Rees-Mogg Nonsense

The title for the worst or most fatuous MP these days usually goes to the one in the news, but Rees-Mogg is, per usual, a special case. Let’s start with the standard nonsense:

In my view, an extra 33 months of vassalage after 46 years is an unwelcome but not unaffordable price to pay.

There is, of course, no rational sense in which EU membership, esp for the UK, is any kind of vassalage. I mean, really.

But that’s just normal bullshit. What set me off is this:

He played down claims that businesses need certainty – a key argument made at the moment by business leaders and MPs arguing for a softer Brexit. When it was put to him that uncertainty about the UK’s future after Brexit was bad for business, he replied:

The truth is, business is all about uncertainty …

There is no certainty in business. The whole art of business is trying to manage uncertainty. Investment decisions aren’t made for certain facts. You can’t be certain that anyone will buy your car when you have built it. All business is based on uncertainty, and managing uncertainty.

Yes, dude, the point is that one way to manage the uncertainty facing the UK is to get out of the UK, postpone investment, or otherwise hedge your bets. This is an excellent way to reduce economic activity, and thus prosperity. It also tends to promote a vulture culture where wealth destroying rentiers and he like destroy vast swaths of value to make a private profit.

Oh right!

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Malthouse What?

Even the Guardian:

The “Malthouse compromise” – named after the junior minister, Kit Malthouse, who brokered it – is a proposal to replace the unpopular backstop with alternative technological arrangements to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland. It is supported by Baker, other Eurosceptics and the pro-remain former ministers Nicky Morgan and Damian Green, both of whom will attend further meetings with Barclay on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“As far as I’m concerned the Malthouse compromise is the only game in town if we’re going to reach an agreement in Brussels,” Baker said, indicating that only rewriting the draft withdrawal agreement to remove the backstop would satisfy Tory Brexiters.

In what sense is this a compromise? Who is compromising with whom?

Putting aside that the thing “agreed to” 1) isn’t specified, 2) was specifically rejected in actual negotiations, and 3) doesn’t exist, it’s unclear what was given up!

These no reason for anyone to call this a compromise. I don’t know if there’s a word for “go along with a delusion in order to temporarily secure votes” but that’s what this is. Maybe we should call it a “May-bail”.

If Your First Failure Was Ridiculous

Then doing the same thing again is more ridiculous.

It of course doesn’t mean that second time won’t be the charm.

I really hope that Brexit and the Trump/McConnell shutdown knocks on the head the silly theory of negotiation that gets mobilized against Obama eg about the stimulus. It goes something like “Ask for twice, no, 10 times what you really want and then you’ll get what you really want.”

I mean, this theory is trivially bonkers yet mobilised a lot. Along with all sorts of “just force them to agree” lines.

In the end, being a nasty, untrustworthy person in a negotiation, esp with professional negotiators, isn’t going to go well. And it will poison future negotiations.

Abuses of MLK

I love MLK. I love reading and studying his work.

I hate the misuse of his thought by people trying to steal his stature. Close to the worst I’ve seen of this is my our disgraceful Vice President:

Yes, it’s really that gross.

Needless to say, anyone with a passing familiarity with King would know that he’d be entirely against Trump and even more against the entire TRumpublican enterprise particularly on immigration.

And he would make a strong argument on Christian grounds. Mike Pense is no MLKesque Christian.

When To Give In

Sean Ehrlich things the Dems should cave soon:

I have considerable sympathy for his view though I pushed back against it in that thread.

The shutdown is hurting so much and will get worse. People are suffering. Public employees are owed better.

And it’s all so very very stupid. The material stakes are nothing. It’s very similar to people going on about the “iconic” blue passports that we could have had without Brexit.

But yielding to madman is with considerable risk as well.

I’m glad I’m not making these decisions.

May Loses Again

Well that was brutal, even more than expected: the Government lost by 230 votes. We’ll see if there’s confidence in this government very soon.

There might be! Or rather, as with the leadership challenge, Parliament might have little stomach for any alternative. It’s not clear that a general election would sort anything and the real chance for a Corbyn Government is toxic for most Tories.

Putting aside my feelings about Corbyn (he sucks), this is clearly a case where having a more radical leader is blocking things. If almost any other non corbynite MP were leader, it would be much easier to peel off Tories for a GE. If Corbyn were remotely competent, I think we’d have more of a chance.

It’s very unclear how to u break UK (or US) politics.

Tantrums Generally Don’t Work

Things are weird:

President Trump stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not fund a border wall even if he agreed to reopen the government, escalating a confrontation that has shuttered large portions of the government for 19 days and counting.

Stunned Democrats emerged from the meeting in the White House Situation Room declaring that the president had thrown a “temper tantrum” and slammed his hands on the table before leaving with an abrupt “bye-bye.” Republicans disputed the hand slam and blamed Democratic intransigence for prolonging the standoff.

Did he really think saying “I’ll end the shutdown then you’ll give me the wall” instead of “Give me the wall and I’ll end the shutdown” would do anything?

This is, amazingly, even stupider and more petulant than Brexit (though less consequential). Well, maybe it’s not stupider, but it’s comparably stupid. And that’s damn stupid.

We’re talking $5 billion. For something that hard line immigration folks don’t want. This isn’t how you run…anything. Much less a government.