Connect with us


Theresa May doesn’t have good options




On Friday, British Pm Theresa May can be the main foreign leader to go to Mr . trump in Washington since he became president. Having a nod to Trump’s Scottish bloodlines, the main minister is expected to give him that has a quaich, a two-handled ceremonial cup traditionally for drinking whisky that is definitely meant to be an expression of trust and friendship. Whether the teetotaler Trump will understand gesture is something; whether that trust and friendship can actually be established is entirely another.

The special relationship, naturally, is within an exceptionally special quandary. Trump’s “America First” rhetoric has horrified most of America’s traditional European allies. His suggestion that NATO is “obsolete” along with his happiness to countenance the whole collapse on the Eu threatens to abandon greater half-century of U.S. foreign policy. Even though Trump has endeared himself on the Brexiteers, who cheered his recent declaration that Britain was “so smart” to exit the EU, Trump is way less popular in the united kingdom than even George W. Bush was a student in his worst. During the campaign, May herself complained that Trump’s rhetoric about Muslims was “divisive, unhelpful and wrong”; one among her chiefs of staff called Trump a “chump,” additionally, the other said he had little interest in “reaching out” to Trump.

Yet, May cannot neglect the Donald. Unless you’re Vladimir Putin, you take care of the American president you could have, not normally the one you should have while in the Oval Office – that’s the place to start for any international leader from the Era of Trump. In truth, May, who is herself new at all to international politics, must draw from the country in excess of Britain in most years. Having voted august to abandon the eu, the British must cling tightly recommended to their Anglophone alliances and trade partnerships.

All this puts May within a impossible spot: How could she endear herself to her biggest foreign partner as he is loathed in their country, and many of that longtime European partners? This is a high-risk business, with huge possibility of humiliation.

True, there are actually risks for Trump. If he cannot generate a strong working relationship with Britain, his possibilities of doing so with any country (well, except maybe Russia) ought to be reckoned negligible. A conference together with the British pm is, with regards to Trump is worried, diplomacy steadied with beginner wheels. If he still falls, it’s going to be telling. Americans and foreigners alike will further doubt his statesmanship, along with his less-than-steady come from office might get even shakier.

Obama reportedly advised May to gently educate the latest president from the options for the entire world, as well as perhaps Trump will listen.

The dangers for May, however, will be more significant. It is not only the clash between Britain’s national interest, which demands an effective working relationship together with the new American administration, and it is national pride, which demands which she keep her distance from Trump. Making matters more awkward is the reason that Trump thrives on, and indeed could interact with, unctuous flattery. May, that has relished being named “a bloody difficult woman,” reaches likelihood of seeming Trump’s patsy. For the Republicans’ congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday, she already seemed to go all-in for Trump, insisting that that it was an honor to be present as “dawn breaks on a new trend of American renewal.” “Haven’t you noticed? Opposites attract,” she quipped earlier to reporters. If May will have to eat an uncommonly gristly sandwich, then so whether it be.

Brexit adds yet another complication. Barack obama infuriated pro-Brexit Britons on the summer as he suggested that leaving europe would relegate Britain to “the back of the queue” for almost any further U.S. trade deals. Trump, on the other hand, has stated a one-on-one U.S.-UK deal can be achieved quickly, and therefore Britain is “at the front from the line.” Pro-Brexit British conservatives are going to see in Trump men with whom they’re able to conduct business. (One cabinet minister told the Spectator, “Trump is here along just like the tooth fairy. This really is one massive, magnificent gift.”) That puts enormous pressure on May – who may have chosen the slogan “global Britain” to define her administration, promising to make the country a champion of free trade – in making real progress for a handle Trump, the prospects which often are uncertain.

    It is to square that goal, however, with a president elected, a minimum of to some extent, as a consequence of his overt hostility to free trade. Besides, nothing in Trump’s character indicates he appreciates, much less values, the joy of mutual advantage. He loves deals, however the joy in the deal stems from screwing the opposite guy. Everything appears to be a zero-sum game to Trump. In that regard, any warm words Trump and will exchange within the White House demand skepticism. What Trump does will probably be a great deal more important than what according to him. The flag-waving chapters of the British press have cheered Trump’s decision an extra shot a bust of Winston Churchill into the Oval Office, but that type of symbolism is reasonable, simple near meaningless.

    Maybe, just maybe, Trump will be aware that even he needs friends, and therefore perhaps no country is better placed to assist an inexperienced U.S. president than America’s old wartime ally. Obama reportedly advised May to carefully educate the fresh president from the methods for the entire world, as well as Trump will listen. For May, that strategy carries unmistakable echoes of former Pm Harold Macmillan’s assertion that “These Americans represent the latest Roman empire, and that we Britons, such as the Greeks of old, must teach them steps to make it go.” That is as patronizing as it was delusional; May must avoid the same mistake of overestimating Britain’s importance plus the Americans’ prefer to listen.

    Addressing congressional Republicans on Thursday, May flattered the wedding guests while lacing her remarks which includes a considerable way of measuring self-delusion. “So since we rediscover our confidence together,” she said, “as you renew your nation equally as we renew ours, now we have the opportunity-indeed, the responsibility-to renew the special relationship in this modern age. We have the chance lead, together, again.” It truly is hard to read through this as anything apart from wistful pining for a world for many years gone, but remarkably the British government is very much taking the idea seriously.

    For a lot more than 60 years, the Anglo-American alliance has become the centerpiece of British foreign policy. And Friday’s meeting within the White House will definitely produce kind words and flattering headlines hailing a different era inside the so-called special relationship. Within the post-Brexit era, that relationship looms greater than ever. Britain cannot depart the Atlantic alliance, playing with the age of Trump, nor could we rely upon it.

    Alex Massie writes for the Spectator, the Times and other publications.


    Black caucus chairman pushes to censure Trump over ‘shithole’ remark





    Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Thursday introduced a solution to censure President Donald Trump over what he contends would be the president\’s racist rhetoric referring to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as \”shithole countries.\”

    The resolution – who has much more than 130 co-sponsors, including House Democratic leaders – calls over the House to publicly state its support for any nations Trump disparaged, censure and condemn the president for his statements, and demand he retract his comments and apologize.

    Story Continued Below

    At a news conference announcing the resolution alongside House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as well as other Democrats, Richmond (D-La.) said Trump\’s controversial comments \”should have not been made\” and \”were factually inaccurate.\”

    Richmond conceded, however, the resolution isn\’t \”privileged,\” meaning House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) might need to say yes to carry it in order with the chamber to keep a vote. It\’s almost certain Ryan will not likely do this.

    \”If he doesn\’t, we then will be at other ways to just make a vote on there,\” Richmond told reporters. \”But the facts from the matter is definitely the speaker should bring it up. In the event that he doesn\’t, establishing is enabling and recurring to allow obama to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric, as well as at certain point – whether you agree or disagree – I believe this is the speaker\’s obligation to safeguard the dignity of the property.\”

    If Ryan will not allow a vote, Richmond said he among others would hunt for “creative” strategies to force one.

    Like most Republican leaders, Ryan hasn\’t said much for the president\’s reported comments, though he did acknowledge the other day that they are \”very unfortunate\” and \”unhelpful.\” For Richmond, however, that wasn\’t enough.

    \”It\’s unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it\’s unfortunate in the event the airlines lose my luggage,\” he was quoted saying. \”But when the president of america decides to Africa, Haiti and El Salvador which he used, which isn\’t unfortunate. That is wrong. That\’s disgusting. That is definitely hurtful. There are a variety of words because of it, but unfortunate\’s undertake and don\’t.\”

    Continue Reading


    Ryan's 2017 fundraising haul: $44 million





    House Speaker Paul Ryan raised more than $44 million in 2017, an off-year record to get a House leader – a financial haul Republicans hope will shore up vulnerable GOP members in what\’s shaping up to often be a tough midterm cycle for Republicans.

    In a final quarter, Ryan raised $4.8 million, his political operation will announce Thursday – down from $6.7 million during the third quarter.

    Story Continued Below

    The infusion of greenbacks is a follower of Republicans passed a tax reform law last December, which GOP members said would drive support among voters and donors. But also in 2018, Republicans must defend its 24-seat majority spanning a broad battlefield, while President Donald Trump\’s approval ratings stay in the bottom 40s and Democrats hold a broad bring success the generic ballot. Nearly 24 retirements, including California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa latest research by, will force Republicans to invest more heavily to protect these open seats.

    In 2017, Ryan transferred $32 million to the National Republican Campaign Committee, which announced a unique record-breaking off-year total with $85 million raised in the last year. Ryan also transferred $1.7 million on to GOP members, as well as hosting 49 fundraisers for members.

    "This eye-popping number is usually a testament to Speaker Ryan, House Republicans, as well as the agenda them to led your strugle on in 2017," said Kevin Seifert, executive director of Team Ryan, the speaker\’s fundraising committee.

    Continue Reading


    Bannon won't testify again on Russia Thursday





    Former White House adviser Steve Bannon declined House Russia investigators\’ request to go back for a second interview Thursday, telling lawmakers through his lawyer their own obtain him to go back just 2 days after his first appearance was "unreasonable."

    "The Committee\’s subpoena provides require Mr. Bannon\’s appearance for that second deposition [Thursday] at 2pm. That may be plainly insufficient time for me to undertake precisely what the Committee has asked," Bannon\’s attorney William Burck wrote within a Wednesday letter to store intelligence committee leaders obtained by POLITICO.

    Story Continued Below

    Instead, Burck told committee leaders that the former senior aide to President Donald Trump would return after reaching an accommodation when using the White House to make sure his testimony doesn\’t violate executive privilege.

    On Tuesday, Bannon-citing instructions from your Trump administration-refused to reply Republican and Democrats\’ questions on his amount of the White House, the post-election transition team and in some cases about his conversations with the president after he was fired from his post in August. His stonewalling infuriated persons in both parties, who subpoenaed him immediately. But despite the subpoena, Bannon declined to reply to their questions.

    Burck\’s letter told the committee\’s top Russia investigators, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that Bannon remains ready to answer the committee\’s questions-but after striking an understanding together with the White House while on an acceptable scope of questioning.

    "There isn\’t any conceivable solution to talk to the White House Mr. Bannon\’s time using the transition and also the White House, obtain their thoughts about the knowledge he previously provide, communicate those views back to the Committee, relay the Committee\’s views time for the White House, and then negotiate or facilitate a binding agreement amongst the Committee along with the White House from the time allotted by the Committee\’s subpoena," Burck wrote.

    Committee members at the moment are weighing calling hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for avoiding their questions. They\’ve noted that White House lawyers haven\’t formally invoked executive privilege-they just have suggested that Bannon\’s testimony might implicate it.

    White House officials have argued that it is customary for Congress to coordinate the scope of the questions with current and former officials to stop violating privileged information.

    But GOP and Democratic lawmakers have questioned this argument, suggesting they see no reasonable interpretation of executive privilege that might preclude Bannon from discussing his time over the transition team, that is before Trump was president.

    Burck indicated that the committee didn\’t have use of White House and transition documents that has to be relevant precursors to the questions for Bannon and suggested lawmakers and Bannon would require time for them to produce them and review them before Bannon\’s next interview.

    "There are lots of lawyers over the Committee plus the Staff, and i also could well be surprised as long as they believed it becomes anything in addition to unprofessional even unethical should be expected to depose a witness that has did not have possibility for review relevant documents," he said.

    Burck also indicated a potential disconnect between committee staff and lawmakers. He revealed that he had informed the employees of the committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the White House "may not permit Mr. Bannon to discuss his in time the transition and the White House unless an accommodation was agreed between your Committee plus the White House."

    "Staff raised no objection to the telltale restrictions in any of such conversations," he said. "The main objection came yesterday within the Members who appear not to have been informed by Staff about our prior conversations."

    Continue Reading


    Copyright © 2019