December 13, 2018

PM Theresa May Survives Confidence Vote

Prime Minister Theresa May survived a confidence vote from her Conservative party on Wednesday, but more than a third of her lawmakers said she was no longer the right leader to implement Britain’s exit from the European Union… May on Monday canceled a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal… after it became clear she would lose [the vote].”

See past issues

From the Left

The left thinks May’s opponents were foolish to call for a no-confidence vote, as she’s the only chance for a non-disastrous Brexit agreement.

“What doomed the [hardline] Brexiters' arguments against her leadership was the growing realization in recent months that they had no plan of their own. Their vague strategy to withhold some of the divorce payment, deny the problem of the Irish border, seek to reopen negotiations and hope that German carmakers make a fuss wasn't just unconvincing; it was so ridiculous as to make transparent their real aim of leaving without a deal.”

“The truth is – and always was – that the implacable anti-Europeans were never going to muster the votes to get rid of May. The numbers were clear. So were the lack of realistic options… May would have had to have been found drunk in the gutter before most Tory MPs would have voted her out at a difficult time like this… The prime minister is a lame duck, it is true, but she remains a remarkably resilient lame duck.”
The Guardian

“However much they hate her deal, it at least guarantees the economy will not fall off a cliff and that life in the UK can go on as is for the foreseeable future while the UK and EU work out what comes next.”

Any Brexit deal involves bad choices. Either Britain pays an economic price for losing access to markets, or — if Britain stays inside European customs arrangements without helping to set the rules — there is a price to be paid in influence. With an eye on voters’ wallets, May chose the latter.”
Washington Post

Some are suggesting a second referendum. “The negotiations between Britain and the EU have exposed the full downside of Brexit…

"Neither the supporters nor the opponents of Brexit like it. But the alternative is to leave the EU without any deal, which could cause major disruptions in air travel, financial payments, goods shipments and other interactions between Britain and EU nations. Britain would have to endure whatever the EU chose to impose. Fortunately, there is a solution to this excruciating dilemma: Let the people vote again.”
Chicago Tribune

“With May having more than a third of her own party against, the Brexit agreement she has forged looks dead in the water… Nor is May in a position to negotiate a new deal, since the EU has taken a take-it-or-leave-it position. May’s one path forward might be to push for another Brexit referendum.”
New Republic

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right sees the confidence vote as a setback for both May and supporters of no-deal Brexit.

From the Right

The right sees the confidence vote as a setback for both May and supporters of no-deal Brexit.

This is not a victory in any real sense for May, as she seeks to secure… support for her Brexit deal. Government figures tonight are surprised by the number of MPs voting against… The pitch today has been that May will deliver Brexit and then go. Today’s result means that she can do little more than that.”
Spectator USA

“May is no closer to winning a Parliamentary majority for any plan, let alone hers. Various factions support her deal; her deal if she can wrest a few more concessions from Brussels; a deeper trade deal resembling Norway’s; a second Brexit referendum; or no Brexit…

“But the failure of the Brexiteer coup against her signals there’s also not enough support for a hard no-deal-with-the-EU Brexit… ardent Brexiteers… may be right that theirs would be the better form of Brexit, but they’ve failed to persuade a majority of their fellow Tory MPs.”
Wall Street Journal

Pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg writes, “As a London cab driver told me yesterday, he did not vote for a deal. He voted to leave… The Government’s Policy… has produced an agreement that fails to deliver Brexit and breaks Theresa May’s own promises. This has lost her the confidence of the House of Commons, for she can no longer push her most important business through, and by all constitutional precedence she ought to resign.”
The Sun

Others, however, argue that “nobody can deliver what the Leave campaign promised the electorate ahead of the 2016 referendum. Yet, May concluded an agreement with the EU that in many ways squares the circle

"The compromise leaves a lot to be desired. But it allows for an orderly departure and opens the way toward concluding a deep free-trade agreement with the EU before the UK is relegated to the status of a third country. More importantly, the EU, for which Brexit is of secondary importance, is simply not going to go back to the negotiating table in earnest.”
American Enterprise Institute

“The result of the no-confidence vote is to create more uncertainty ahead of a vote on May’s withdrawal agreement. The fact is that Brexit was an attempt to reassert the sovereignty of Parliament. But the balance of power in the U.K. Parliament is against Brexit, whether it be a no-deal crash out, or Theresa May’s negotiated version. Britain is sliding into the constitutional crisisthat exists between a sovereign Parliament and government-by-referendum.”
National Review

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

'Hi-tech robot' at Russia forum turns out to be man in suit.
The Guardian

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