#Brexit

Fintan O’Toole: Britain: The End of a Fantasy – The New York Review of Books

To take power, May had to pretend that she, too, dreams these impossible dreams. And that led her to embrace a phony populism in which the narrow and ambiguous majority who voted for Brexit under false pretences are be reimagined

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , ,

The Economist: How to understand Angela Merkel’s comments about America and Britain 

Foreigners often get Mrs Merkel all wrong. She is not the queen of Europe, nor has she any desire to be it. She is a domestic leader and politician whose mounting international stature is always a function of her ability

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness Tagged with: , ,

The EU can push for a hard Brexit, too – Financial Times

Even the negotiation process itself allows the EU to do well by doing good. The EU side is considering opening much of the negotiation to public view by publishing negotiation mandates and other documents. That is a good thing in

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Ian Dunt: Extreme Brexit: This was May’s last moment of control – politics.co.uk

This was her last moment of control. Once Article 50 starts, the brute force of reality will invade the self-interested dream Britain has been having since June 24th. It is easy for May to be popular now and for even

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted Tagged with: , ,

Rogers and Shetler-Jones: After Brexit, a Bold Britain… – War on the Rocks

Brexit has given the United Kingdom a once-in-a-generation opportunity to sweep out the dead wood – clear away the policies that no longer serve a purpose in the contemporary context – and replace them with something more fit for the

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John Harris: Whoever the leader is, Labour may never recover from this crisis – The Guardian

The truth, unpalatable to some but which is surely obvious, is that Labour is in the midst of a longstanding and possibly terminal malaise, and now finds itself facing two equally unviable options. On one side is the current leader

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Timothy Garton Ash: As a lifelong English European, this is the biggest defeat of my political life – The Guardian

This nostalgic optimism is the siren call of the Brexiteers: we were once great on our own, so we can be again. It’s a complete non-sequitur of course (“Carthage was once great, so it can be again”), but mighty seductive.

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted, Politics Tagged with: ,

Christopher Caldwell: Britain Exits, Democracy Lives, And Everything Has Changed – The Weekly Standard

Everything is being revalued. Political institutions, too. Economic issues, fear, immigration—these all caught Britons’ attention and rallied them to the polls. But at its core this was a battle over definitions of democracy and freedom. This may have been Britain’s

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted, Politics Tagged with: ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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