The weekend is almost here! Kick it off right with the Friday Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they celebrate the United Kingdom finally exiting the European Union Friday. They also discuss the latest impeachment news and how Democratic senators have already decided that Trump won’t really be acquitted unless they get to call new witnesses at the trial. They’re left scratching their heads as Democrat John Delaney ends a two-and-a-half year presidential campaign just three days before people finally start voting. And in a Super Bowl pitting the 49’ers and the Chiefs, Jim still finds a way to root against the Patriots.
Rob Long of National Review Online is here in Jim’s absence. Join Rob and Greg as they cheer a major step in the Brexit process in the UK and apply the lessons of that odyssey to American politics this election year. They’re also a bit stunned to see Bernie Sanders not only leading in a nationwide poll but also jumping out to a double-digit lead in New Hampshire. And they have a field day with former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart tweeting out a conversation he overheard of GOP senators panicked over the impeachment case presented by Democrats, only to admit many retweets later that he just made it up.
It’s finally Friday! Yes, we are fully aware of the impeachment votes in the House Judiciary Committee but Jim sums up his analysis in roughly two seconds as we begin today’s podcast. After that Jim and Greg celebrate the big win for the Conservative Party in the UK and are thrilled to report the political demise of Jeremy Corbyn. They are also hoping that the substance matches the excitement as Congress prepares to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to replace NAFTA and President Trump announces agreement on “phase one” of trade negotiations with China. And Jim details why Joe Biden’s campaign could face serious turbulence after reports that Hunter Biden had a 1988 drug arrest expunged at the same time Sen. Biden was advocating for very tough drug crime sentencing.
Another fruitless search for good news today but we have plenty to say about our bad and crazy martini! Join Jim and Greg as they react to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez openly cheering on anti-Semitic, America-hating Jeremy Corbyn to be the next prime minister in the United Kingdom. They fume as Rep. Rashida Tlaib falsely assumes the race of the people responsible for targeting and killing of Jewish people in Jersey City. They also slam the media for losing interest in the murders when the facts of the case don’t support their preferred narrative. And while Democrats haven’t even taken over the Virginia General Assembly yet, they’re already talking about deploying the National Guard to counties that refuse to enforce their upcoming gun control legislation.
Luke Coffey, direction of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation, explains what happened in the UK this week and why.
Why did Prime Minister Boris Johnson ask Queen Elizabeth II to suspend parliament? Why did this common tactic cause such a stir that Johnson lost his working majority in parliament? Why does Johnson want new elections? Why does parliament oppose them?
Listen to the full podcast as we address all of these questions and discuss the impact of all of this on Brexit and why there’s such a sharp divide between what the public wants and what parliament wants.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up three more delicious martinis. First, they cautiously applaud the selection of Boris Johnson as the new British prime minister in hopes the UK can finally deal with Brexit in a good way and they eagerly await the Trump-Johnson press conferences. They also commend Democratic House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal for not bowing to the progressive whims to demand Trump’s New York state tax returns immediately. And they enjoy hearing 2020 hopeful and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard insist that Sen. Kamala Harris is not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will resign next month over her inability to get a Brexit deal approved by parliament, and a former aide to the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher says new leadership will likely mean a clean exit for the country from the European Union.
May took office in 2016 in the wake of British voters approving Brexit. Prime Minister David Cameron immediately stepped down after vigorously leading the effort to defeat Brexit. Cameron said a supporter should lead the effort to leave the EU, but May’s approach led to one failure after another.
“Theresa May has failed to deliver on Brexit. She has also been seen within the conservative party as incredibly weak in her dealings with the European Union,” said Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation and a former assistant to Thatcher after she left office.
May spearheaded two failed attempts for a Brexit deal to clear the House of Commons. It was clear her third attempt would fare no better. Gardiner says the prime minister suffered loss after loss because she kept pursuing the wrong priorities.
“The agreement between the British government and the European Union is in many ways a very bad deal. It doesn’t guarantee that Britain is able to exit the EU Customs Union. What that means is that Britain would not be able to sign its own free trade agreements. It would be subject to EU tariffs It would be, in essence, still a part of the European Union,” said Gardiner.
“In many ways, Theresa Mayu is the antithesis of Margaret Thatcher. She displayed no real courage in the negotiations with the European Union. She did not stand up to the EU. She caved in to all of their demands. It was a disastrous handling of Brexit and it’s time now for a new prime minister who actually fully believes in Brexit and is going to deliver on it,” added Gardiner.
Conservative Party members already raised two no-confidence votes against May, but she survived both challenges. Gardiner believes efforts to change the party rules to remove May, coupled with a looming disaster in EU parliamentary elections, played a significant role in May’s decision to resign now.
“I think she jumped before she was really pushed out,” said Gardiner.
Former London Mayor Boris Johnson is seen as the front-runner to become party leader but Gardiner expects 10-15 people to run for the position. And he’s confident that whoever emerges will be serious about implementing the Brexit that voters approved three years ago.
“The majority of leading contenders to replace Theresa May are Brexiteers. They’re people who voted for Brexit and believe in Brexit and who are prepared to implement a no-deal Brexit as well,” said Gardiner.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Gardiner explain the specific Brexit idea that sealed May’s doom within her own party and how the leadership change will likely impact U.S.-British relations for the better.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the recent charges brought against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and dismiss his claim of being a journalist. They also cross the pond to the UK, where Prime Minister Theresa May is resigning over the Brexit debacle and size up the race to replace her. Finally, they collectively cringe at what may be the most embarrassing book interview of all time, as a British host politely points out feminist Naomi Wolf based a major portion of her book on an incorrect assumption about historical records.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is assembling a new plan to pursue the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, but this effort is likely doomed as well since no consensus exists to honor the Brexit wishes of the voters.
May’s most recent Brexit plan was crushed in the House of Commons, largely because her own Conservative Party cannot agree on a strategy and opposing parties don’t want to help her either.
“Within the Conservative Party, there’s a huge split between those who see the deal as a repudiation of what the people voted for. Over 17 million Britons voted to leave the European Union and they don’t see this deal that she put forward to them as actually bringing about a removal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
“Then you have another element within her party I think that believes that this deal does too much,” said Daniel Kochis, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
Kochis agrees with the first argument, that May is trying to force through a plan that will still leave the UK beholden to the European Union, specifically the customs union.
“I don’t think that this withdrawal agreement did enough. It kept the United Kingdom in this sort of de facto limbo or perpetual limbo, where they were going to have to abide by the same sort of regulations and rules emanating from the EU but they would have lost their seat at the table to vote on those to help shape them,” said Kochis.
“Many members of the British public and of Theresa May’s own party saw this for what it was. It was a soft way to keep the UK within the European Union, They rejected that as not something the British people voted for,” he added.
But what is the U.S. interest in all of this British drama? Kochis says a lot could be at stake and the U.S. stands to benefit from a clean Brexit.
“It’s in our interest to have a United Kingdom that is sovereign, that can dictate it’s own trade policy, that can dictate it’s own border policy and not allowing itself to take in hundreds or thousands of people against the will of their own citizens.”
“It would allow them to be a strong defense partner for the United States. For instance, [Britain is] one of the key intelligence allies the United States has. There is some concern that were they to stay in the European Union that that could be damaged,” said Kochis, who also thinks a bilateral trade deal with the British could be a very good thing for our relationship and our economy.
Listen to the full podcast as Kochis explains why the UK leaving the European Union without a deal on March 29 might be the best case scenario. He also explains why Theresa May keeps hanging on to her job despite repeated failures at getting a Brexit deal approved.
On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence among her fellow Conservative Party members of Parliament.
While May survived, the margin was far from convincing. Over a third of her own party expressed no confidence over her rocky handling of the Brexit effort.
But without an election hanging over her head, what can May do to build confidence and where will the UK head on Brexit after the latest effort failed to pass the House of Commons.
Listen to our conversation with Anglosphere Society Founder Amanda Bowman as she discusses these issues and why she shudders to contemplate where Great Britain would go if the Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn ever became prime minister.