Andrew Gawthorpe Profile picture
U.S. politics and foreign policy @UniLeiden. Writes @GuardianUS etc. Substack: Thanks for listening, thanks for understanding.
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Mar 31, 2023 8 tweets 2 min read
Apparently it's a widespread misconception that being indicted impacts Trump's ability to run for office. It doesn't! He could even govern from jail. A short explainer of presidents, candidates and the law. /1 The constitution lists the qualifications for president: must be at least 35, a “natural-born citizen”, and resident for 14 years. Courts have found this to be a “constitutional ceiling” – further tests cannot be imposed. So yes, you can run for president after an indictment. /2
Mar 27, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
If you're looking for a well worked-out critique of the idea that Ron DeSantis is going to give Trump a run for his money in the GOP primary, I've got you covered in this post.

I make four points. 1/5… The first is that DeSantis has managed to have a relatively stage-managed existence in Florida, a state which nowadays is extremely permissive for a Republican politician.

Mar 7, 2023 10 tweets 3 min read
Facing an unprecedented number of arrivals on the southern border and expecting it to get worse in May, the Biden administration is considering reinstating the detention of migrant families. Here are the issues with that. 1/… Family detention on a large scale began under Obama in 2014, during the Central American refugee crisis. Families were detained and screened. If they were found to have a plausible asylum case, they were admitted pending a court date. If not, they were deported.

Jan 7, 2023 10 tweets 2 min read
Kevin McCarthy is finally Speaker! I wrote a post about it but below a thread summarizing how the debacle ended, and the problems it creates for the future. 1/… McCarthy won by abject surrender to the right wing of his party, giving in to them on both procedural and substantive grounds. I'll get to the exact points he conceded in a second, but the headline is that he has created an impossible situation for himself - and the country. 2/
Jan 3, 2023 14 tweets 3 min read
The first big political event of the year is happening in the U.S. - Kevin McCarthy's attempt to become Speaker of the House. His likely failure will plunge Congress into chaos, with no clear way out. Below a short primer for Europeans who may not have been paying attention. 1/ Usually the vote for Speaker is a formality because everything is decided in advance. The last time someone made a bid and failed was 1923, and that was the only time since the Civil War. But McCarthy is sure to fail today. Why? /2
Nov 4, 2022 19 tweets 4 min read
The more Musk's actions don't make sense from a commercial point of view, the more I become convinced that this is about politics for him, specifically ingratiating himself with the American right and with Beijing. A brief thread with the evidence. /1 Musk seems to be on a mission to damage Twitter. He’s alienating both the most unique part of its userbase – the journalists and others who make it the global public square – and the advertisers who are Twitter’s actual customers but who can’t stomach his erratic behavior. /2
Nov 3, 2022 12 tweets 3 min read
Brief thread: This more than anything explains the huge swing against Democrats in the past few months. They failed to make abortion stick as an issue - suburban white women are evenly split on which party they rate as best to handle that issue. /1… Abortion isn't in the top five issues of concern even for Democrats, and even among women it's only fifth. /2…
Aug 13, 2022 21 tweets 5 min read
Another quick thread about where we stand on the Trump espionage case for those in Europe who maybe had better things to do with their Friday night.

TL;DR: It continues to look pretty bad for Trump!

Yesterday the search warrant which was issued as part of the search of Mar-a-Lago was published. It included the list of offences that the feds believe have been violated, and the items which were seized from Mar-a-Lago. Both are pretty eye-opening. Did I mention ESPIONAGE?

Aug 12, 2022 16 tweets 4 min read
Quick thread on where we stand with the Trump search for anyone in Europe who may not follow it as obsessively as I do.

TL;DR: Looks pretty bad for Trump, could get a lot worse today!

After the search happened, no-one why it had happened (though there were suspicions). Trump received a warrant doc telling him which laws he was believed to have broken, but he didn't release it. Today we're going to get that warrant.

Jan 22, 2022 22 tweets 4 min read
I've started to wonder if Moscow isn't playing a really long game with Ukraine and a lot of what we're focused on now is a sideshow. Here is a thread which coming from an expert in U.S. and not Russian foreign policy is worth what you pay for it. /1 Moscow's behavior right now doesn't make sense in quite a lot of ways, mostly because of a mismatch between the military options available and the goals which Moscow says it is seeking. /2
Sep 17, 2021 6 tweets 1 min read
Before you tweet about how this is the first time France has recalled its ambassador to the U.S., you may want to read about Edmond-Charles Genêt. Genêt arrived in the U.S. in 1793 and set about outfitting ships (one of which was named after himself) crewed by American privateers to go fight the British, risking dragging America into a conflict with the world's foremost superpower.
Jun 15, 2021 9 tweets 3 min read
The House Oversight Committee just released a new batch of documents on Trump's insane efforts to overthrow the 2020 election result. A few highlights below. 1/… On Dec 14, the day electors in each state certified the results, Trump cleaned house at DoJ. He sacked Barr and installed two new officials, Rosen and Donoghue. He then sent talking points to them, directing them to go out and allege massive fraud of which there was no proof.

Jun 5, 2021 11 tweets 4 min read
On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, a federal judge decided to strike down California's decades-old ban on assault weapons, and the ruling is really something. A short thread. 1/ The ruling starts by comparing an AR-15 to a Swiss army knife. 2/
Jun 3, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
I don't want to get all "Lippmann-Almond consensus" but this seems very inconsistent with polls showing that Americans endorse 70% to 26% "promoting human rights in China, even if it harms economic relations" (see link). 1/4… There is a lot of misunderstanding among the public about what is actually good for "protecting jobs for American workers", i.e. blowing up bilateral economic relations with China over human rights is not it. 2/4