Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber, Jeffrey Wright, and Clayton Allen are taking the Red Pen to an op-ed by Eric Posner, an author and law professor at the University of Chicago. It's titled "America Passed the Trump Stress Test" and was published recently by Project Syndicate.Professor Posner's argument is basically this: sure, President Trump has violated norms and challenged legitimate election results, but in the end, no real harm done to American institutions, or America's democracy itself. Now it's certainly true that Trump's behavior hasn't led to meaningful policy change, but Posner is blowing the whole thing off as a, "Nothing to see here, no big deal," moment. And we think it's a bit more serious than that.
Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:
With the transition of power formally beginning now, what can we expect between now and inauguration day?
Well, there's a couple of important deadlines between now and Inauguration Day. The first is the December 14th meeting of the Electoral College, which will make the state certifications official and will make Joe Biden officially president-elect in the eyes of the US government. Another really important date is going to be January 5th, which is when Georgia has its runoff for the two Senate seats that will determine majority control in the Senate. If the Republicans win one of those seats, they'll maintain their majority, although very slim. If the Democrats win both of the seats, they'll have a 50/50 Senate with Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote and slightly more ability to enact Joe Biden's agenda next year. Also, between now and Inauguration Day, we're going to see Joe Biden announce his cabinet and senior staff. Most of whom will probably get confirmed fairly easily early, earlier ... Excuse me, later in January or early in February. And of course, we're going to see what President Trump is going to do next. I think that it's still a little bit up in the air what his post-presidency plans are. He has yet to concede the election. So, anything is possible from him, including a lot of new executive orders that could try to box Biden in and limit his options when it comes to economic policy, foreign policy, and social policy.
Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal
In an op-ed in the New York Times, author Wajahat Ali says he's giving up on reaching out to Trump supporters and thinks Ian Bremmer and others shouldn't bother trying. On this edition of The Red Pen, where we pick apart the argument in a major opinion piece, Ian and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber explain what Ali got wrong - and right - and why it's important to see the 73 million Americans who voted for Trump with nuance.
Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:
Joe Biden, he's number 46, the next President. That's right, he's won. Not expecting a concession from President Donald Trump. Am expecting a serious contested election, and indeed that a large number of Americans will believe that the election has been stolen from them, has been rigged, de-legitimizing the process. This is not fun. It's not fun for the United States to have its political institutions erode. It's not new, but it's getting worse. Another thing that's not fun is a President Biden winning by four million votes plus. That number likely to come up as states like California continue to send in absentee ballots and do more counting but having no capacity to engage in political reform in January and the rest. I mean, imagine there's no other democracy in the world where a President can win by four million votes and not be able to have a reform agenda.
Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:
Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. This is the last week before elections, have only lasted for two years, cost billions of dollars. We're sick of it. We're ready. We're ready to get past this. What do we think is going to happen?
Well, let's be clear. Biden is way ahead, and it's hard for incumbents to lose. They tended to win in the United States. They need to be unpopular and unlucky to lose, but Trump does seem to be checking both of those boxes. He's never been enormously popular. He has a pretty narrow base that is very strongly supportive of him, some 38 to 42% back and forth, but a narrow band, which has been pretty consistent for most of them the last four years, but he's also been massively unlucky. Unlucky, how?