by Judith Curry
Just as everyone was heaving a sigh of relief that 2020 is over, 2021 is providing some fresh craziness.
We clearly need a new thread on this topic, but I have about 15 minutes today to spend preparing one. A few quick thoughts.
For context on craziness in U.S. electoral politics, I encourage you to read 1876 by Gore Vidal. Vidal is a superb writer, tells the story of the election of 1876. The political backdrop to the story is the 1876 presidential election, a close contest between Samuel Tilden and the Republican Rutherford Hayes. Tilden won the popular but there was a dispute over the results in 4 states. Shenanagins with electors ensued, and Hayes was eventually declared the winner.
The storming of the U.S. Capitol Building was appalling and surreal. I saw one comment on twitter that the law enforcement presence at the Capitol yesterday was far less than for Jane Fonda’s climate march. Exactly how do you explain all this to school children?
In the U.S. the Proud Boys (on the right) and the Antifa (on the left) have wrought much havoc during the Trump administration. One can only hope that both groups disappear during the Biden administration. While much is said about the extreme partisan split in the U.S., much of the populace yearns for for the sensible center.
The senatorial election in Georgia gives Senate control to the Democrats (I am very relieved the GA election is over, with a 404 area code on my cell phone I received about a million texts re the GA election). Incoming Presidents typically also have same party control of the Senate (since 1989); this helps the President’s Cabinet members and judicial appointments to be approved. By midterm elections two years down the road, the party in power typically suffers losses in the House and Senate, which puts the brakes on the President’s agenda. Bill Clinton (Democrat) ended up with both Houses being Republican (after the ‘Tea Party’ uprising), which resulted in some surprisingly successful bipartisan legislation.
So lets see what the Biden administration can do re Covid, environmental and climate issues, the economy, China, etc.
My 15 minutes are up!
Update: I went to check twitter, several people have tweeted this post (IMO nothing here with twitting, just trying to open up discussion. Here is what appeared in my notifications.