Republican Alaska state representative has apologised for likening the curbs on civic freedoms adopted in the fight against the corona virus to the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi Germany. Only after a firestorm erupted amongst his peers in the state capitol and elsewhere did Representative Ben Carpenter see the error of his ways. Mr Carpenter now says he is sorry.

Passions flare regularly in the United States where the political landscape has become so polarised that bipartisan cooperation is now almost considered an act of ideological treason. Yet, some Republicans have coalesced into an informal grouping that seeks to wrestle control of the Grand Old Party away from fellow party members and representatives who are beholden to, if nor transfixed by, President Donald Trump. Sensing that the electorate could well swing to the Democrats, they try to distance themselves and their party from the president and his accident-prone administration.

In the House, a slowly growing number of Republicans are reaching out across to aisle in order to improve their own standing and show voters that they have acted sensibly. In competitive districts, Republicans representatives are keenly aware that it takes just a few disgruntled voters to eject them from Washington.

Though major news outlets focus on gun-toting mobs of libertarians angrily voicing their disagreement with stay-in-place orders, most ordinary Americans seem unhappy with the chequered performance of President Trump whose approval rating has plummeted to barely 42 percent. The president may expect stronger headwinds going into the campaign after the undoubtedly depressing economic data of the second quarter start trickling in.

The president has, of late, turned up the rhetoric and promises to deliver a splendid 2021. He now wants voters to ignore the Corona Recession that pushed the US unemployment to a depression-era level in a few weeks’ time. President Trump is busily looking for scapegoats as well. After first blaming China, he now points to state governors as the main culprits of the economic slump. His predecessor also gets apportioned a generous share of the blame. The president’s own performance has, of course, been nothing less than great and visionary.

There are few things more damning to the legacy of a US president than being ejected from the White House after a single term in office. Jimmy Carter never quite recovered from the experience. He was done in by a major economic crisis that came with an inflation rate of 20 percent. Reaching farther back in time, Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) also disappeared under a dark cloud for his monumental mishandling of the Great Depression.

There is a precedent or two to be found for presidents failing to secure a second term after bungling the federal response to a major crisis.