Swampians will have to forgive me. It has been a busy week of multiple deadlines. So this week’s note is far shorter than usual. Lest you think I’m skiving, here are a couple of my pieces on Tuesday’s dramatic results. In the first, I look at the coming epic battles between Donald Trump and a Democratic House. In the second, I look at how Trump is likely to turn increasingly to the global stage with erratic consequences as he loses his freedom of manoeuvre in Washington.
One pointer will be this weekend’s first world war centennial in Paris. Trump says he won’t meet Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the ceremonies in France. The Kremlin insists otherwise. We shall see. Given Trump’s decision to fire Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, within 24 hours of the midterm results, this is of more than academic interest. As I point out in that second piece, Democrats are now in a position to start real impeachment proceedings. I doubt they will. Assuming she retains the leadership, Nancy Pelosi will prevent that from happening. But Robert Mueller remains the wild card. A bombshell report from the special counsel in the coming weeks could bring about a Watergate situation in Washington. Inflection points are always dangerous. We’re living at an unusually precipitous moment.
Talking of which, Rana has been very bold this week with a piece challenging the sense of entitlement in liberal America. I enjoyed reading her sentiments and agreed with much of it. I suspect some liberals will object, however. That’s what opinion journalism is all about. Rana, do let us know what kind of feedback you have received. The spicier the better.
I’ve read so much impressive journalism on the midterm results this week that I’m hesitant to single out any one piece. But Ron Brownstein, who’s in my view the best psephological journalist in America, summarises Tuesday’s split result well.
Again, my apologies to Swamp Notes readers for such a short missive. There’s only so far multiple double espressos can take you. I’ll make amends next week.
Rana Foroohar responds
Thanks Ed for calling out my piece. I knew many liberal friends would complain and some have. But I‘ve also gotten a ton of thoughtful and kind notes from both sides of the political spectrum, and will share some of those thoughts in my own Swamp Note next week. For the moment, I’ll just share that I am writing this response from North Carolina, where I’m on a road trip with Bayard Winthrop, the chief executive of American Giant, a company that makes its entire line of apparel, from cotton to finished garment, in the US. Not only am I learning a lot about supply chains, but I’m learning that plenty of people in red states have absolutely no problem with immigrants. I spent today watching a largely Latino workforce put together these made in America garments, and their employers were thrilled to have them. More on that in a Weekend FT feature soon.
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