exaggeration? He responds, with perfect literalness, none at all. I try again. He must understand. How could he not? ”You’ve talked about negotiation, which is about compromise and about establishing positions that you can walk back from. How much about being a successful person involves … well, bullshitting? How much of success is playing games?”

If he does understand, he’s definitely not taking this bait. I try again: ”How much are you a salesman?”

Salesman, in the Trump worldview, is hardly a bad word, and he is quite willing to accept it, although, curiously, he doesn’t want to be thought of that way when it comes to real estate. But as a politician, he’s OK as a salesman.

In this, he sees himself — and becomes almost eloquent in talking about himself — as a sort of performer and voter whisperer. He is, he takes obvious pride in saying, the only politician who doesn’t regularly use a teleprompter. With a prompter, he says, you can’t work the crowd. You can’t feel it. ”You got to look at them in the eye. Have you ever seen me speak in front of a large group of people? Have you ever watched?” He reflects on the lack of self-consciousness that’s necessary to make spontaneous utterances before a crowd. He cites a well-known actor (whose name he asks me not to use, ”I don’t want to hurt anybody”), who had wanted to run for office but, without a script, was a blithering idiot. Trump was never fed lines on The Apprentice, he says. It was all him: ”You have to have a natural ability.”

[…]

The anti-Christ Trump, the Trump of bizarre, outre, impractical and reactionary policies that most reasonable people yet believe will lead to an astounding defeat in November, is really hard to summon from Trump in person. He deflects that person, or, even, dissembles about what that person might have said (as much, he dissembles for conservatives about what the more liberal Trump might have said), and is impatient that anyone might want to focus on that version of Trump. It does then feel that the policies, such as they are, and the slurs, are not him. They are just a means to the end — to the phenomenon. To the center of attention. The biggest thing that has ever happened in politics. In America. The biggest thing is the theme. It’s what he always wants to come back to. Bigness is unavoidable and inevitable. Bigness always wins.

Läs mer: ”3 key ways Donald Trump’s Hollywood Reporter interview explains his Campaign” på Vox.com.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Hollywood Reporter den 10 juni 2016.

VAL 2016 | Var finns de framgångsrika demokratiska och socialistiska politiska konsulterna i amerikansk politik?

Bernie Sanders

Den retoriska frågan ställde Bernie Sanders när han intervjuades i Rolling Stone av Tim Dickinson.

Frågan var intressant med tanke på att Sanders valkampanj har ett överskott av entusiasm, inte minst från sina unga gräsrötter men ett underskott av professionella medarbetare.

Team Sanders har varit duktiga på att två saker: samla in stora mängder pengar från vanligt folk och locka stora folkmassor till sina valmöten.

Mindre framgångsrika har man varit när det gäller att stå emot attackerna från Hillary Clintons professionella medarbetare med stor erfarenhet från tidigare valrörelser.

Men en annan förklaring till att Sanders hamnat på efterkälken är att han säkerligen inte förväntade sig få en sådan positiv respons bland de demokratiska väljarna.

Även Sanders trodde nog att det skulle bli en promenadseger för Clinton. Sanders hoppades nog bara på att kunna påverka Clinton och partiets valplattform i en mer positiv riktning.

On a campaign, a candidate gets so much advice. Who’s been the lodestar – the person or people that you return to for guidance?

The difficulty that we have had in this campaign is that if you have the politics of somebody like a Hillary Clinton, you can bring together a team with a whole lot of political experience, people who have been part of Bill Clinton’s campaigns or administration, or Al Gore’s efforts, pollsters or media people or great surrogates. That is what the establishment Democratic Party has – hundreds of very knowledgeable people. Sophisticated people. I know many of them. I’ve been in the rooms during Obama’s campaigns. I have looked at the chart of literally the 39 different ways Obama can win. ”If you lose Wisconsin but you win New Je rsey and bup, bup, bup…”

But there aren’t a whole lot of people who understand the day-to-day mechanics of running a presidential campaign, who have history running a campaign for a candidate like myself. You tell me: Where are the democratic-socialist political consultants who have been involved in successful campaigns in recent history? There aren’t any. So we’ve had to put together our own campaign by the seat of our pants. And that’s been hard. We started this campaign with a handful of people from Vermont, people I’ve known for 20 or 30 years. And it’s grown. We’ve used people who have experience in the Democratic Party – the best that we can find. And we have political activists involved. We’ve met some great people over the campaign. A lot of great surrogates, from Nina Turner to Chuy Garcia to Killer Mike to Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon – great people from different walks of life who gravitated into the campaign.

Bild: Talking Union.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders i en intervju med Rolling Stone:

It’s hard. But I volunteered to do this. I’m glad we’re doing it. I look forward to winning this damn thing.

SWEXIT | Den som följde den svenska debatten kring Brexit lade säkert märke till att Jonas Sjöstedt syntes mer än vanligt i media.

Jonas Sjöstedt

Men vad ville Sjöstedt med alla sina framträdanden? Det är inte säkert att någon riktigt uppfattade något tydligt budskap.

Vänsterpartiet verkar inte riktigt veta vilken fot man skall stå på när det gäller frågan om en eventuell svensk folkomröstning om EU-medlemskapet.

Men läser man mellan raderna kan man ana att partiet skulle välkomna en folkomröstning. Men tydligen vågar man inte säga detta rent ut. Därav deras minst sagt vaga budskap.

Troligtvis är man rädd att äventyra Vänsterpartiets strategi att alltid försöka framstå som ”statsmannamässig”. Detta kräver att man inte uppfattas som ett ytterlighetsparti i viktiga frågor.

När Vänsterpartiet inte fick ingå i den rödgröna koalitionen var Sjöstedts upprördhet påtaglig. Men istället för att dra maximal nytta av sin oppositionsroll har partiet valt att fortsätta på den inslagna vägen.

En annan orsak till att man inte vågar ta ordet folkomröstning i sin mun är att man då skulle hamna på samma sida som Sverigedemokraterna i frågan. Därav deras något krystade resonemang kring Brexit och dess konsekvenser för Sverige.

Så här lät t.ex. Sjöstedt i Svenska Dagbladet inför folkomröstningen i Storbritannien:

Den brittiska kritiken mot EU har flera ansikten. Kritik mot EU-medlemskapet finns från både höger och vänster. Men en påfallande högljudd del av den brittiska EU-kritiken präglas av nationalism, traditionell högerpolitik och ibland ren främlingsfientlighet. Det är en form av EU-kritik som vi känner oss främmande inför. Vi kommer därför inte att stödja någon sådan brittisk nej-kampanj. Vår EU-kritik handlar om folkstyre, självbestämmanderätt och demokrati.

[…]

Om Storbritannien väljer att lämna EU bör de erbjudas ett nära samarbete med ett nytt avtal med EU. Ett avtal som kan ersätta dagens EES-avtal och i vilket även Norge kan ingå. Ett sådant avtal ska garantera fri varuhandel utan tullar och personers fria rörlighet. Samtidigt måste maktförhållandena i ett sådant avtal ändras så att de inte ensidigt bygger på att samtliga länder ska tillämpa EU-rätten. För att vara hållbart på sikt bör avtalet vara ett avtal mellan jämbördiga parter när gemensamma regler utformas.

Ett sådant nytt avtal skulle göra ett brittiskt utträde ur EU mindre dramatiskt och kunna vara grunden för ett gott framtida samarbete mellan våra länder. Ett brittiskt utträde ur EU skulle säkerligen starta en debatt om fortsatt EU-medlemskap i Sverige och andra EU-länder. Ett bra samarbetsavtal skulle vara ett bra alternativ om/när Sverige eller andra länder i framtiden väljer att lämna EU.

Detta låter som Sjöstedt både vill ha kakan och äta den.

Rivalen Kommunistiska Partiet har satt fingret på Vänsterpartiets ömma punkt. Så här skrev Jenny Tedjeza, chefredaktören på partitidningen Proletären, om partiets inställning:

Vänsterpartiet har, för att behålla sin parlamentariska ställning, stegvis tonat ner kravet på ett EU-utträde och därmed lämnat öppet fält för högerpopulistiska och nationalistiska strömningar att ta över. För att sedan använda den yttersta högerns EU-motstånd som en förevändning för att i praktiken helt överge kravet på utträde.

När det nu visar sig att Storbritannien är EU-kedjans svagaste länk och Brexit-anhängarna ser ut att kunna vinna torsdagens folkomröstning vägrar därför Vänsterpartiet och Jonas Sjöstedt att ta ställning, just med hänvisning till de nationalistiska, främlingsfientliga och konservativa elementen i Brexit-kampanjen.

Istället bekänner sig Vänsterpartiet idag till den diffusa EU-kritik som bygger på föreställningen att unionen kan göras mer progressiv inifrån.

Klockrent.

Sjöstedt skulle aldrig erkänna det men Vänsterpartiets strategi hamnar bra nära premiärminister David Camerons inför folkomröstningen.

Så här skrev tidskriften The Spectator i en kritisk ledare efter Brexitvalet:

His strategy of holding a renegotiation of Britain’s terms of membership with the EU, followed by an in-out referendum, was logical.

[…]

The fault with Cameron’s strategy is that it was based on a false premise: that the EU is open to reform. It is not and never will be. The louder the voices for reform, the more its unelected leaders retreat into their siege positions. The threat of a British referendum was supposed to jolt them into the realisation that their dream of a pan-European pseudo-state is less and less shared by the public. But instead of sending scouts to hear what the people wanted, they stayed up on the ramparts and boiled the oil ready to pour on the mob.

Detta vet även Jonas Sjöstedt. Trots detta har han valt att låta mer som David Cameron än EU-motståndarna på den svenska vänsterkanten, inklusive de som finns inom det egna partiet.

Expressen ställde en direkt fråga till honom efter valet i Storbritannien. Sjöstedts lät återigen som den konservative premiärministern innan han tvingades gå med på en folkomröstning om EU.

– Det kan komma ett läge då vi tar upp frågan om folkomröstning om ett utträde i Sverige, säger han.

[…]

Vänsterpartiet var det enda av riksdagspartierna som inte ville ta ställning inför omröstningen. När beskedet om brexit kom på midsommaraftons morgon meddelade V-ledaren att han vill omförhandla det svenska medlemskapet.

Men du sträcker dig inte så långt som att du vill ha ett swexit?

– Det kan komma ett läge då vi tar upp frågan om folkomröstning om ett utträde i Sverige. Men då vill vi först veta vad som är förutsättningarna för ett omförhandlat medlemskap.

Detta är tydligen Vänsterpartiets försök att triangulera. Men vaghet i stora avgörande frågor brukar inte belönas av väljarna. Vi får se om det lyckas för Sjöstedt.

Bild: Anna-Karin Nilsson / Anna-Karin Nilsson Expressen.

VAL 2016 | Vem har det tuffaste jobbet i amerikansk politik? Inte helt osannolikt Reince Priebus. Han är nämligen ordförande i Republican National Committee.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Det är han som har till uppgift att se till att partiets insatser under presidentvalet ligger i fas med partiets presidentkandidat.

Med tanke på att RNC är det republikanska partiets etablissemang kommer Priebus att få en delikat uppgift att hantera när Donald Trump väl blir republikanernas presidentkandidat.

En anledning till att Trump blivit populär bland gräsrötterna är att han aldrig tvekat att peka på det egna partiets fel och brister. Både när det gäller politiken och politikernas tendens att skärma sig från sina väljares verklighet.

I Joshua Greens artikel om Priebus i Bloomberg Businessweek säger t.ex. mångmiljonären Trump att han vill göra om partiet till ett arbetarparti. Bland topparna vill man hellre se partiet som företagarnas parti.

Detta är bara ett av många exempel på hur Trumps politiska idéer ligger långt ifrån vad partietablissemanget vill höra från sin presidentkandidat.

Ett pågående inbördeskrig mellan Trump och partitopparna är knappast den mest optimal utgångspunkten inför en valrörelse. Inte konstigt att Hillary Clinton och demokraterna gnuggar händerna.

Priebus’s mission at the RNC has been to manufacture some luck: to rebuild a party that lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections and lost power completely with Barack Obama’s 2008 victory. While Republicans traded recriminations after Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012, Priebus announced that the RNC would conduct a rigorous postmortem of all that had gone wrong and figure out how to refashion the party for the 21st century. “It wasn’t the RNC’s fault that things didn’t work out in 2012,” says Sally Bradshaw, a senior Jeb Bush adviser and a co-author of the resulting report. “But Priebus was willing to say, ‘There’s no other entity that can do this, that can take this on.’ ” The key to revival, the authors concluded, was to put a kinder, gentler gloss on the old stalwart Republican ideals (free trade, small government) while reforming immigration laws to entice nonwhite voters who were tuning the party out.

This was a comforting notion, but it hasn’t panned out. “The Jeb Bush guys wrote the autopsy,” says a frustrated Republican strategist who works with the RNC. “Then Jeb Bush ran the worst campaign in presidential history.” By obliterating Jeb, Trump redefined the Republican Party’s identity off the top of his head. And his vision of the GOP’s future is in many ways the diametrical opposite of what Priebus and the party Establishment had imagined. Many politicians, Trump told me, had privately confessed to being amazed that his policies, and his lacerating criticism of party leaders, had proved such potent electoral medicine. Trump says this was obvious, but craven Republicans wouldn’t acknowledge it. So he called bulls—. “It’s funny,” he told me, delighted by the swift triumph of his influence. “It’s like the paper clip: a very simple thing. But one guy got rich, and everyone else said, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ ”

[…]

Priebus won added plaudits from the donor class for the autopsy, which was officially titled the Growth & Opportunity Project and released in March 2013. While lauding the GOP’s strength in Congress and statehouses, it warned that the angry, strident tone many Republicans directed toward Hispanics and other minorities threatened the party’s viability: “If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e., self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence.” The report continued: “We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”

[…]

While the report was unblinking about the need to win more support from women, minorities, and young people, it betrayed no hint that Republican policies beyond immigration reform might need adjusting to attract them.

[…]

In bypassing a major course correction, the party fell into an old pattern that typically follows presidential losses. “Defeated parties almost always behave according to the dictates of their own party cultures rather than engage in a more objective analysis of how they should respond,” says Philip Klinkner, a Hamilton College political scientist and expert on party committees.

[…]

More often, parties avoid true introspection. “Republicans in particular,” says Klinkner, “focus on organizational and managerial changes and don’t talk about politics.”

Why not? Well, for one thing, politics is divisive. “Nobody wants to talk content, because that’s hard and you get yelled at on the radio by Rush Limbaugh,” says Mike Murphy, the veteran Republican strategist who ran Jeb Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise. “So instead they talk process: ‘The RNC is building a new, lithium-cooled supercomputer in the basement, and we’re going to have better microtargeting and organize everybody in America on their cell phone with go-get-’em apps.’ ”

Even so, conservatives railed against the Growth & Opportunity Project, pointing out its major policy recommendation—immigration reform—was something the GOP Establishment has sought for years, over intense grass-roots opposition.

[…]

But then came Trump, a walking exaggeration of every negative attribute the autopsy had warned against. Priebus won the Establishment’s heart—but it turned out voters loved Trump. As chairman, Priebus had a choice: resign or get behind the nominee. He chose the latter, even though it entailed addressing every outrageous comment from Trump.

[…]

“If I didn’t come along, the Republican Party had zero chance of winning the presidency,” Trump told me, sitting beside a scale model Trump airplane in his Trump Tower office.

He was explaining his own Growth & Opportunity plan. Its primary component is, of course, Trump. But there’s more to it. Just as he showed an instinct for devastating personal invective (“Lyin’ Ted”), he also seemed to intuit that standard Republican dogma no longer appeals to large swaths of the party electorate. Although it was overshadowed by his feuds and insults, he conveyed and defended a clear set of ideas that drew record numbers of Republican primary voters, even though—or more likely because—they often cut against right-wing orthodoxy: protect Social Security benefits, defend Planned Parenthood, restrict free trade, avoid foolish Middle East wars, deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, build a wall. Trump believes the scale of his victory proves the strength of his proposals. “All these millions and millions of people,” he marveled, echoing Bernie Sanders. “It’s a movement.”

[…]

I asked Trump what he thought the GOP would look like in five years. “Love the question,” he replied. “Five, 10 years from now—different party. You’re going to have a worker’s party. A party of people that haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry. What I want to do, I think cutting Social Security is a big mistake for the Republican Party. And I know it’s a big part of the budget. Cutting it the wrong way is a big mistake, and even cutting it [at all].” He explained the genesis of his heterodox views. “I’m not sure I got there through deep analysis,” he said. “My views are what everybody else’s views are. When I give speeches, sometimes I’ll sign autographs and I’ll get to talk to people and learn a lot about the party.” He says he learned that voters were disgusted with Republican leaders and channeled their outrage.

[…]

The question everyone wonders is, what effect will this have on the party? If Trump wins, he’ll have even less incentive to toe the party line. If he loses, conservatives will spin it as a decisive verdict on all that he says and stands for. They’ll cast his nomination as an embarrassing dalliance by Republican voters who, chastened, will return to the fold. Everything will be as it was before.

But presidential elections always produce new ideas. Trump will change the Republican Party, win or lose. He chose to define himself against conservative legacy, and voters responded. Other politicians will see his success and mimic him. As he says, it’s simple—like a paper clip.

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 30 maj-6 juni 2016.