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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.

VAL 2016 | Bilden av Donald Trump är att han alltid säger vad som faller honom in för stunden. Men kanske är detta bara en myt som borde avlivas.

New York Magazine - April 4, 2016

Enligt Gabriel Sherman, i tidskriften New York, tog man fram en strategi för hur valrörelsen skulle bedrivas långt innan Trump lanserades som presidentkandidat.

Ansvarig för den informationsinhämtning, kartläggning och planläggning som krävdes var, enligt Sherman, Trump själv.

As much as his campaign appears off the cuff, Trump diligently laid the groundwork for his 2016 run over the course of several years, cultivating relationships with powerful allies in the conservative firmament and in the media, inviting them to private meetings at Trump Tower and golf outings in Florida, all the while collecting intelligence that he has deployed to devastating effect.

As early as 1987, Trump talked publicly about his desire to run for president. He toyed with mounting a campaign in 2000 on the Reform Party ticket, and again in 2012 as a Republican (this was at the height of his Obama birtherism). Two years later, Trump briefly explored running for governor of New York as a springboard to the White House. “I have much bigger plans in mind — stay tuned,” he tweeted in March 2014.

Trump taped another season of The Apprentice that year, but he kept a political organization intact. His team at the time consisted of three advisers: Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, and Sam Nunberg. Stone is a veteran operative, known for his gleeful use of dirty tricks and for ending Eliot Spitzer’s political career by leaking his patronage of prostitutes to the FBI. Cohen is Trump’s longtime in-house attorney. And Nunberg is a lawyer wired into right-wing politics who has long looked up to “Mr. Trump,” as he calls him. “I first met him at Wrestle­Mania when I was like 5 years old,” Nunberg told me.

Throughout 2014, the three fed Trump strategy memos and political intelligence. “I listened to thousands of hours of talk radio, and he was getting reports from me,” Nunberg recalled. What those reports said was that the GOP base was frothing over a handful of issues including immigration, Obamacare, and Common Core. While Jeb Bush talked about crossing the border as an “act of love,” Trump was thinking about how high to build his wall. “We either have borders or we don’t,” Trump told the faithful who flocked to the annual CPAC conference in 2014.

Meanwhile, Trump used his wealth as a strategic tool to gather his own intelligence. When Citizens United president David Bossie or GOP chairman Reince Priebus called Trump for contributions, Trump used the conversations as opportunities to talk about 2016. “Reince called Trump thinking they were talking about donations, but Trump was asking him hard questions,” recalled Nunberg. From his conversations with Priebus, Trump learned that the 2016 field was likely to be crowded. “We knew it was going to be like a parliamentary election,” Nunberg said.

Which is how Trump’s scorched-earth strategy coalesced. To break out of the pack, he made what appears to be a deliberate decision to be provocative, even outrageous. “If I were totally presidential, I’d be one of the many people who are already out of the race,” Trump told me. And so, Trump openly stoked racial tensions and appealed to the latent misogyny of a base that thinks of Hillary as the world’s most horrible ballbuster.

[…]

One way in which Trump’s campaign is like others is that its advisers have jousted for primacy. Over the summer, Lewandowski became embroiled in a battle for control with Stone, Nunberg, and Cohen. The principal fault line was over Stone and Nunberg’s belief that Trump needed to invest money into building a real campaign infrastructure and Lewandowski’s contention that their current approach was working fine.

[…]

Having won the power struggle with Nunberg and Stone, Lewandowski focused on letting “Trump be Trump,” which is what Trump wanted too. There would be no expensive television ad campaigns, no bus tours or earnest meet-and-greets at greasy spoons. Instead, the cornerstones of Trump’s strategy are stadium rallies and his ubiquitous presence on television and social media. “Mr. Trump is the star,” Hicks said.

Pundits have scoffed at this. Trump has no “ground game,” they say. His refusal to spend money on television ads spells disaster. But from the beginning, Trump knew he was onto something. “I remember I had one event in New Hampshire right next to Bush,” Trump told me. “I had 4,500 people, many people standing outside in the cold. Bush had 67 people! Right next door! And I said, ‘Why is he going to win?’ ”

[…]

The small scale and near-constant proximity mean they can respond to events quickly. In February, when the pope suggested Trump might not be a Christian owing to his plan to build a wall along the border, the campaign struck back within minutes. “If and when the Vatican is attacked by isis, which as everyone knows is isis’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president,” his statement said. Lewandowski recalled how it happened: “We found out about it as Mr. Trump was giving a speech on Kiawah Island in South Carolina, and within three minutes or less, he provided the response to Hope.” (By contrast, Clinton’s tweets are vetted by layers of advisers. “It’s very controlled,” one said to me.)

But if speed is the advantage of the small campaign, insularity is its inherent disadvantage. By all accounts, Trump doesn’t seek much counsel beyond his staff and children.

[…]

Meanwhile, the Trump team has poured almost all of its efforts into producing rallies down to the most minute details. At a Christmas-themed one I attended in Cedar Rapids in December, eight perfectly symmetrical Christmas trees lined the stage. As Lewandowski told me, “It’s all about the visual.” He requires reporters to stay behind metal barricades and positions television cameras for the most dramatic shots. “We want to know, what does it look like when he walks out on the stage?” Lewandowski said. “Sometimes we’ll allow cameras up close, sometimes we’ll show Mr. Trump on the rope line.” And the networks, hungry for ratings, have played by these strict rules.

[…]

After the rallies, Trump makes sure his fans stay mobilized. Everyone who attends a rally has to register by email, and the campaign uses this list, which Lewandowski estimates is “in the millions at this point,” to turn out voters. Most campaigns spend a lot of money to acquire voter lists; Trump largely built his own. “If you look at what the Obama campaign achieved many years ago, they were successful at bringing new people in, and then communicating with those people. What we’re doing is not dissimilar,” Lewandowski explained.

Tidskriftsomslag: New York den 4-17 april 2016.

Matt

Bild: Matt i The Daily Telegraph.

VAL 2016 | Det kommer att krävas mycket forskning innan vi får ett tydligt svar på varför britterna föredrog Vote Leave snarare än Vote Remain.

brexit-eu-referendum

I väntan på forskarnas svar får vi nöja oss med de opinionsundersökningar som gjorts.

En analys som låter högst trovärdig är den som Frank Luntz redogjorde för i tidskriften Time i slutet av valrörelsen när det var näst intill dött lopp mellan Leave och Remain.

Luntz är en amerikansk nyhetsanalytiker och jobbar bl.a. för CBS News och Fox News Channel.

For a majority of the British population, life today is just about getting through the day. They accept that Remain makes sense on a macro level; they get that the Big Guys (multi-national corporations, governments at all levels, political parties, even the media) benefit from The System—and the majority hopes that those benefits will one day trickle down to them. They recognize that abandoning the E.U. requires a level of risk-taking that may not turn out well for the British economy overall. But an increasing number of Brits believe the consequences to the economy are more than outweighed by the feeling (if not the reality) that they are taking control of their country and their destiny once again. After decades of feeling betrayed by the very same people and institutions that are now telling them to support the status quo—to Remain—the public appears ready to take matters into their own hands and demand radical change.

Yet on an individual, personal level, their hopes and dreams are anything but radical. It’s really about simple survival. In our polling, Britons are most worried about:

1.Day-to-day existence. Families and individuals are asking: “Will I have enough to pay the bills every month, and hopefully a little left over to save?” Translation: The E.U. may be relevant to political and economic leaders, but it is meaningless to (or even a negative for) the average taxpayer.

2.Generational survival. Parents are asking: “Will our children have the same, better or worse opportunities that I had at their age?” Translation: With Europe in perceived decline, why hitch our future to a sinking ship?

3.Services survival. Citizens are asking: “Do our current policies help, or hurt, the goal of preserving and protecting our pensions, benefits and NHS?” Translation: with the flood of immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees into Europe, a majority of Brits are crying out, “Enough.”

[…]

Yes, the Remain campaign is making very sound policy arguments, backed by the overwhelming majority of economists, but voters are saying right back: “You can claim it, but we don’t believe it. We aren’t feeling the benefits you promised in our daily lives.” Once again, the heart wins out over the head.

[…]

So the momentum is with Leave—and yet the punters and pundits still expect Remain to win. It’s not difficult to see why. In our polling, the Remain campaign’s two best arguments are “leaving will create years of uncertainty” and “we need to keep our seat at the table.”

While this is an intrinsically negative message (“bad things will happen if you reject the status quo and turn away from security…”), it does keep voters in line. Plus, the constitutional nature of the question—that there will not be the opportunity to change your vote in four years’ time—tilts the scales still further in the direction of the status quo. It’s the same “better the devil you know” strategy Cameron used to stitch together his Parliamentary majority last year.

Och nu vet vi hur det gick. David Cameron och de övriga i kampanjen Vote Remain lyckades inte med sitt i huvudsak negativa budskap.

Om argumenten låter mer som skrämselpropaganda övertygar den ingen. Kanske fick deras varningar motsatt effekt – deras negativa budskap signalerade att de inte litade på att fakta skulle övertyga väljarna att rösta Remain.

Slutsats: Desperata kampanjer gör desperata och överdrivna utspel.

Bild: iStock på International Business Times.

The TimesThe Time den 25 juni 2016

The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph den 25 juni 2016

The Guardian

The Guardian den 25 juni 2016

Daily Mail

Daily Mail den 25 juni 2016

The spectator

Bild: Tecknaren Bernie i The Spectator.

VAL 2016 | Tre tidskrifter har inför folkomröstningen i Storbritannien bjudit in representanter för Vote Remain och Vote Leave att argumentera för sin sak.

Newsweek 24 juni 2016

I Newsweek är det Iain Duncan Smith och Sadiq Khan som står för argumenten.

Duncan Smith, som säger Ja till Brexit, var partiledare för Conservative Party mellan 2001 och 2003 och minister för ”work and pensions” i David Camerons regering mellan åren 2010-2016.

Sadiq Khan, från Labour, valdes till Londons borgmästare i maj och anser att Storbritannien mår bäst av att stanna kvar i EU.

Först Duncan Smiths argument i korthet:

President Barack Obama is just one of the many international leaders to urge the people of the United Kingdom to remain members of the European Union. But in doing so he is asking British voters to accept policies and institutions that the American people would not accept for themselves. I’m not just guessing that this is the case. An opinion poll by YouGov found that only 29 percent of Americans would agree to Mexicans having an automatic right to live and work in the U.S. in return for Americans enjoying such a right in Mexico. Even fewer—19 percent—supported the idea of a joint Canadian-Mexican-American high court that would be the ultimate decider of human rights questions. Only 33 percent supported a “South and North American Environmental Agency” that would regulate the fishing industry across the Americas.

As members of the 28-state EU, the British people are subject to the decisions of a supranational and highly politicized court; they watch as jobs in their neighborhoods are taken by Romanians, Bulgarians and other Europeans; and they also find that bureaucrats in Brussels rather than elected representatives in the House of Commons decide all key environmental, fishing and agricultural matters. Britain is only a fraction of the democracy that it was in 1973, when we joined the European Economic Community.

Och här är några av Khans motargument:

Whether it’s analysis from the British Treasury, the Bank of England, the Confederation of British Industry, the International Monetary Fund or the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, it is clear that remaining part of the EU will be better for our economy, better for trade, better for businesses—both large and small—and better for exports.

Almost half of everything we sell to the rest of the world we sell to Europe. In London alone, we export more than £12 billion every year to Europe, and we are home to the European headquarters of 60 percent of the world’s non-European global businesses.

Access to EU markets is crucial to the success of the City of London, and for every £1 we put into the EU, we get almost £10 back through increased trade, investment, low prices and jobs.

I The Spectator har Matthew Parris och Daniel Hannan plockat fram sina sex bästa argument för och emot EU-medlemskapet. Debattörerna har dessutom fått möjlighet att replikera på varandras inlägg.

The Spectator 11 June 2016

Parris är kolumnist för tidskriften och dagstidningen The Times. Hannan sitter i EU-parlamentet för Conservative PartyParris skriver:

Like almost everyone, I’ve piled angrily into this fight. But as the debate nears resolution I feel ashamed of all my furious certainties. In the end, none of us knows, and we shouldn’t pretend to. So I’ll try now to express more temperately six thoughts that persist as the early rage subsides.

From the first three you’ll see that I’m beginning to understand that for many the EU is now a whipping boy. ‘Europe’ has become for many what in other ages Rome, or communist plots, or America, or international Jewry, or big business represented: a conspiracy against us, an explanation. In the words of Cavafy’s poem ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’, ‘a kind of solution’. Europe has become a punchbag for our fears and frustrations. Hating the EU has become exciting, brave, a source of self-affirmation, a proxy.

Daniel Hannan inleder med att skriva:

For me, as for so many people, it’s a heart versus head issue. I’m emotionally drawn to Europe. I speak French and Spanish and have lived and worked all over the Continent. I’ve made many friends among the Brussels functionaries. Lots of them, naturally, are committed Euro-federalists. Yet they are also decent neighbours, loyal companions and generous hosts. I feel twinges of unease about disappointing them, especially the anglophiles. But, in the end, the head must rule the heart.

Remainers often tell us to think of our children, and I’m doing precisely that. I am thinking, not just about the EU as it is now, but about the diminished role that a surly, introverted Europe will have in their lifetime. And that makes my decision very easy.

Standpoint har låtit de två konservativa parlamentsledamöterna Oliver Letwin och Michael Gove stå för argumenten.

Standpoint..

Letwin, förespråkare för Vote Remain, tar i sitt inlägg som utgångspunkt det avtal som premiärminister David Cameron förhandlade fram med EU inför folkomröstningen.

The binding, international law decision that he agreed with the other heads of government in Brussels a few months ago provides explicitly for some member states to form voluntarily a full political, fiscal and monetary union. But it also makes it explicitly clear that this will not apply to other states (including, explicitly, the UK).

The agreement goes on to state explicitly that the phrase “ever closer union” does not provide the European Court with a legal basis for expansive interpretations of the treaties, that it is not the ambition of the UK to form part of an ever closer union, and that the phrase “ever closer union” therefore does not apply to the UK.

Second, the agreement acknowledges, for the first time, that the EU is and will remain permanently a multi-currency zone. And, to make a reality of this, it establishes a new set of protocols governing the relationship between those countries within the eurozone and those countries that maintain their own currencies.

These changes are fundamental. Together, they create the opportunity for a new Europe of concentric circles to emerge — a Europe in which Britain can do exactly what very many of us have wanted for decades: namely, for Britain to be a permanent, full member of the outer circle, the free trade single market, while some other countries travel towards a different destination as members of the inner circle of political, fiscal and monetary union.

Även Michael Gove, Vote Leave, argumenterar utifrån avtalet med Bryssel. Gove är minister i Camerons regering.

We have to be honest about the lack of reform. The deal with other EU nations doesn’t return a single power from Brussels to nation states, doesn’t reduce wasteful EU spending by a penny, doesn’t get rid of a single job-destroying regulation or display even a glimmer of a scintilla of a recognition that the EU might be anything other than a Garden of Eden from which no one should wish to be excluded.

But what makes the deal particularly problematic for us in Britain is not just failure to reform the EU this time round, but the surrender of our veto over future changes.

The deal specifies that countries such as Britain which may not want to see further integration will give up their ability to stop others; they “will not create obstacles to but [will] facilitate such further deepening”.

It has always been critical to the defence of our interests in Europe that we can block other countries at critical moments and make sure our needs are met before others can make new arrangements. The PM made good use of that power in 2011 when he vetoed plans for further integration that didn’t take account of Britain’s needs. Under the new Brussels deal, that power would be lost.

Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 24 juni 2016; The Spectator den 11 juni 2016; Standpoint juni 2016.

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