Bob Woodward's Trump tapes & the 2020 election; no COVID relief
Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on US politics:
The Atlantic revelations about Trump's derogatory military remarks didn't seem to have that much of an impact with regular voters. Will Bob Woodward's new book also be a dud?
You know, the president has endured an astonishing number of body blows that would probably be fatal for any mere mortal. But what's unique about this current round of revelations is that there are tapes. I can expect those tapes, which go right at the president's greatest weakness, which is his handling of the coronavirus, to be played ad nauseum by the Biden campaign from now until the election.
How close is the US to a new stimulus package and why was the $1T recently proposed a fraction of what was originally offered?
Well, the stimulus package is looking pretty dead. Both sides seem pretty content with their position and not doing anything. And when neither side feels urgency to compromise, neither side is going to compromise. What's really surprising about this is the president. And if the opposition parties offer you the chance to send out $1200.00 checks to every household three weeks before an election, you'd think the president would want to say yes. But he's obviously not feeling enough urgency to agree to the Democrats other demands. And so nothing is probably going to happen.
With a thousand suspected cases of double voting in Georgia, are Trump's warning of voter tampering warranted?
No. There's very little evidence of vote tampering in the United States. What there is a lot of evidence for is poor election administration. And what the president's comments are doing is creating confusion and encouraging voters to do things they really shouldn't, like vote twice. This is going to be a huge issue this fall with a surge in absentee ballots. Absentee ballots have a higher rejection rate than in-person mailing. So it could be the case that the person who wins this election is not the person who's got the most turnout, but the person whose voters are best at following complicated instructions on their ballots.