In the past, I have thought that the strategically “ideal” situation partisanship-wise would be to have a Republican presidency, Senate, and Supreme Court, a Democratic House (in order to ensure divisiveness at the federal level), and as many Democratic administrations as possible in heavily populated states and large cities. That’s more or less the situation we have now and it seems to be playing out well. Liberals tend to like the federal government and distrust state and local governments (too many icky “reactionary” folks) and conservatives tend to like states’ rights and distrust the federal government (because it’s supposedly run by “leftists”). But a supposed “fascist” presidential administration has the effect of alienating liberal and left opinion from the feds, and supposedly “leftist” state and local governments have the effect of alienating conservatives in rural counties, secondary cities, and suburban areas.
As I have said many times, I prefer to boycott elections, and for those who prefer voting, I suggest voting for the minor parties. But if you prefer to vote for the major parties, I generally recommend voting for Republicans at the national level (except for the House, as we’ve got to keep that divisiveness rolling) and for Democrats at the state and local level.
By Ryan McMaken
Some White House advisors like Anthony Fauci have often acted as if they were in a position to dictate to states whether or not to mandate “social distancing.” But neither the president nor his advisors have ever demonstrated that they actually have the legal authority to set state and local policies on these matters.
Indeed, Donald Trump appeared to quite clearly defer to states on these matters since the COVID-19 panic began in March.
Oddly, the president reversed himself on deference to states earlier this week, and has begun claiming the authority to set policies on forced economic shutdowns for all states. The claim came in response to efforts by state governors who seek to set their own timelines and methods for eliminating social distancing orders and other forced shutdowns of local businesses and enterprises.
Specifically, New York is leading a coalition of several states including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania in “coordinating” a scaling back of the economy-paralyzing orders. California is leading a similar pact among West Coast states.
Apparently not inclined to allow these states to act on their own, Trump at an April 13 press conference insisted that he will decide when states scale back social distancing orders and declared, “when someone is president of the United States, the authority is total.”
It’s not unusual for presidents to insist they can do whatever they want, whether publicly or privately.
What is unusual now is the way left-wing politicians and media organizations have reacted.