On the decisive differences between Clinton and Obama’s campaigns


“ In 2012, 57% of millennials said that Obama’s policies would be “good for people like me,” compared to only 38% in 2016 saying the same about Clinton’s policies. According to the same research, Democratic messaging centered too much around personality and Trump’s unfitness for office, rather than on how Democrats would improve the lives of young voters ”

Sean McElwee & Causten Rodriguez-Wollerman, ‘Democrats need to win over young voters. Here’s how they can do that’, The Guardian


On the need to focus on actions, not words, in US politics


“ What remains striking about Trump, however, is how much of the push back against him is provoked by his words, and how Americans are prone to ascribe weight to those words. This is not a Trump phenomenon. It is a very American one, stretching back many years, and starkly evident during Obama’s tenure just as much as it is during Trump’s early months in the White House. In short, we pay too much attention to words and not enough to action. We have a cultural tendency to assume that words, political words, are reflections of reality, when very often they are not (…)  Between 2009 and 2013, there were more deportations than at any other point in American history, close to 3 million people. Many have noted that, under Obama, authorities made a point of de-emphasizing non-violent undocumented immigrants and allowing them a degree of protection from deportation. But according to Ice records, about half of all deportations in those years were for non-violent immigrants. It is true that immigration policy changed during Obama’s second term, with much greater emphasis on criminal immigrants. But it is equally true that the actions of his first term should have created widespread panic that deportation was a clear and present threat. Yet while many Hispanics, who tended to be more directly affected by these harsh immigration policies, were critical of Obama’s immigration approach in his first term, they remained supportive of him and positive about his administration overall. Unlike Trump, Obama’s soaring and inclusive words created a culture of hope that served to offset the way his actions were perceived ”

Zachary Karabell, ‘Pay attention to Donald Trump’s actions, not his words’, The Guardian

On what should happen to make Trump’s impeachment viable


“ Republicans waited eight years for Barack Obama to disappear and aren’t ready to make war with one of their own, despite what people like John McCain may intimate. If polls show Republican voters are fleeing Trump en masse, House Republicans may stand up and move against a president who devolves into a true albatross. If this happens, even the most sycophantic of news outlets could decide Trump isn’t worth the effort of defending. Then, and only then, will impeachment from a Republican Congress become viable. The impeachment process is ultimately political. A majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate are needed for a conviction. The rule of law only means so much. This, more than anything else, may be Trump’s saving grace ”

Ross Barkan, ‘The liberal punditocracy thinks Donald Trump is toast. Not so fast’, The Guardian

On Trump’s new approach to the US-Turkey relationship


“ By way of compensation, the US is expected to offer deeper intelligence cooperation with Ankara against Kurdish militants in Turkey and in Iraq. And Trump has already made clear he will not let Obama-era opposition to Erdoğan’s creeping authoritarianism become a hindrance in the bilateral relationship. He formally congratulated the Turkish president on winning a referendum amending the constitution to give him more power ”

Julian Borger, ‘Trump relying on charisma to bridge old divides on first foreign trip’, The Guardian

On Duterte’s brutal methods


“ Loved by many in the Philippines for his confrontational style, the president has lashed out at his critics, labeling the United Nations ‘stupid’ and former US president Barack Obama a ‘son of a whore’. He also announced he personally killed criminals, including throwing one suspect to his death from a helicopter. The Philippine house of representatives approved a version of the death penalty bill this month that will allow the execution of drug convicts by hanging,firing squad, or legal injection ”

Oliver Holmes, ‘Philippine president swears  at European MPs over death penalty criticism’, The Guardian

On Obama’s rule


” Obama’s presidency will be remembered for the tremendous opportunities he squandered and the progressive national moods he refused, or was incapable of, capitalizing on ”

Jacobin, ‘Assessing Obama’, Jacobin Magazine