Day: May 11, 2020

Background Briefing: May 11, 2020


Will Americans Fall for Trump’s Distraction of a New Cold War With China?

We begin with the new Cold War Trump is ginning up against China as a way to distract from his disastrous handling of the pandemic now that the U.S. has suffered a third of all the world’s Covid cases and over a quarter of deaths worldwide. Stephen Wertheim, an historian of the United States in the world who is Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft which he co-founded, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times, “Can the Democrats Avoid Trump’s China Trap? The president wants a new cold war to deflect attention from his failures.” We discuss the motives behind the president and his Secretary of State’s continued spreading of the conspiracy theory invented by Trump’s biggest cheerleader in congress, the clown Matt Gaetz, that the Wuhan Institute of Virology either accidentally let the coronavirus loose or deliberately used it as a bioweapon. And with Trump’s campaign and the largest pro-Trump PAC already calling Joe Biden “Beijing Biden,” it is clear they are laying a trap for Biden to either defend China or bash it harder than Trump is. Either way suits the president as he stokes racist hatred against China without distinguishing between its Communist government which deserves criticism and the Chinese people who he holds responsible for what he insists on calling the “Chinese virus”.


Will the Supreme Court Defy Precedent and Rule Against Congressional Oversight?

Then we speak with Stanley Brand a Distinguished Fellow in Law and Government at Pennsylvania State University who served as general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives about his article at The Conversation “Historic Power Struggle Between Trump and Congress to be Reviewed by Supreme Court”. With SCOTUS holding arguments on Tuesday on two explosive cases involving Trump’s taxes and his dealings with Deutsche Bank which will be ruled on in June or July before the election, we look into the legal precedents where presidents tried to defy congress which failed in unanimous verdicts by the Supreme Court against Nixon’s claim of executive privilege over his tapes and Clinton’s refusal to give a deposition in the Paula Jones case.

Trump’s Partisan Interference in California’s 25th District’s Special Congressional Election

Then finally we examine the extraordinary intervention by the president into Tuesday’s special congressional election in California’s 25th district in which Trump is calling for the closing of a polling place in the most Democratic area of the district while Republicans are able to vote in other more favorable places like the Ronald Reagan Library. Sylvia Albert, Director of Voting and Elections at Common Cause joins us to discuss Trump’s wild charges and whether they are a harbinger for his partisan intentions to interfere in the November election.