June 12, 2018

All Hail President Trump

I'm splitting with some of my "never-Trump" buddies on the North Korea summit.

Jim Geraghty says "North Korea Wins Suspension of U.S. Military Exercise in Exchange for Promises, Magic Beans " And his esteemed colleague, Jonah Goldberg has been tweeting a storm of NorK atrocities -- upset that the flags were side-by side.

I close my eyes and see Sec. Madeline Albright toasting his Dad with a champagne flute. I recoil in horror at President Obama's pallets of cash provided to the Iranian Mullahs. Do I think the Korean peninsula is destined for sweetness and light? Prob'ly not. But I am ready to call the President's diplomatic mission a success.

The "diplomacy curve" upon which I grade is pretty generous. As I mentioned, not much works -- ever. Tyrants gotta tyrant. But the suggestion that the status qup was working -- in any sense of the word is what the diplomats call "cray-cray."

Fewer American troops on teh peninula? Hell yeah! An implicit invite to participate in world markets instead of hermit kingdom? Why the hell not? Difusing tensions? I'm in! Restoring Dennis Rodman's diplomatic career? Umm, can I get back to you on that?

Worst case to me is status quo ante. Bets case is anythng else -- well done, Mr. President.

Even Reason is in

Is it gross for a president to flatter a vile dictator? Yes. But let's be clear: Presidents flatter vile dictators all the time. (Google "Saudi Arabia.") At least in this case there's the hope of cooling off those nuclear tensions, and of boosting rather than undermining South Korea's push for peace. Trump is even skylarking about perhaps one day pulling America's troops out of the peninsula. ''ll believe that when I see it, but it's surely better to have it on the rhetorical table than to have it be as unthinkable to the president as it is to the foreign-policy Blob.


June 6, 2018

A View of Brexit - From Britain

Now that a majority of Britons have voted to leave the EU, Britain's government is down to the business of carrying out the directive. The simplest avenue is referred to over there (I know this because I just returned from a weeklong tour of London and the countryside to its west) as a "no-deal Brexit." Anti-Brexit forces are lobbying for side deals which effectively maintain EU membership in certain regards. See: Camel. Tent.

During my travels I witnessed Pro-EU activists lobbying in the street market areas of both Oxford and Bath. I didn't have time to engage with them but could imagine the scenarios they painted for those who did.

Conservative MP Daniel Hannan penned an op-ed on their efforts yesterday, which I was able to read in the print edition while waiting at the Heathrow boarding gate last morning.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a leaked document by Whitehall officials, supermarket shelves in remote parts of Britain will empty within days.

The RAF will have to carry medical supplies to stricken areas. Petrol will run short. (They have forgotten the invasion by giant man-eating squirrels.)

We went through all this during the ­referendum. Precisely the same mandarins told us that, if we voted Leave, unemployment would rise by 500,000 within two years. In fact, it has FALLEN by that amount.

They told us that the Stock Exchange would collapse, wrecking our pensions. In fact, it has RISEN to record levels. They told us that France would end our bilateral deal, and that the Calais migrant camp would move to Kent. In fact, France has renewed the deal and the Calais camp has been DISMANTLED.

Yet here they go again with their childish threats. Who do they think they’re kidding?

It's almost as if these Britons don't believe their nation can succeed on its own, without the collective might of the EU. Hannan disagrees:

We are a G7 country, a nuclear power, and a permanent member of the UN ­Security Council. We have the best universities in Europe, the most innovative tech companies, the best audiovisual sector. Our capital is the greatest city on the planet. Our language is the world’s common tongue. If we can’t succeed on our own, who can?

Indeed. Sir Winston is face-palming in his grave.

But jk thinks:

Brexit has been fun to watch. I hope to be forgiven for reducing the post-Westphalian sovereignty of the cradle of liberty to so much reality-tv, but it is like watching their President Trump. The elites are outraged and refuse to accept electoral results.


On the merits, I have been a soft "leave"-er. It is decentralization -- an alloyed good, and as you quote, the idea that they require Brussels is pretty laughable.


Yet, it interferes with trade and immigration, like a certain other election. And like a certain other, it fuses honorable intentions of personal liberty with less-honorable populist and nationalist sentiments.

You talk of camels' noses -- I wonder if they will ever successfully evict the rest of the animal. Can't they (aren't they?) delay, litigate, miss deadlines and keep the status quo until a new election makes it official?

Posted by: jk at June 6, 2018 5:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes - delay until there's a new election to return to the previous order of things - I think that is the strategy being employed.

Posted by: johngalt at June 7, 2018 6:32 PM

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