Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on the biggest development in US politics this week:
So, the scriptwriters for 2020 have thrown as a real curveball, introducing the most explosive element in US politics, just six weeks before the election. The tragic death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will be remembered as a trailblazing jurist, but also a reliably liberal vote on a court that was divided along ideological lines with a five-four conservative majority. This has the potential to upend the presidential election. And likely will motivate turnout on both sides. But also, importantly for president, Trump could remind some Romney voting ex-Republicans who were leaning towards Biden why they were Republicans in the first place. Which means that it has the potential to push some persuadable voters back towards the president.
Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal
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.
Number one, your questions. Can Putin rescue Belarus' President from his own people?
Well, not really. In the sense that Belarus has shown that their special services and their military are still very much loyal to Lukashenko. And while there have been significant and very courageous demonstrations of the Belarusian people across the country, and particularly in Minsk, among all of the major enterprises, state industry, the demonstrations happened briefly and then they stopped, because people didn't want to lose their jobs and their livelihood. And the fact that this is now gone on for well over a month. I mean, President Putin has basically said that he was going to act as the backstop for Lukashenko. He'd provide military support if needed. He's now provided some additional cash, a loan of over a billion dollars, they're saying, and it was a deeply embarrassing trip by the Belarusian President to Sochi, to bend on knee, and prostrate himself in front of his boss and ruler, the Russian President.
Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:
Hey everybody, Ian Bremmer here and I have a quick take, what's going on in the world. I mean, here in the United States, it is nearing 200,000 deaths from coronavirus. Trump doesn't want to talk about the pandemic. And I understand that certainly to the extent that in the next 50 days, if we're talking mostly about the pandemic, that means Trump is losing. But so far that strategy is starting to pan out for him. I mean, not in the polls yet in the sense that he's still down, but if you poll Republicans, they say they're much more concerned about law and order than they are the pandemic, and Democrats are much more concerned about the pandemic than they are law and order. This plays out in a bunch of different ways, first, in terms of how you're going to vote, which is really important. What I've seen is astonishing statistics about overwhelming numbers of Democrats say they're going to vote by mail, overwhelming numbers of Republicans say they're going to vote on the day in person.