chart comparing executive orders

This chart is from The Economist shows the pace of Biden's ex cutive orders in the first two days of his administration. It's plotted against previous presidents to show the comparison. The swing at the end and beginning of these charts is interesting. It idicates, I think, that we may be heading towards bigger regime changes as we get more and more polarized.

It's not just the president welding his own. It's also the stalemating of Congress. The idea that becomes a venue to stop action or race through action (see Sepreme Court Justices).

I don't understand this well. It's a nugget I'm following.

#democracy #AmericasStudies


From February 5, 2021 – Letters from an American

Biden argued that foreign policy is an integral part of domestic policy. It requires that the government address the needs of ordinary Americans. “We will compete from a position of strength by building back better at home,” he said. “That’s why my administration has already taken the important step to live our domestic values at home — our democratic values at home.”

This idea—that the U.S. must reform its own society in order to extend the principles of democracy overseas– was precisely the argument Theodore Roosevelt and other reformers made in the late 1890s when they launched the Progressive Era. When Roosevelt became president in 1901, he used this rationale to take the government out of the hands of business interests and use it to protect ordinary Americans.

Diplomacy at home.

#democracy #AmericasStudies


From January 23, 2021 – Letters from an American

While some right-wing Republicans have howled that Biden’s firing of burrowing Trump loyalists betrays his promise of “unity,” in fact the new administration’s quick restoration of a qualified, nonpartisan bureaucracy is an attempt to stabilize our democracy.

Democracy depends on a nonpartisan group of functionaries who are loyal not to a single strongman but to the state itself. Loyalty to the country, rather than to a single leader, means those bureaucrats follow the law and have an interest in protecting the government. It is the weight of that loyalty that managed to stop Trump from becoming a dictator—he was thwarted by what he called the “Deep State,” people who were loyal not to him but to America and our laws. That loyalty was bipartisan. For all that Trump railed that anyone who stood up to him was a Democrat, in fact many—Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, for example—are Republicans.

Because beauracracy isn't necessarily a bad word. It can also be a stable a new regulating force.

#democracy #USA #AmericasStudies


From Domestic Terrorism and the U.S. Elections | RAND

A tranquil election is of course unlikely. There have been continuous nationwide protests over racism and police conduct since May. While most have been peaceful, there have been some violent confrontations, assaults on federal property, and looting. Extremists at both ends of the political spectrum have sought to provoke violence. Exhausted, apprehensive, and angry police have on occasion overreacted. It is hard to imagine that this turmoil will suddenly end on Election Day.

The will be protests after Election Day. The question is: how will they change us?

#democracy #election2020 #USA #americasstudies