Brandywine Hundred Update

Jim Parks, editor

June 25, 2016

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WASHINGTON — Britain’s vote to withdraw from the European Union sent a shudder through the capital on Friday as the forces of economic nationalism and working-class fury forced American political leaders to wonder: Could it happen here?

Driving the “Brexit” vote were many of the same impulses that have animated American politics in this turbulent election year: anger at distant elites, anxiety about a perceived loss of national sovereignty and, perhaps most of all, resentment toward migrants and refugees.

These are the themes that Donald J. Trump harnessed during the Republican presidential primaries to explosive effect, and that he aims to wield to his advantage again in his race against Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump endorsed Britain’s abandonment of the European Union and hailed the vote during a stop in Scotland on Friday.

Veteran Republican and Democratic strategists say that Mr. Trump, and to a lesser extent, Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic contest, represent an American echo of the inward-looking politics that have swept across Europe in recent years.

“There’s a fundamental issue that all developed economies have to confront, which is that globalization and technological changes have meant millions of people have seen their jobs marginalized and wages decline,” said David Axelrod, a former strategist for President Obama and an adviser to Britain’s Labour Party in last year’s general election.

“And so lots of folks want to turn the clock back and make America, or their country, great again.”

Although Mr. Trump may struggle to convert a message of national retrenchment into victory here, some of the stark divisions on display in Britain do mirror political trends in this country.

The highly educated, younger voters around London who voted to remain in the European Union, for example, share some commonalities with the American urbanites who were the pillars of Mr. Obama’s coalition. And Mr. Trump has triumphed with the American counterparts of the British “Leave” voters: older whites who lack university degrees and live in less prosperous regions of the English countryside.

But beneath those generalities, there are crucial distinctions between the Brexit vote and the 2016 presidential election.

In the United States, there is no recent history of electing nationalist presidents hostile to immigration, and even recent Republican presidents have celebrated new arrivals as integral to American prosperity and identity.

American presidential elections are largely decided by a diverse and upscale electorate, anchored in America’s cities and suburbs. These communities more closely resemble London than Lincolnshire. Minorities made up more than a quarter of the electorate in the last presidential campaign.

And while Britain decided to leave the European Union through a popular vote, the White House race will be determined by the Electoral College, which is tilted toward the Democrats. Some large states with significant nonwhite populations have been out of reach for Republican candidates for much of the last three decades; California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania have voted for every Democratic nominee since 1992. Mr. Obama also won Florida twice, and Mrs. Clinton has a lead there now in part because Mr. Trump is unpopular with Hispanics.

Together those six states offer 166 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Mr. Trump is at an even greater disadvantage than other recent Republican presidential nominees because of his dismal standing with nonwhite, college-educated and female voters. Unless he can reverse the deeply negative views such voters have of him, he is unlikely to capture the voter-rich communities around Philadelphia, Denver, Miami and Washington that are crucial to winning the White House.

Joe Trippi, a Democratic political strategist who was a consultant for former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, said he expected the Brexit vote to embolden American conservatives. But their excitement, Mr. Trippi said, would be largely “a false read” of the results.

“There are some very similar things — a polarized electorate, nativism, nationalism were clearly big factors, and Trump exemplifies them here,” Mr. Trippi said.

“But there is a difference in the multiculturalism and diversity of the United States, versus nowhere near the same factors in the U.K.”

Despite high levels of concern about immigration and foreign trade, polls show that most Americans have so far recoiled from Mr. Trump’s specific policy proposals, such as deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants.

A survey published by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution on Thursday found that while Americans were closely split on the benefits of immigration and mostly said global trade was harmful, strong majorities rejected Mr. Trump’s promises to build a wall on the Mexican border and ban Muslim immigration.

Further, the vote in Britain was a referendum on a European entity that was easy to rally against, while the presidential vote here is increasingly becoming a referendum on a polarizing individual.

“Americans will be asked to vote for or against a person: Trump,” said Tony Fratto, a former press secretary for George W. Bush.

“And that’s a higher hurdle. If you want to express yourself with a protest vote, you’ll have to vote for Trump, and he is singularly unattractive and even offensive to a large majority of Americans.”

If the moment seemed to invite a triumphant, thematic victory speech by Mr. Trump on Friday, the candidate himself had other ideas.

Appearing at a golf resort he owns in Turnberry, Scotland, Mr. Trump applauded the vote as an expression of national anger. But in the course of a meandering news conference, Mr. Trump dwelled on the virtues of his property there, and compared the difficulties of the American presidency to the task of refurbishing a golf course.

Mr. Trump was dismissive of the economic ramifications of the referendum, and predicted that a downturn for the British pound would benefit his business. “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” Mr. Trump said.

Mrs. Clinton responded with restraint, issuing a statement offering “respect” for the decision made by a close ally and offering assurances about “America’s steadfast commitment to the special relationship with Britain.”

The larger impact of the vote may not play out in this fall’s election between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump. But it will almost certainly divide the Republican Party in the years ahead, deepening the internal rift caused by the rise of Mr. Trump and his coalition.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, both widely thought to be considering presidential bids in 2020, quickly released statements that seized on the “Leave” vote as an illustration of the disconnect between the voters and internationalist leaders in Washington, London and Brussels.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who are both more supportive of free trade and may also be eyeing the White House, issued statements that notably did not target technocratic elites.

Laura Ingraham, an influential conservative radio host who supports Mr. Trump, said both the Republican Party in America and Britain’s Conservative Party had been torn apart by “fights over globalism.” In both cases, she said, “working-class nationalists are seeking a major change” — so far, with some success.

“The G.O.P. is becoming more nationalistic, and this trend will probably continue whatever happens with Trump,” Ms. Ingraham wrote in an email before the referendum result was announced.




WASHINGTON — U.S. senators pushed for a compromise gun control bill on Tuesday, a day after the Senate failed to advance four gun measures following last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the deadliest in modern U.S. history.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would schedule a vote on a bill by fellow Republican Senator Susan Collins that would prevent about 109,000 people on "no-fly" and other surveillance lists from purchasing guns. Collins said she expected a vote on the bill this week or next.

On Monday, the Senate defeated a Democratic prohibition on gun sales to people on a broader range of government watch lists, while also blocking a narrower Republican measure.

Some senior Republicans would not commit to supporting the Collins bill, citing worries about people being denied the ability to buy weapons without adequate safeguards.

But the No. 3 Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, told reporters: “There may be a glimmer of hope now,” adding that Collins' proposal seemed to be "a step in the right direction.”

The measure is being debated in the Senate before the Nov. 8 election when Democrats hope to win control of the Senate and gain seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats believe Republican congressional opposition to wider control bills gives them a powerful campaign issue.

It was too soon to tell if President Barack Obama would support the Collins bill. Spokesman Josh Earnest said senior officials including lawyers at the Department of Justice were taking a look at it.

"If the assessment is that this would enhance the ability of our law enforcement professionals to keep us safe and prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing a gun, then that's likely something that we'll be able to support," Earnest told reporters in a daily briefing.

In the Senate on Monday, four measures to expand background checks on gun buyers and curb gun sales to those on terrorism watch lists - two put forth by Democrats and two by Republicans - fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage in the 100-member chamber.

The votes were a bitter setback to advocates who have failed to get even modest gun curbs through Congress despite repeated mass shootings. The bills lost in largely party-line votes that showed the political power in Congress of gun rights defenders and the National Rifle Association.

The White House accused U.S. senators of a "shameful display of cowardice" and said they failed the American people by not advancing any gun control measures after the Florida shooting.

-- New York Times




 ¶  Saturday, June 25  10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 26  10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Ice Cream Festival sponsored by New Castle County government and produced by Barry's Events  Rockwood Park, Washington Street Extension and Shipley Road, Brandywine Hundred  Admission $5; children under 12 accompanied by an adult free  Parking at and free shuttle buses from Merchants Square, Mount Pleasant High School and Rookwood Office Park

Monday, July 4   Independence Day  government offices closed

¶ Tuesday, July 5  1:30 p.m.  New Castle County Council Special Services Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 5  3 p.m.  New Castle County Council Land Use Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

Tuesday, July 5   5 p.m.  New Castle County Historic Review Board business meeting  Government Center,  87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons

¶ Tuesday, July 12  6:30 p.m.  New Castle County Council meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶  Thursday, July 14  6 p.m.  New Castle County Board of Adjustment public hearing, Government Center. 87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons  No agenda published

¶  Tuesday, July 19  9 a.m.  New Castle County Planning Board business meeting  Government Center,  87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons  No agenda published

¶ Tuesday, July 19  3 p.m.  New Castle County Council Land Use Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 19   5 p.m.  New Castle County Historic Review Board public hearing  Government Center,  87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons 

¶ Tuesday, July 26  1:30 p.m.  New Castle County Council Finance Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 26  3 p.m.  New Castle County Council Community Services Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 26  4 p.m.  New Castle County Council Executive Committee meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶ Tuesday, July 26  6:30 p.m.  New Castle County Council meeting  Louis L. Redding Building, 800 French Street, Wilmington

¶  Thursday, July 28  6 p.m.  New Castle County Board of Adjustment public hearing, Government Center. 87 Reads Way, Corporate Commons  No agenda published

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