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US politics

Don’t write off US democracy

Bill Barr calls bullshit on Trump’s conspiracy

To paraphrase Mark Twain, says David Rothkopf in the Daily Beast, reports of the death of American democracy are greatly exaggerated. The ongoing congressional inquiry into the January 6 insurrection has yielded some truly shocking details about that “attempted coup”. But the hearings have also shown that “some of the people we thought were the worst enemies of democracy” still had their limits. Attorney General Bill Barr, Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner – when talk turned to rejecting the results of the election, these people all “drew the line” and stood up to Donald Trump. That’s not to say they deserve a medal. But when it came down to it, they did “the right thing”.

There are other signs our democracy is in ruder health than people think. A “growing number of Republicans” are now willing to openly challenge Trump, despite his stranglehold on the GOP. The two parties are finally finding ways to work together in Congress: they agreed a bipartisan infrastructure bill in November, and appear poised to agree on new gun safety legislation. Sure, all this could change: more than 100 Republicans have won primaries this year backing Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen. But the doom-mongers need to calm down. “When it comes to Lady Liberty, there still may be some life in the old girl yet.”