Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Silver Bulls Will Be Handsomely Rewarded - 21st Sep 20
Fed Will Not Hike Rates For Years. Gold Should Like It - 21st Sep 20
US Financial Market Forecasts and Elliott Wave Analysis Resources - 21st Sep 20
How to Avoid Currency Exchange Risk during COVID - 21st Sep 20
Crude Oil – A Slight Move Higher Has Not Reversed The Bearish Trend - 20th Sep 20
Do This Instead Of Trying To Find The “Next Amazon” - 20th Sep 20
5 Significant Benefits of the MT4 Trading Platform for Forex Traders - 20th Sep 20
A Warning of Economic Collapse - 20th Sep 20
The Connection Between Stocks and the Economy is not What Most Investors Think - 19th Sep 20
A Virus So Deadly, The Government Has to Test You to See If You Have It - 19th Sep 20
Will Lagarde and Mnuchin Push Gold Higher? - 19th Sep 20
RTX 3080 Mania, Ebay Scalpers Crazy Prices £62,000 Trollers Insane Bids for a £649 GPU! - 19th Sep 20
A Greater Economic Depression For The 21st Century - 19th Sep 20
The United Floor in Stocks - 19th Sep 20
Mobile Gaming Market Trends And The Expected Future Developments - 19th Sep 20
The S&P 500 appears ready to correct, and that is a good thing - 18th Sep 20
It’s Go Time for Gold Price! Next Stop $2,250 - 18th Sep 20
Forget AMD RDNA2 and Buy Nvidia RTX 3080 FE GPU's NOW Before Price - 18th Sep 20
Best Back to School / University Black Face Masks Quick and Easy from Amazon - 18th Sep 20
3 Types of Loans to Buy an Existing Business - 18th Sep 20
How to tell Budgie Gender, Male or Female Sex for Young and Mature Parakeets - 18th Sep 20
Fasten Your Seatbelts Stock Market Make Or Break – Big Trends Ahead - 17th Sep 20
Peak Financialism And Post-Capitalist Economics - 17th Sep 20
Challenges of Working from Home - 17th Sep 20
Sheffield Heading for Coronavirus Lockdown as Covid Deaths Pass 432 - 17th Sep 20
What Does this Valuable Gold Miners Indicator Say Now? - 16th Sep 20
President Trump and Crimes Against Humanity - 16th Sep 20
Slow Economic Recovery from CoronaVirus Unlikely to Impede Strong Demand for Metals - 16th Sep 20
Why the Knives Are Out for Trump’s Fed Critic Judy Shelton - 16th Sep 20
Operation Moonshot: Get Ready for Millions of New COVAIDS Positives in the UK! - 16th Sep 20
Stock Market Approaching Correction Objective - 15th Sep 20
Look at This Big Reminder of Dot.com Stock Market Mania - 15th Sep 20
Three Key Principles for Successful Disruption Investors - 15th Sep 20
Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Warns of 10% Inflation - 15th Sep 20
Gold Price Reaches $2,000 Amid Dollar Depreciation - 15th Sep 20
GLD, IAU Big Gold ETF Buying MIA - 14th Sep 20
Why Bill Gates Is Betting Millions on Synthetic Biology - 14th Sep 20
Stock Market SPY Expectations For The Rest Of September - 14th Sep 20
Gold Price Gann Angle Update - 14th Sep 20
Stock Market Recovery from the Sharp Correction Goes On - 14th Sep 20
Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
The Silver Big Prize - 13th Sep 20
U.S. Shares Plunged. Is Gold Next? - 13th Sep 20
Why Are 7,500 Oil Barrels Floating on this London Lake? - 13th Sep 20
Sheffield 432 Covid-19 Deaths, Last City Centre Shop Before Next Lockdown - 13th Sep 20
Biden or Trump Will Keep The Money Spigots Open - 13th Sep 20
Gold And Silver Up, Down, Sideways, Up - 13th Sep 20
Does the Stock Market Really "See" the Future? - 12th Sept 20
Basel III and Gold, Silver and Platinum - 12th Sept 20
Tech Stocks FANG Index Nearing Critical Support – Could Breakout At Any Moment - 12th Sept 20
The Tech Stocks Quantum AI EXPLOSION is Coming! - 12th Sept 20
AMD Zen 3 Ryzen 4000 Questions Answered on Cores, Prices, Benchmarks and Threadripper Launch - 12th Sept 20
The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
Gold / Silver Ratio: Slowly I Toined… - 11th Sep 20
Stock Market Correction or Reversal? The Jury Isn't Out! - 11th Sep 20
Crude Oil – The Bearish Outlook Remains - 11th Sep 20
Crude Oil Breaks Lower – Sparking Fears Of Another Sub $30 Price Collapse - 11th Sep 20
Inflation by Fiat - 10th Sep 20
Unemployment Rate Drops. Will It Drag Gold Down? - 10th Sep 20
How Does The Global Economy Recover After This Global Pandemic? - 10th Sep 20
The Best Mobile Casino - 10th Sep 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Brace Yourself For The Battle Of the Senate Republicans

Politics / US Politics Jan 30, 2017 - 11:07 AM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

BY GEORGE FRIEDMAN : On Jan. 20, Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States. For Trump (as with every president before him), all that he said up until that point consisted of promises.

But now, the focus must shift... from what he will do, to what he is doing. (Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter, This Week in Geopolitics, and stay informed on the most important geopolitical developments)


Presidents don’t stop promising, but the promises become more hollow over time if they are not matched by some degree of achievement.

The president’s weak position

The American presidency is a paradox.

It is the most noted position in the world. Observers imbue it with the same level of command held by the world's most powerful country. That’s why everyone is now trying to understand what Trump intends to do.

In reality, the American president is one of the weakest institutional leaders in Euro-American civilization. He can do some things unilaterally, particularly in foreign policy, but Congress can block them.

He can do some things by executive order, but the Supreme Court can overrule them. He can pass certain programs that require cooperation from states, but the states can refuse to do so.

At every step, as the founders intended, his ability to act unilaterally is severely limited.

What will Congress do?

So now, the most important question is not, what does Trump intend to do… but instead, what will Congress do? Both chambers have Republican majorities. Republican control of the House of Representatives is overwhelming. Republican control of the Senate, though, is not.

The Senate has 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two independents who are likely to vote with the Democrats. This, in essence, gives the Republicans a four-vote majority. Because the vice president would be the deciding vote in a tie… and because he is a Republican, three Republicans would have to switch sides to defeat any legislation.

Under the Constitution, senators are not elected to rubber-stamp the president. They represent their states. So this battle will not be between Republicans and Democrats. Nor will it be between both chambers. The real battle will be among Senate Republicans.

Three defections make it impossible to pass any proposed legislation. As such, any Republican senator who can position himself as a potential defector will be able to negotiate for the president’s support on a number of issues. The president will either be forced to compromise or risk having the legislation defeated.

Trump’s approval ratings are key

Senators are not free actors. They need to be re-elected. Their decision to oppose a Republican president will depend heavily (if not entirely) on whether the president will help or hurt their re-election bids. And that depends on the president’s approval ratings… particularly in the senators’ home states.

According to a Fox News poll taken just before Inauguration Day, 37% of those polled approved of Trump’s performance and 54% did not. Therein lies Trump’s problem… and battleground.

President George W. Bush, President Richard Nixon, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and President Harry S. Truman all had approval ratings around 37% toward the end of their terms. This number is normal for a failed or worn-out presidency.

I know of no president in the 20th century who began his term this way. Each party historically commands about 40% support among voters. When a president falls below 40%, he is actually losing support from his own party. It is normally hard to come back from that… and it usually takes years to get to that low level.

This poses a problem for Trump’s administration. With these numbers, it’s possible that more than three Republican senators could decide that rigid support for the president might cost them their political lives.

Trump’s approval ratings are not likely to fall below 37%. But to be effective, he can’t stay at that level. Republican senators will look at Trump’s negative ratings in their states and calculate whether supporting his programs might lock 50% of voters against them.

Because public support wanes over the course of a presidency (though it sometimes blooms with nostalgia later in his term), it is essential to start a term with as much support as possible. If Trump wants to get his controversial bills passed, he must build his popularity quickly.

His staff, particularly the vice president, will be examining every Republican senator who is up for re-election in 2018 to determine how to help sway their states’ voters. Trump’s fear will be that he will alienate his core while failing to make inroads with his enemies.

The power of the filibuster

The final point to consider is the use of filibusters. This is a deep tradition in the Senate, and it has served as another check on power that the founders would have been proud of. Any senator may filibuster a bill. If a whole party does it, the filibuster can only be stopped by getting 60 votes in favor or by letting the senators go on until they drop.

If they act as a party, the Democrats in the Senate would be able to block Trump’s entire agenda. Alternatively, Trump would need the support of eight Democrats to get 60 votes to end a filibuster. That isn’t likely to happen.

The president can achieve some things with an executive order, assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t step in. But broader policies like infrastructure development won’t get passed without congressional support.

The battleground will be within the Republican Party in the Senate. The result will depend on whether Trump’s approval ratings increase above 37%. Just holding there won’t do it. That number has been “Death Valley” for other presidencies… although this is a unique case since we have no way to benchmark a presidency that starts at this level.

Prepare Yourself for Tomorrow with George Friedman’s This Week in Geopolitics

This riveting weekly newsletter by global-intelligence guru George Friedman gives you an in-depth view of the hidden forces that drive world events and markets. You’ll learn that economic trends, social upheaval, stock market cycles, and more… are all connected to powerful geopolitical currents that most of us aren’t even aware of. Get This Week in Geopolitics free in your inbox every Monday.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules