In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.
Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on US politics.
What's the status on the coronavirus relief bill in Congress?
Well, we're here in front of the US Capitol where there's not a whole lot going on to resolve the standoff over for further fiscal stimulus. There was a brief burst of activity earlier this week when the Problem Solvers Caucus came together with a bipartisan proposal that would probably pass both chambers of Congress. But House leadership quickly shot that down. They don't seem too interested in giving Donald Trump a big fiscal stimulus just six weeks before the election. President Trump, for his part, has been encouraging Republicans to go big. But Republicans seem like they mostly want to go home so they can get out of here, fund the government and go campaign for November. So, we end this week where we ended last week. Not a lot of progress being made. Probably nothing is going to happen here.
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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:
It's after Labor Day. That means we're back to work, right? At least I hope most of us are, and if you're not, that's because you choose not to be. It's a tough time. I know. But there's also going to be a couple of months of just true head splitting craziness in my country as we are as divided as any time in my lifetime and an election is with us.
I'll tell you that one of the things that bothers me most is the vilification. The idea that if someone supports not your candidate, that they have to be an idiot. They have to be a racist. They have to be a bad person. They have to be whatever it is. I mean, I find so many people that are increasingly only spending time with that piece of the population that kind of agrees with them or at least doesn't disagree politically. And that is no way to run a country, right? I want to say, I mean, you know, anyone that's been following me knows that I've not been a big fan of President Trump in his capabilities in office. But I don't vilify half of the population, 35%, 40% of the population, that continues to support him.
Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on a special Republican National Convention wrap up edition of US Politics In 60 Seconds:
So, what struck me about the convention this week was that it became really clear the messages that Donald Trump wants to hammer home as the campaign enters into its final two months. The first is his record of accomplishments, which included renegotiating trade deals, getting tough on China, a record number of jobs, and a great economy, that of course, all went away during the coronavirus, which did not really get much of a mention during the convention. The second thing he wants to hammer on is Joe Biden. Two claims in particular about Biden. One is that he's a tool for the radical left. I believe President Trump even said he'd be a Trojan horse for socialism in the United States. And the second is that Trump really wants to focus on some of these images of urban protests and riots in the streets and tie the protests to the Democratic Party, claiming that it's the fault of Democratic mayors and that if you elect Democrats, you're just going to get more protests.