Dutch Hope for Smooth Brexit, Russians Have Little Faith in Trump
Mehreen Khan reports for the Financial Times that the Dutch are lobbying both sides in the Brexit negotiations: They are pleading with the Brits to decide what they want and trying to ensure in Brussels that the United Kingdom is given plenty of room to reverse course or rethink red lines, whether it be on the customs union or anything else.
The reason: close relations across the North Sea.
Britain’s erstwhile continental ally has been a reliable partner on everything from EU budget contributions to the single market but is now uniquely exposed to the economic and emotional side-effects of Brexit.
In France, by contrast, attitudes have hardened. Since Emmanuel Macron’s election last summer, the share of French voters who wish the British would change their minds has fallen. Tony Barber argues that Brexit is now seen as not a loss but a potential gain to France. Read more
New Political Party in Britain, Room for Party in Germany
Anti-Brexit campaigners have launched a new political party in the United Kingdom: Renew.
The party aims to be a “vehicle for people who feel politically homeless,” said James Clarke, one of its three co-leaders.
EurActiv reports that the party claims to have more than 450 applications from candidates to run for the 650-seat House of Commons.
Britain’s first-past-the-post system doesn’t make it easy for newcomers. The last time a major party broke through was in the 1920s, when Labour overtook the Liberals as the largest party on the left.
But the Conservatives and Labour have left the center wide open, the former by embracing the reactionary cause of Brexit, the latter by electing the far-left Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Somebody was bound to try to fill that hole. Read more
Gun and Immigration Debates Entrench Tribal Divisions in United States
Ronald Brownstein writes in The Atlantic that Republicans in his country have become a “coalition of restoration”: older, blue-collar, evangelical and non-urban whites most uneasy about the tectonic cultural and economic forces reshaping American life. Republican lawmakers represent those areas with the most guns and the fewest immigrants.
Democrats, by contrast, rely on a heavily urbanized “coalition of transformation”: minorities, millennials and college-educated and secular white voters, especially women. Democratic voters have fewer guns and live in places with more immigrants.
We can see a similar divide in Europe. On the one hand, inward-looking, typically lower-educated voters living in small towns and the countryside; on the other, cosmopolitan college graduates living in the big cities. Read more
Since thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian entities were indicted on Friday for violating criminal laws to interfere in the 2016 election, the president has lashed out at CNN, the FBI, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee — everyone but the people who tampered with American democracy.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s “conspicuous silence” on Russia’s actions, and his acceptance of Vladimir Putin’s denial, has startled experts and leaves the country leaderless as it fends off more cyberattacks.
What We Know About the Midterm Elections in the United States
The map is biased against Democrats, but don’t overestimate the Republican turnout advantage. It wouldn’t take that much for a Democratic wave to turn into a tsunami. White women and college graduates are likely to decide the outcome.
Here is what we know about the upcoming congressional elections in the United States. Read more
Just like they don’t want to solve the DACA problem, why didn’t the Democrats pass gun control legislation when they had both the House & Senate during the Obama Administration. Because they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!
It’s the president who unilaterally ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year and who is now blocking a compromise. Democrats and center-right Republicans are ready to do a deal.
Democrats tried to get tougher guns laws under Barack Obama. They were frustrated at every turn by Republicans, who turned the filibuster into standard operating procedure in the Senate, as a result of which it now takes sixty votes to get anything of consequence done. When Democrats could briefly muster sixty votes in the early years of Obama’s presidency, they used that opportunity to reform health care. Read more