Saturday Morning Post: The Weekly View from Washington
Some encouraging signs emerged yesterday from the ravages of a month barely a week old and already soaked in innocent blood. Rather than retreating to old talking points and recriminations, partisans and activists from across the spectrum, for the most part, instead made appeals for peace and new efforts at mutual understanding. Even Donald Trump, who’s proved a reliable provocateur in the wake of national tragedies, demonstrated some surprising restraint.
Will it last? Who knows.
It’s impossible to say where we’ll be a month from now — much less four, on Election Day, or nine, 100 days into the next administration. So whether a fragile center holds and enables a breakthrough in Congress, at least on the start-and-stop attempt at criminal justice reform or a gun control measure, remains to be seen.
But the forces buffeting our politics are bigger and more intractable than those at work in the debate over policing. And it’s as easy to imagine the post-Dallas armistice crumbling, with renewed anger spilling over and adding to the populist animus that’s exerted a centrifugal pull on the campaign all year. Evidence of that pull is stamped all over the draft Democratic platform, a notably anti-business document that Bernie Sanders’s team is aiming now to drive even further left as his candidacy’s final act. And Trump for his part won’t soon abandon his harangues against a “rigged system” that’ve formed the spine of his case. No wonder, then, that Mehlman Castagnetti, one of Washington’s leading lobbying shops, sees the populism that’s defined the season shaping the policy-making agenda into next year. In a new presentation to clients, the bipartisan firm predicts that who wins the presidency will matter a lot: Hillary Clinton would be tougher, from a business perspective, on taxes, regulation, and energy, for example, while Trump would square off with the U.S. Chamber crowd on immigration, trade and encryption.
In the meantime, a policy-based response to this week’s violence could be its own reward — while also giving lawmakers something to build on and voters a reason to think their governing institutions aren’t hopelessly broken. It’s not a lot to ask, but it may be too much.
• Clinton may still face e-mail troubles
Hillary Clinton likely breathed a sigh of relief earlier this week when FBI Director James Comey announced he wasn’t recommending charges be filed against her in relation to her handling of confidential information. Many insiders, though, think that the speech given by Comey, where Clinton’s mistakes were laid bare, will ultimately be bad for her, Politico
• Trump’s meeting with Republicans goes off track
Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have had a rocky relationship so far this campaign season. Trump tried to improve the relationship this week, but it didn’t go well. He called Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk a “loser” and insulted some other lawmakers. New York Times
• Jewish Republicans may be turning on Trump
Following Donald Trump’s tweeting of an image with a Star of David over a pile of money, some Jewish Republicans may be leaning away from supporting their party’s candidate. Washington Post
Around the Water Cooler
• The Green Party wants Bernie
Jill Stein, a doctor from Massachusetts, is the likely Green Party candidate for President. There is someone she says she would step aside for, though — Bernie Sanders. The Guardian
• Cleveland Police are prepping for Convention
Next week, Republicans will gather in Cleveland for Donald Trump’s coronation. Given all the tension surrounding his nomination, protests seem to be certain, and the Cleveland Police Department is getting ready. Washington Post
• New Hampshire’s Senate race is hot
The New Hampshire Senate race, with Republican Kelly Ayotte is running for her second term, is looking to be one of the tightest and fiercest of the year. The biggest issue is gun rights, always a touchy topic in the rural state. The Atlantic