Why Brexit stalled and other commentary

Conservative: Why Brexit Stalled

In a long essay for the Claremont Review of Books, reporter Christopher Caldwell sorts out the issue at the heart of Britain’s political turmoil: “why Britain’s government has thus far not declared its independence from the E.U. despite an explicit promise to its people that it would do so.” Reason No. 1: Opponents “include almost the whole of Britain’s political, economic, and journalistic elite, and they have been ingenious in finding ways to block it.” EU law, “entrenched” in the UK since 1973, empowers courts over Parliament, “a superb thing for the rich,” since “the legal profession is credentialed by expensive and elite professional schools.” So the UK’s negotiators with the EU saw their job as a “damage-limitation exercise” and allowed the Irish border, “an issue that no one had even considered until Brexit was voted” to become “an E.U. veto on the whole of Brexit.” In short, UK politics are in “chaos” because the fight “pits a savvy elite against a feckless majority.”

From the right: CNN’s Climate-Change Crack-up

“The most benign” climate-change proposal at CNN’s seven-hour town hall was “more authoritarian than anything Donald Trump has ever suggested during his presidency,” David Harsanyi thunders The Federalist: Every Democratic candidate was “not merely proposing massive societal upheaval but mass coercion.” Because CNN calls climate change a “crisis,” Democrats could hysterically offer “Nostradamus-like” predictions, with everyone from Pete Buttigieg to Joe Biden endorsing the Green New Deal to some degree. And when an audience question pushed population control, Bernie Sanders “agreed, promising to back more U.S. funding for abortions in the developing world.” “Sooner or later,” Harsanyi notes, “converts to utopianism are going to start demanding that rhetoric, which is always ratcheting up to new apocalyptic heights, align with policy.” That makes the candidates’ proposals not just unworkable, but dangerous.

From the left: The DNC’s Climate-Debate Phobia

The Democratic National Committee worked “to prevent a climate-specific debate” but “CNN picked up the baton” with a town hall that may have been “a seven-hour slog,” but was a “welcome marathon of substance,” Sophia Tesfaye contends at Salon. Tellingly, Joe Biden appeared “often confused,” while Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris “talked big” but fell short “on the details of a solution” to climate-change fears. Bernie Sanders slammed Andrew Yang’s proposal to use nuclear energy as a “false solution.” Yet “the night’s standout” seemed to be “Elizabeth Warren,” who “scoffed” at Chris Cuomo’s query on regulation of light bulbs. In Tesfaye’s view, “CNN showed that the DNC had little to fear.”

Culture beat: The Rise of ‘Woke Capitalism’

For decades, “CEOs of mighty enterprises shied away from politics, especially hot-button social and cultural issues,” but “no longer,” sighs Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon: “Suddenly, corporate America has a conscience,” aligned “comfortably on the left” — “woke capitalism.” The corporate elite lives in an “inescapably center left” environment and has adopted “the rhetoric, tastes, ideas, and affiliations of their cultural milieu.” That’s led to everything from corporate boycotts over “laws opposed by pro-choice and LGBT groups” to Walmart’s decision to end sales of ammunition. But: “The politicization of firms is a double-edged sword,” and “woke capitalists remain accountable to consumers and to shareholders.”

Libertarian: YouTube’s Not Censoring Prager

At Reason, Jacob Sullum debunks Dennis Prager’s claims that YouTube is violating the First Amendment by limiting access to his Prager University videos, allegedly because of their content: “The First Amendment is a constraint on government, not on private publishers.” After a federal judge rejected Prager’s claim that YouTube is a “public forum,” he now argues that it is public because it’s a “world force.” That, Sullum grouses, is “the sort of loosey-goosey reasoning that conservatives like Dennis Prager have long condemned when it’s employed by advocates on the left.”

— Compiled by Karl Salzmann & Mark Cunningham

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