Blog No. 102, “Brexit: Arguments, Consequences and the Trump Factor,” expressed our view that, while the burdens on Britain of membership in the EU were genuine, they were far less than the costs and risks of leaving. Our tone, however, was cautionary rather than alarmist:
The Brexit proposal will be put to the voters in a referendum on June 23, and to the questions “What will happen?” and “What will it mean?” there is clearly only one answer: no one really knows. Without attempting predictions, our view is that if the vote is to leave the EU, the risks to Britain, the EU, and ultimately the United States, could be significant.
Well, we now know what happened, and to some extent why, but what it will mean—for Britain, the EU, global markets and the United States–is something that still no one really knows. Continue reading
It was unsurprising, perhaps inevitable, that much of the commentary about the tragedy in Orlando would pass through a prism of preexisting political positions. Republicans tended to view it as a result of the ineffectiveness of the Administration’s responses to ISIS, while Democrats associated it with Republican unwillingness to support any form of gun control legislation. Having our own distinctive prism, we are inclined to believe that there is something to the assertions of each, but perhaps not as much as either appears to claim. Continue reading
Even readers who have been preoccupied with the agonies of the Republican and Democratic primary campaigns are probably aware of the political battle being waged across the Atlantic over Brexit. That term, of course, refers to the proposal that Britain (with Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom) exit from the European Union. In more shorthand, the opposing sides are tersely referred to simply as Leave and Remain. The Brexit proposal will be put to the voters in a referendum on June 23, and to the questions “What will happen?” and “What will it mean?” there is clearly only one answer: no one really knows. Without attempting predictions, our view is that if the vote is to leave the EU, the risks to Britain, the EU, and ultimately the United States, could be significant. Continue reading
Occasionally we believe that a column or editorial in the media is so cogent and compelling that it deserves reprinting in full for the benefit of readers who may not have seen it. The column below by Robert Kagan from The Washington Post is such a writing.
Robert Kagan is a historian, author and foreign policy expert of broad experience who has served several administrations in varying capacities. Although Kagan is best known for neoconservative views of foreign policy, the column below does not deal with foreign policy. Rather it concerns the candidacy of Donald Trump and its implications for not only the Republican Party but the country. According to Wikipedia, Kagan was a Republican until this year and is now an Independent.
The meeting last week between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan was something of a milestone in Donald Trump’s march to the nomination and perhaps the White House. While the meeting did not yield an endorsement by the Speaker, it produced a widespread expectation that one would be forthcoming in due course. Despite the media attention the meeting drew, the indication of a detente between Trump and Ryan was a relatively minor development, disappointing but not surprising. There are, of course, abundant grounds on which Ryan could withhold his support from Trump. Apart from issues of character and temperament, Trump’s expressed positions are at odds with Ryan’s on a variety of issues—immigration, free trade, banning of Muslims, entitlement reform, to name a few. But while we would have applauded a Ryan rejection of Trump and his candidacy, any hope for Ryan’s doing so was unrealistic. Such an action would have seriously jeopardized Ryan’s own position as Speaker with little or no likelihood of its having a serious impact on the Trump bandwagon. Continue reading
History may record various casualties of the 2016 presidential campaign and, indeed, the very existence of the Republican Party may prove to be the most important. A lesser but still highly significant casualty may be our policy favoring free trade agreements in general and, specifically, approval of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. Continue reading
With apologies for invoking that rather shopworn cliche, the fat lady sang this week and the curtain came down on the tragi-comic opera of the Republican presidential primaries. The fat lady’s aria was a sad one indeed. To Donald Trump it doubtless sounded triumphal, but to many of us it conveyed the mournful tones of a funeral dirge. The dirge reflected not merely the prospect of a Republican defeat in November, but the painful fact that such a loss, distasteful as it might be, would be preferable to a victory for Trump. If Trump suffers the devastating defeat in November that he deserves, the vital task of cleaning up and rebuilding the Republican Party can begin immediately. If he should somehow win, however, that task will be deferred indefinitely, perhaps forever. Continue reading
Is the contest for the Republican nomination over? Well, not quite, but it’s on a very thin edge. If the results of the New York primary were depressing, the results of this week’s primaries were devastating. Trump won every one of five states amassing a vote of more than fifty per cent in each. Senator Cruz was shut out, winning no delegates and finishing behind Governor Kasich in all but one. For his part, Kasich won a handful of delegates and had the distinction of finishing second in four states. Unfortunately, however, finishing second at this point is something like being given the Miss Congeniality title in a beauty pageant—it may provide a passing boost of morale but it gets you no closer to a tiara. The margin of Trump’s victories showed that, for reasons we still find baffling, his support within the Republican Party seems to be broader than many of us had assumed and hoped. Continue reading
We suspect that there are not a great many supporters of Donald Trump among readers of RINOcracy.com, but we all have friends, neighbors or relatives who may be. If you should engage them in the kind of quiet and civil conversation that RINOs favor, we thought it might be handy to have in your pocket a brief catalog of Trumpian statements that have convinced us that Donald is unfit for the presidency. As it happens, The Washington Post provided just such a catalog, and we reproduce it here in its entirety. Continue reading