Senator  Bernie Sanders: has undertaken  “a journey” and is now the most liberal of the Democratic candidates for the White House. Photograph: Calla Kessler/The New York Times

US Politics: Voters crave universal healthcare, taxing the rich and tighter borders

Joe Biden: Whatever the source of his resilience – in national if not state polls – allies of the US should hope it lasts.  Photograph:  Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

US Politics: The most ‘European’ Democratic candidates are the least helpful to its interests

US president Donald Trump: His very nationalism – his American amour propre – makes him amazingly easy to provoke into conflict.  Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

US Politics: American jingoism longs both for the quiet life and to answer provocations

US president Donald Trump: Almost any sentient mammal who stands for a major party can count on 45 per cent of the national vote. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

US Politics: In a country with no hopes to dash, the president cannot disappoint people

Jaden Rams (13), yells his support for Donald Trump, the then Republican presidential candidate, during a rally in Grand Junction, Colorado in October 2016. Three years later, Rams would call the presidential campaign and its aftermath “a travesty for American unity”. File photograph:  Damon Winter/New York Times

US Politics: With Trump, what matters is his aggression on behalf of the Republican tribe

South Bend, Indiana mayor  Pete Buttigieg: has a kind of valedictorian wholesomeness. Photograph: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

US Politics: Left’s takeover of Democratic party is slower and patchier than anticipated

Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert on the National Security Council, and David Holmes, an official at the US embassy in Ukraine, testify before the impeachment hearings. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

US Politics: Trump’s malign neglect of institutions does not bode will for long-term battle with China

US president Donald Trump: If so many swear by “their” president, at all costs, then country cannot be the highest loyalty. Photograph: Joshua Lott/AFP

US Politics: Passports failing to supersede parties as conflicts of day are intra-national

Barack Obama’s presidencies have warped Democrats’ expectations. Some have come to regard a once-per-generation talent as the standard by which presidential hopefuls must be judged. Photograph: Richard Clement/Reuters

US politics: Democrats have a serviceable array of candidates but not a person of elemental magnetism

East and West German Police contain the crowd of East Berliners flowing through the recent opening made in the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Square in Berlin, on November 12th, 1989. Photograph: Patrick Hertzog/AFP via Getty Images

US Politics: The fall of the Berlin Wall left US citizens free to argue amongst themselves

Senator Bernie Sanders: Even if he is less taken with identity politics than with class, neither he nor Elizabeth Warren are immigration sceptics. Photograph: Allison Farrand/The New York Times

US Politics: The American left’s heroes used to lace reforms with a measure of nativism

In a country where politicians are mostly respected, Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy would never have been viable. File photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

US Politics: By clinging to the mass delusion that ‘they’re all crooks’, we have made it true

US president Donald Trump at a rally in Minneapolis on October 10th. Inadvertently, he is forcing the end of ambivalence about the US role in the world.  Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

US Politics: Those with historic qualms about US power are having a chastening education

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg: The greenest greens equate economic and even demographic growth with the depletion of the planet.  Photograph:  Eric Baradat

US Politics: Mistrust of capitalism is a clear bond between populist and environmentalist

 Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell: Donald Trump’s transactional world view always implied the possibility of his own abandonment. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Janan Ganesh: Party’s loyalty cannot be counted on as impeachment calculations change

House speaker Nancy Pelosi. Get this impeachment wrong and Democrats throw away an eminently winnable election next year. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

US Politics: This could be the last glory of Pelosi’s career or it could doom her party in 2020

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed al-Nahyan and US president Donald Trump: The cycle of raised and dashed hopes can only be broken with extreme candour. Photograph: Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Council/Anadolu Agency/Getty

US Politics: US accumulated foreign interests in 20th century that cannot be divested fast

 Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US president Donald Trump: Erdogan has upset the White House by turning to Russia for defence purchases. Photograph:  Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

US Politics: There are lots of populisms. To speak of them in the terrifying singular is alarmist

US president Donald Trump participates in a briefing on Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

US Politics: There is no future for a GOP that fails to address public qualms about capitalism

US president Donald Trump, ‘a talented pointer-outer of things’. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

US Politics: A subtler leader would not seek confrontation with China and Europe at the same time

Democratic senator from Massachusetts and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren:  part of populist left with Senator Bernie Sanders. Photograph: Craig Lassig

US Politics: Through tariffs imposed, Trump will have played role in looming downturn

Democratic presidential candidate Seth Moulton: his “mistake” has been to run on foreign policy above all else. Photograph:  Ethan Miller/Getty Images

US Politics: Parochialism of party’s primary race so far gives advantage to Trump

People hold candles as they pray during a candlelight vigil at the Immanuel Church for victims of a shooting that left 22 people dead at the Cielo Vista Mall WalMart in El Paso, Texas. Photograph:  Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

US Politics: What it means to be white is liable to change but it need not cause unrest

US president Donald Trump remains unpopular after the longest economic expansion in US history. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

US Politics: The president is on a roll, but he has done little to woo swing voters

Donald Trump’s  aggression, and his ability to turn his multitudinous flock of voters on enemies, causes lawmakers to fold. Photograph:  Saul Loeb/AFP

US Politics: Kim Darroch was stating the obvious about US president – but was he right?

Janan Ganesh: ‘The populist shock has enlarged and intensified a liberal movement that was atrophying through sheer lack of stress.’ Photograph: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

Attitudes towards free trade, immigration have almost completely flipped in 25 years

Joe Biden: To his mind, Republicans and Democrats feud more out of muscle memory than principle. Photograph: Randall Hill/Reuters

US Politics: The job of politics is to contain differences, not to pretend they don’t exist

Right, Gen Douglas MacArthur, commander in chief visits  the front in Korea. Photograph: Bettmann Archive

US Politics: Trump would savage a humbler foreign policy but Democrats should stand firm

US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/File Photo/Reuters

Leaders must show that China, which poses no conventional threat, has to be countered

US President Donald Trump and Britain’s prime minister Theresa May during a dinner at Winfield House on Tuesday. The question of the tech giant Huawei came up during Trump’s state visit to the UK. Photograph: Chris Jackson/AFP/Getty Images

US Politics: The British right cannot court Trump while keeping China as a mistress

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren  visits Fairfield, Iowa, US. Photograph: Rachel Mummey/Reuters

US Politics: Senator may shine as flashier candidates for the Democratic nod burn out

Moe the bartender in The Simpsons: cute questioning. Illustration: Fox via Getty

Janan Ganesh: Gun ownership and showy patriotism are points of difference, but what else?

US national security advisor, John Bolton (background) looks on during a meeting between president Donald Trump and president of Chile, Sebastian Piñera in the Oval Office in September, 2018. Photograph: Oliver Contreras/The Washington Post/Getty

US Politics: President should look to find like-minded players to join his team

Foreign policy: The Democratic presidential hopeful  most steeped in such policy, former vice-president Joe Biden, hardly brings it  up. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty

US Politics: It is not the pacifism or realpolitik that is striking, but the indifference

Former US vice-president Joe Biden at a campaign event in Dubuque, Iowa. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg

Weary Americans could well see the insider as a perfect escape from four years of drama

US president Donald Trump boarding Air Force One in Maryland. Photograph: Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times

A relaxation of civic mores is a deadlier threat to democracy than the president

US president Donald Trump at a roundtable discussion on immigration and border security in Calexico, California, on April 5th. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Populists do not live and die on their record – they live on a sense of rolling crisis

US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in April 2017.  Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

US Politics: Emboldened future presidents might be drawn to more wide-ranging confrontations

US president Donald Trump:    What voters did not know in 2016 was that he would preside as another small-government Republican. Photograph: Getty Images

US Politics: Gravest threat to president is his gradual turn away from economic populism

US senator Elizabeth Warren could be a nightmare for some on Wall Street. Photographer: Callaghan O’Hare/Bloomberg

US Politics: Americans must embrace ‘socialism’ to ensure survival of capitalism

US Border Patrol members watch as barbed-wire barriers are  installed ahead of the possible massive arrival of migrants, at the Zaragoza International Bridge on the US-Mexico border.  Photograph: Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

US Politics: Can a party fluent in the argot of identity politics build a stronger welfare state?

Former US president Barack Obama and Thailand’s prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2012. Photograph: Jason Reed

Janan Ganesh: A pivot by the US towards Asian nations has long been in the works

 Kamala Harris    –  already living down her past as a prosecuting attorney. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty

US Politics: Candidates pile into the race as itch to defeat Trump takes hold

US soldiers attend a training session for the Afghan army in  Afghanistan,  February 2nd, 2019 Photograph: EPA/Jalil Rezayee

US Politics: Opposition to Trump’s plan to exit Afghanistan smacks of ‘horror of retreat’

 Donald Trump: His poll rating fell but did not collapse in recent weeks. Photograph: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

Populists declare themselves game for the fight, but their tolerance for suffering is unclear

US president Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping  in Beijing.  The absence of an international rival has been a disaster for the internal politics of the US. And the emergence of a new one, in China, might be an unexpected blessing. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

US Politics: Having a common enemy could heal US partisan divide

Bernie Sanders participates in a news conference with Democratic politicians, in Washington, last week.  Photograph: Michael ReynoldS/EPA

US politics: This faultline feels less fraught than rifts over race, gender and sexuality

US president Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping: the bilateral relationship of old, with its polite hypocrisies and blind-eye turning, is not coming back. Photograph: Damir Sagolj

US Politics: Washington is united in accepting US links with China have improved

US president Donald Trump: Americans knew he was a rogue when they elected him. Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

Democrats too quickly saw the leakage of allies as the beginning of the end for the US leader

Outgoing US defence secretary Jim Mattis has achieved martyr status among Democrats who did not lament his dismissal by Barack Obama. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

US Politics: Donald Trump has forced the Democrats to stand up for American power

US president Donald Trump. A  Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in 2019 will start to scrutinise his personal tax affairs and dealings with Russia. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

US Politics: US president fulminates about ‘Obama judges’ but has not defied rulings

Former US president George Bush: He  was the youngest pilot in the US navy. He remains the last president with combat experience. Of all the theories behind the spurt in populism – the 2008 crash, immigration – the passing of the “greatest” generation from both high office and the electorate is under-discussed. Photograph:  Luke Frazza/Getty Images

US Politics: George HW Bush had a taste for moderation based on bitter experience of history

Barack Obama meets Donald Trump as he is sworn in as US  president: Mr Trump talks about the US as a self-interested state among self-interested states, unique in its power but not in its existential purpose, which is to survive and prosper. Photograph: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

US Politics: President has replaced rhetoric with US naked interest-driven statecraft

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi  speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington last week. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP Photo

US politics: With 2020 presidential race ahead, the speakership tussle is just a taster

 US president Donald Trump  and French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris last weekend. Trump would not be the first powerful man to see in an impudent junior a trace of his younger self. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Presidents come and go, as do their tiffs. Even Macron and Trump get along at times

US president Donald Trump  has allowed too large a gap between his rhetorical pitch to working Americans and his policies for them. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

US politics: Defeat of president in 2020 will be about presenting him as elitist

Protesters gather as US president Donald Trump visits the synagogue named Tree of Life in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood of Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Photograph: Hilary Swift/The New York Times

US Politics: Pittsburgh synagogue attack shows necessity of moderating rhetoric

US president Donald Trump was described by erstwhile enemies Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham as ‘a snivelling coward’ and a ‘jackass’. Both are now allies. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Janan Ganesh: US’s allies should note its president is negotiable on much, and at affordable cost

The then US president Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 1st, 2015. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

US Politics: President’s unforced error is helping Democrats in midterm elections

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell receives applause at a White House ceremony on Monday to mark the swearing-in of Brett Kavanaugh as a justice of the US supreme court. Photograph: Samuel Corum/New York Times

US Politics: Developing trend of Democratic Party suggests a certain innocence

A spectator wears clothing in the colours of the US flag during a practice session ahead of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course south-west of Paris on September 26th. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

US Politics: How does a nation define itself when what made it distinct has become commonplace?

The words “Brett Kavanaugh must withdraw” are projected by demonstrators on to  the E Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.  Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The US president’s interests and those of nominee Brett Kavanaugh are not aligned

Donald Trump: Each of his broken treaties and tariff rounds can be read as a nudge towards that destiny: a bid to make America normal again. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/EPA

Janan Ganesh: Selfish logic of Trump’s America First doctrine will be aped by future presidents

US president Donald Trump reacts as pastor Paula White tells him she has a bible to give  him at a dinner hosted for evangelical leaders at the White House in Washington, DC. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

Janan Ganesh: Evangelicals face a bleaker future despite their bargain with president

US president Donald Trump weaponised a popular suspicion of political elites that long predates Lehman. The root of that suspicion is not all that mysterious. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Janan Ganesh: The crash just brought to the surface what was already extant and pumping

US president Donald Trump salutes supporters after speaking at a political rally in Charleston, West Virginia, on Tuesday. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

US constitution requires two-thirds majority of Senate for president’s removal

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is building a coalition of minority voters, topped up with liberal whites. Photograph: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Janan Ganesh: They needed to start distinguishing one kind of American from another

US president Donald Trump owes his grip on eminent Republicans to cravenness on their part and ruthlessness on his. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

US Politics: The president still participates in the world – just not in the way his critics want

President Donald Trump during a “Make America Great Again” rally in Florida, July 31st, 2018. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

The party can retrench or learn to helm, not dismantle, an interventionist state

Consciously or not, the president may also equate Bannonism with success. Photograph: Moritz Hager/Reuters

Janan Ganesh: Trump wants clear theme – and Bannon’s programme remains clearest

US president Donald Trump  and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint press conference after their summit in Helsinki on Monday. Photograph:  Chris McGrath/Getty Images

US Politics: President’s foreign policy will last no longer than the time he remains in office

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (28), an avowed “democratic socialist”, defeated incumbent  Joseph Crowley  to become the Democratic Party’s Congressional candidate in New York’s 14th district. Photograph:  Annie Tritt/The New York Times

It is easy to mistake the failures of 2016 as a cry for a more radical manifesto

US Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Clarence Thomas in January 2017: Republicans talk a populist game while pruning the state through technocratic fiat and judicial appointment. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty

Janan Ganesh: Trump legal nomination likely to grind towards further deregulation

House Speaker Paul Ryan is newly relaxed about deficits he once saw as the beggaring of American youth. Photograph: Erin Schaff/New York Times

US Politics: The US public – and its politicians – has lost its appetite for budget-balancing

The southern border is the current seat of US anxieties, but the migration debate does not stop there. Photograph Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Janan Ganesh: Cutting number of legal immigrants will be next

Robert Mueller: A survey last week found that 44 per cent of Americans now see his investigation as a “political witch hunt”. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

History teaches us that impeachment could poison body politic for decades to come

Brexit: “Central to politics is the picking of battles, and Britain has picked an all-absorbing one.” Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

UK Politics: These are Britain’s Lost Years. We can only guess how many of them there will be

Sir Ivan Rogers, who resigned as Britain’s diplomatic emissary to the EU in January last year. Photograph: Thierry Roge/EPA

UK Politics: Conservatives are in reasonable shape after this month’s local elections

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg: his use of “cretinous”, along with Boris Johnson’s “crazy”, to describe Theresa May’s customs partnership ideas suggests the histrionics of ham actors. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty

UK Politics: Leavers demand everything from Brexit deal except their names on paper

British prime minister Theresa May speaks to party supporters at Sedgley Conservative Club in Dudley last week ahead of local elections. Photograph: Anthony Devlin via Reuters

UK Politics: The mood of the electorate amounts to a kind of constructive indecision

British prime minister Theresa May arrives for a visit to Brooklands Primary School in Sale, near Manchester, on Monday as part of the Conservative Party’s local election campaign. Photograph: Oli Scarff/PA Wire

UK Politics: The British prime minister has no quest beyond Brexit and her own survival

 People gather for a Windrush generation solidarity protest in Brixton: the pattern of Theresa May’s behaviour is that of someone eager to appease a body of opinion she half-understands. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Nuisance brews for PM as Windrush emigrants command sympathies of nation

New political movements, such as French president Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche, are disparaged for their intellectual vacuity – until they win. Photograph: Charles Platiau via AP

UK Politics: The populist age is everywhere but on the statute books, at least for now

Peace process: President Bill Clinton in Belfast in 1998, flanked by First Minister David Trimble, of the UUP, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon, of the SDLP. Photograph: Doug Mills/AP

Janan Ganesh: Good Friday deal blended high ideals with earthly political craft

British prime minister Theresa May: If she  owes her longevity to the roguish police line-up of bad alternatives, she can also claim to have come into her own of late. Photograph: Leon Neal/PA Wire

Janan Ganesh: PM’s survival is an astonishing tribute to her ability to absorb stress

Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting, in London. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Janan Ganesh: The latest proposal for future UK-EU relations is yet another play for time

Steven Pinker: an Enlightenment man to the tips of his Newtonian hair, the Harvard professor bucks the zeitgeist with an argument that is both familiar and transgressive. Photograph: Chona Kasinger/New York Times

UK Politics: Should liberals defend globalism or match populists’ drastic promises?

Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson: he must spell out the uses to which Britain can put the freedom that comes with life outside the customs union. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

UK Politics: Hard Leavers have moral duty to paint vague portrait of post-Brexit freedom

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a backbench MP with the profile of a royal. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

UK Politics: The Tories are so drained of talent that almost anyone can aspire to lead them

British prime minister Theresa May: anger at the PM is redirected anger at Britain’s diplomatic mismatch with the EU.   Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

UK politics: what blinder would a new prime minister play that May is not able to?

British prime minister Theresa May: it is not that she has ever had much interest or enthusiasm for the market-liberal side of Conservatism. Photograph: Eddie Mulholland/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May’s attitude to markets amounts to the intellectual self-disarmament of her party

 French president Emmanuel Macron: At the Anglo-French summit on Thursday, he is expected to bring ideas for military co-operation. Photograph: Francois Mori/EPA

Emmanuel Macron displays regal certainties just as Britain turns hesitantly inwards

The NHS is underfunded by rich-world standards. It also contains inefficiencies that would be quaint if the cost was not human life. Photograph: Will Oliver

Janan Ganesh: Absence of politics paints NHS as benevolent spirit not costly system

British prime minister Theresa May and members of her front bench react as Labour  leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. Photograph:  PA Wire

UK Politics: Self-abasing political leaders invite only more disdain from disaffected electorate

British prime minister Theresa May, accompanied by her chief of staff Gavin Barwell, leaves 10 Downing Street for the Houses of Parliament in London on Monday.  Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Endurance testifies to PM’s tactical artfulness and personal fibre, but Brexit has been the real career-saver

Britain’s Brexit secretary David Davis aspires to a “Canada-plus-plus-plus” deal. Photograph: PA Wire

UK Politics: London and Brussels should aspire to a Brexit trade deal but take their time about it

Brexit secretary David Davis: Another politician who salvaged so little from his original vision might have quit out of embarrassment or principle. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

UK Politics: Leavers have been on what a Californian life coach might call a ‘journey’

Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond is resigned to higher levels of public debt than were thought conscionable not long ago. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

UK Politics: Brexit may turn out to be a mid-stage event in a longer meltdown of trust

Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond, photographed with prime minister Theresa May during  a visit an engineering training facility in  Birmingham on Monday. Photograph:  Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images

UK Politics: Philip Hammond’s Tory critics lack the experience to know better

Former British prime ministers Gordon Brown and  Tony Blair. Brown’s memoirs 'remind us that no living prime minister thinks Brexit is a good idea'. File photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Gordon Brown’s memoirs illustrate the stamina and seriousness needed to reshape UK

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