It has been an interesting few weeks in the world of US Presidential politics.
4th of July is just around the corner and images of politicians kissing babies or eating hot dogs will be everywhere as the celebrations kick off. With the election still over a year away, it is impossible not to look into the crystal ball and look at the possibilities.
While Democrats grapple with throwing their support around Joe Biden, considering joining the Kennedy dynasty with RFK Jr (that not even most of his family support), or considering looking for an unannounced candidate, the last few weeks have thrown up some wonderful hopes for the party base.
And while hopes and dreams do not always come true, it is the possibility that feeds the soul of any political party.
The Supreme Court is currently made up of six conservatives and three liberals. It is arguable that the biggest achievement of the Trump Presidency was his placing of three conservatives onto the highest court of the land. It has shaped, and until these last two weeks, looked like it would shape the American legal landscape for years to come. The sensitive issues of guns and abortion have always polarized Americans, and the Supreme Court has had no issue with weighing in on those topics.
And yet these last few weeks will have excited Democrats and filled them with hope that many would not even have considered in the last couple of years.
The Supreme Court is enveloped in what can only be described as an ethical scandal. And while it would be hard to prove any illegal impropriety, the visuals are less than appealing. Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have both been seen to avail of payments and gifts from leading conservative donors and those with cases coming to the courts. While Thomas has admitted to a long friendship and financial benefits, Alito benefited from a lavish fishing vacation in Alaska. While it is may be unlikely that either will be forced from the bench, Democrats dare to dream, and the insurmountable 6-3 majority could suddenly flip 5-4 in their favor if a Biden administration were able to select two new judges.
The Republican field of candidates continues to grow, yet recent polls indicate that Trump still has the support of 51% of the Republican base. With so many candidates in the field, it is hard for any candidate to build up enough support to put sufficient pressure on Trump.
However, the pressure from the indictments continues to grow. Pictures of papers being stored in boxes in bathrooms in Mar-a-Lago have done nothing to help Trump’s case. The different audio recordings leaking out of his acknowledging the secrecy of the documents further impacts upon him and many commentators fear that he is being faced with an impossible case to win. It is arguable that the more and more that comes out against Trump, the more and more support he receives from his base.
Yet some polls also indicate that Joe Biden would beat Donald Trump if an election were held tomorrow. Furthermore, additional indictments are likely from Georgia where Trump was recorded asking for votes to be found. The discussion amongst many in the media is that unless Trump wins his party nomination and the election, he could face jail time. Win, and he can have the justice department drop the federal charges against him. However, the reality is that while he may be found guilty, the prospect of a former president going to jail is remote, and he would likely be pardoned if found guilty.
While Democrats may have enjoyed a good couple of weeks, they should be cautious to gloat too much. Polls indicate that Biden would beat Trump. But if the pressure on Trump becomes too much, a Biden-DeSantis showdown may be too close to call. Democrats would be cognoscente to remember that while it is ok to dream, it may ultimately hurt to have all their dreams come true.
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