Does the British Election Mean Anything for America?

British prime minister Theresa May and American president Donald Trump speak in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC, January 27
British prime minister Theresa May and American president Donald Trump speak in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC, January 27 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Jay Allen)

As always, yes and no.

Yes, because the ideology of austerity-driven neoliberalism, that which is championed by Theresa May’s suddenly flailing government, is a major component of the ruling Republican Party in the United States. It’s what Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, believes in: cuts to public services to benefit the private market.

Yes, because Brexit, the alt-right-driven anti-immigrant, anti-globalization geopolitical self-harm project is propelled by the same forces that elected the current head of the Republican Party, Donald Trump.

But also no. Read more

Conservatives Need to Reevaluate Beliefs After Defeat

British prime minister Theresa May
British prime minister Theresa May (PA/Philip Toscano)

Given the vote share Labour has accrued in England under Jeremy Corbyn, ideas from Britain’s mid- to late-twentieth century are once again mainstream — and they pose an ideological challenge to the liberal consensus that is in many ways deeper than last year’s vote to leave the EU. Read more

What Good Is a Two-Party System If It Doesn’t Provide Stability?

View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, December 21, 2011
View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, December 21, 2011 (Ben Sutherland)

There is a lazy assumption in much of the British election coverage that the return of two-party politics was the only good news of the night.

Between them, the Conservatives and Labour won 82 percent support on Thursday, up from 67 percent in 2015.

Yet neither party has a majority. The biggest party is in disarray. The second party has no way to form a government. It is quite likely there will be another election later this year or next. Read more

Possible Russian Collusion Matters Less Than Trump’s Cover-Up

American president Donald Trump speaks on the phone during a flight on Air Force One to Pennsylvania, January 26
American president Donald Trump speaks on the phone during a flight on Air Force One to Pennsylvania, January 26 (White House/Shealah Craighead)

The cover-up is worse than the crime. It’s a cliché, but Donald Trump proves it.

Last week, we learned that the president had asked the director of the FBI, James Comey, to end an investigation into the foreign ties of his security advisor, Michael Flynn. When Comey refused, Trump fired him. He admitted as much in an interview with NBC.

Now The Washington Post reveals that Trump asked two of America’s spy masters to undermine the FBI investigation by publicly denying there was any evidence of collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. Read more

Trump Gave a Surprisingly Intelligent Speech to Muslim Leaders

American president Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, arrive at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20
American president Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, arrive at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20 (White House/Shealah Craighead)

This could have gone a lot worse. The speech Donald Trump gave on Islam and terror in Riyadh on Sunday was surprisingly intelligent.

According to his prepared remarks, the president rejected the clash-of-civilizations paradigm some of his fanatical underlings, like Steve Bannon, have promoted.

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” Trump told an assembly of Muslim leaders.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.

That is quite right — and a reversal from Trump’s previous rhetoric. Read more

What Will It Take for Republicans to Turn on Trump?

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of the United States walk together on the White House grounds in Washington DC, May 11
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of the United States walk together on the White House grounds in Washington DC, May 11 (White House/Benjamin Applebaum)

What does Donald Trump need to do for Republicans to lose faith in him?

The latest revelation from The Washington Post is that Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office.

The president reportedly bragged about the “great intel” he was getting and went on to discuss aspects of an Islamist threat the United States learned through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. Read more

May Adopts Energy Policy Her Predecessor Called “Nuts”

British prime minister Theresa May delivers a news conference together with Carwyn Jones, the first minister of Wales, in Swansea, March 20
British prime minister Theresa May delivers a news conference together with Carwyn Jones, the first minister of Wales, in Swansea, March 20 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Jay Allen)

British prime minister Theresa May has adopted a policy her Conservative predecessor, David Cameron, once described as “nuts”.

When the opposition Labour Party proposed to freeze electricity rates in 2013, Cameron, then the Conservative Party leader, ridiculed it.

Now May has taken it over. Read more