Denmark’s Social Democrats are eying cooperation with the nationalist People’s Party which they have shunned for years.
Under Mette Frederiksen, who took over the party leadership after its 2015 election defeat, the center-left has supported such far-right policies as a ban on prayer rooms in schools and universities.
The two parties, who are both in opposition to a liberal minority government, have also made common cause against raising the pension age.
Frederiksen argues she is defending the Danish welfare state from the challenges of globalization.
Her strategy is not too dissimilar from her Swedish counterpart’s. Stefan Löfven, the ruling Social Democratic Party leader in Stockholm, has taken a hard line on border control, crime and defense in a bid to stem working-class defections to the far right. Read more
In Current Affairs magazine, Nathan J. Robinson takes issue with the centrism of America’s Democratic Party.
The idea that Democrats can win elections by reminding progressives they have nowhere else to go and reassuring conservatives they won’t go after big business is a dead end, according to Robinson:
For one thing, it doesn’t work. Unless you have Bill Clinton’s special charismatic magic, what actually happens is that progressive voters just stay home, disgusted at the failure of both parties to actually try to improve the country.
This is the left-wing version of the Ted Cruz philosophy: that you can win national elections by mobilizing your base instead of appealing to the center.
A few fanatics might hold out if Democrats nominate too centrist a candidate, like Hillary Clinton, but the majority will make the rational decision and vote for the lesser of two evils, as many Bernie Sanders supporters did in November. Read more
Coal and Steel? Donald Trump Is Living in the Past
It’s hard to find anyone in Donald Trump’s orbit who didn’t meet and speak with Russian officials at some point.
And they all lied about it.
The latest addition to the list is the president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr.
The New York Times reports that in the summer of 2016, the young Trump met with a Kremlin-friendly lawyer in New York, hoping to get compromising information about Hillary Clinton.
Paul Manafort, the then-Trump campaign chairman, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor, both attended the meeting.
Junior first denied the meeting happened. Then he admitted it did, but claimed it had nothing to do with politics. Only then did he admit it was campaign-related after all, but there was nothing wrong with it because the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, didn’t have any dirt on Clinton. Read more
Since Catalonia’s regional government announced it plans to hold an independence referendum in September, tensions with the central government in Madrid have been rising:
Catalan leaders have said they would declare independence within 48 hours of a vote to break away from Spain, regardless of turnout.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has dismissed the plan as an “authoritarian delusion”.
Defense Minister María Dolores de Cospedal has warned that the armed forces are tasked not only with “protecting the values of democracy and the Constitution, but also the integrity and sovereignty” of Spain.
Spain’s Constitutional Court has blocked the €5.8 million the Catalan government had set aside to pay for the referendum.
Catalonia is in the process of separating its tax agency from Spain’s in case the region does decide to secede. Read more
Donald Trump has absurdly claimed Western civilization is at stake in the fight against Islamic terrorism, telling Poles, “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.”
In a speech in Warsaw, the American president held up Poland as an example of a country that is ready to defend Western values:
As the Polish experience reminds us, the defence of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail.
Poland’s ruling nationalist party shares Trump’s alarmism about Islam, which is hard to distinguish from xenophobia.
But comparing the country’s historical resistance to Nazism and communism to the present-day War on Terror is misguided. Read more