Saturday, September 28, 2019

Why does David Brooks hate America?


By Nellie Bly
Spy Washington Bureau with
A.J. Liebling, Meta-Content Generator

What happens when a columnist who does business as a Complete National Disgrace (evidence at left) offers his thoughts on the fate of a President who is also a Complete National Disgrace?

Take your time, it's not a trick question.

We really weren't going to drag the ol' Perfesser and ex-Jew David Brooks in this season of teshuvah, or as the current Mrs. Brooks would say, what's that, but the opinions he expressed on Friday were broadly representative of a stain [Surely, strain? – Ed.] of thinking surprisingly popular among white male pundits, some of whom should know better.  Hello, Scott Lehigh!

In brief, the argument seems to be that while the evidence that President Pussy Ass Bitch has committed 143 impeachable offenses, it would be better to let him get away with them and try to beat him next year, because that would be more “democratic.”

We'll skip over the most obvious but irrefutable rejoinder to this argument that many have already pointed out [Louise, find some – Ed.], which is that letting President PAB get away with rigging two elections on the grounds that you can beat him in rigged election #2 seems to be fraught with contradiction.

Instead, let's plunge right into the ol' Perfesser's stream of words (we'd hesitate to call it an argument).  We accept his claim that he truly hates President PAB and wants him out.  So in his mind the question is purely pragmatic: how best to do so?

As is often the case with Complete National Disgrace, his column derails in the second paragraph:

Remember, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. There is no obligation to prosecute.

That's not how we remember impeachment, possibly because it's not true.  It could not be clearer from Art. I of the U. S. Constitution, secs. 3 and 4, and Art. II, sec. 4 that impeachment only lies for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” all relevant here.

Here's Art. I, sec. 3:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. 

Now maybe Madison, Hamilton and the other framers were not very good with words (they certainly had trouble spelling), but when a document uses words like “try,”  “convicted,” “judgment,” “Chief Justice,” and “preside,” there is the implication that the drafters are talking about a legal process.

Perhaps the ol' Perfesser means to suggest that there is inevitably a political dimension to the decision to prefer Articles of Impeachment, but impeachment itself is a legal process for relief from and punishment of official wrongdoing.  Prosecutors have discretion over whether to bring a criminal case, and political pressure may bear on that decision for good or ill, but there is a fundamental difference between a criminal trial and a committee markup.

We perseverate on this because the ol' Perfesser's knowing or negligent failure to understand the role of impeachment as vindicating the rule of law turns out to be, in the words of noted jurisprude Jerry Seinfeld, “a pretty big meatball.”

Brooks predicts that the Senate wouldn't convict because it is packed with Republican stooges (53 at last count).  That is true today, although for those of us old enough (such as Compete National Disgrace Brooks) to remember 1974, the number of Senate votes can change in a hurry, if the House presents a compelling case for impeachment, as it did in 1974.  Of course if the House serves up a dog's breakfast of bullshit and blowjobs, as it did in 1998, the Senate won't be moved much.

But Brooks seems to think that a well-found impeachment vote followed by an ill-considered acquittal in the Senate would be bad.  Why?  “An ugly backlash could ensue.”

Has he looked out the window?

It's ugly out there now, because Republicans have learned one lesson from 50 years of hate speech, lies, and destruction of political norms: they work when Democrats are cowed by them.  And if Democrats are bullied out of taking appropriate action to protect the Constitution and the rule of law because Republicans will make things ugly, then Democrats will never get anything done and the Republic will go down the tubes.  That strikes us as a worse fate than an “an ugly backlash.”

Indeed we're so old we remember when white male pundits told Martin Luther King not to fight for civil rights and all of us not to end the pointless massacre of Vietnam on the grounds that doing so would lead to “an ugly backlash.”  The prediction was correct, but not many, other than the ol' Perfesser, would agree that fear of such a reaction should keep us from trying to do the right thing.

Further, from his listening post in an elegant little sopprassata bistro in Chevy Chase, just inside the Beltway, he has his manicured finger on the national pulse:

This is not what the country wants to talk about. Pelosi said she would not proceed with impeachment unless there was a bipartisan groundswell of support. There is no bipartisan groundswell, and yet she’s proceeding. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, only 37 percent of Americans support impeachment.

Funny how time flies when you're trying to save the Republic.  Here's another poll result published September 26:

Voters are now evenly split on whether Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, a marked increase in support for impeachment, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

“David Brooks said what?”
Sounds like a lot of people in the country do want to talk about impeachment.   It also seems that the more evidence of misconduct the Democrats adduce, the more public support grows. Maybe Brooks can tell us when he thinks the poll numbers justify starting the machinery to protect our Constitutional order, because as we all know, that's a decision you take only when the polls tell you to.

But Complete National Disgrace's little essay jumps the tracks, plunges down the ravine, and bursts into flames when he contrasts impeachment with an election.  Impeachment, he says, is “elitist” because 100 Senators, many rich, white, and insufferable (no argument there), would decide, while an election is open to all, unless their right to vote has been stolen by um, a Republican elite.

We never realized that principled conservatives like C.N.D. Brooks held representative democracy in such contempt.  We think it's a pretty good idea, for the reasons set out in Federalist Paper #10.  In any event, the wisdom of vesting the legislative power in representatives acting on behalf of citizens having weighed all of their concerns (not just a faction thereof) rather than in a referendum strikes us as even more cogent today, if you look across the waters at the collapse of responsible government in the United Kingdom.

Brooks' argument proves rather too much before it swallows itself: if it's elitist to let Senators decide the guilt vel non of the Grifter-in-Chief, surely it's equally unsupportable for them to decide how to tax and spend for the general welfare, or indeed to exercise any other enumerated or implied legislative power.

And the election is not a referendum: it chooses representatives (including a Chief Magistrate) who then carry out the business of government having obtained the consent of the governed.  So an election isn't any more or less elitist than an impeachment trial.  They are in fact two aspects of the very same legitimate form of government: representative democracy.

Which leaves us with only one question: why does Complete National Disgrace Brooks hate this country and its form of government?

Saturday, September 21, 2019

News from Zontar: no high crimes here either

Editors' Note: Every often the Spy Deep Space Desk receives transmissions from the planet Zontar in the Remulac system, millions of light years from Earth.  It's often hard to make sense of these garbled transmissions but we present them so that you the reader can get an idea of what alien life is like in the far reaches of the universe.  This week, apparently due to a break in the Deep Space-Time Continuum, we are in fact getting dispatches from the future from Zontar.  Amazing isn't it?  Yes, there is still much we don't know about – [They get the set up – Ed.]

Zontar date #hs45g9007 [equivalent to November 1, 2019]


WASHINGTON, D.Z. – A second intelligence whistleblower has told the The New Zork Times that Prezident Donald Z. Trump has shared the nuclear missile launch codes with Ruzzian Strongman Vladimirz Putin.  According to these reports, the Prezident offered to share the launch codes so that Putin could use them to threaten his neighbor Zukraine.

In response the White House said, “So what if he did?  The President can share nuclear launch codes or anything else because he is a very stable genius.”

Pressed by NBZ News Correspondent Krizten Zelker if the President really thought that sharing top-secret nuclear information with the nation's leading nuclear-armed adversary was really in the best interests of the country, the President said, “That's a stupid disgusting question and you're a filthy liar who whores herself out to sailors for nickels.  Lots of people are saying that.”

The accusations against the veteran NBZ News Correspondent were greeted by the White House Press Corps with shocked silence.  Later, in a diner outside of Zenia, Ohio, retired mall cop Jim Clark said, “That's what I like about the President.  When you hit him, he hits back twice as hard.”

Reaction on Capitol Hill to the latest revelations was divided along partisan lines.  House Speaker Nanzy Pelozi called for Congress to outlaw sharing nuclear launch codes with foreign governments.  But staunch supporters of the President continued to defend him.  “The Democrats should end this witch hunt and join us in cutting Social Security,” said Congressman and former wrestling coach Zim Zordan of Ohio.

Not all Republicans endorsed the President's actions.  Before leaping in front of a moving Capitol subway car to avoid reporters, Sen. Suzan Collinz of Maine said she was “disappointed” to hear of the President's actions and that comparing news correspondents to prostitutes “was something we shouldn't do.”

Zontar date #hs45g90a2 [equivalent to December 15, 2019]


Charges that the President shot a man in Reno
have Democrats on the defensive

According to a report in today's Zontarian Post, a whistleblower in the Nevada State Police's criminal investigation unit has discovered that the same night then-busto developer Donald Z. Trump banged porn star Stormy Danielz at a Lake Tahoe resort, he later drove into the nearby city of Reno and shot a man just to watch him die.

In response, the President's Nevada legal team broke off their ambulance chase and headed into Federal Court demanding that the judge block disclosure of any information related to the alleged slaying, including, according to the Post account, video recordings, ballistics evidence, and a confession Trump allegedly made later that night to Danielz when he stopped by her room to buy her silence with a cool $20.

The President's lead counsel, Rudi Zuliani, in a rambling interview on ZNN Cable News, denied that the President was in Reno that night or any night and even if he was, he was within his rights to be there.  He said the real question was why former Vice President Zo Biden was seen conferring with a man known to have had frequent contacts with Putin and other foreign dictators.  Asked by ZNN if the man in question was former President Zarack Obama, Zuliani said, “No he wasn't.  Of course he was.”

Republicans generally dismissed the story as “nothing new.”  “We've been hearing reports for years that the President has murdered people or ordered them killed for years, and it's just the same old fake news,”  said Senate Majority Leader Mitz McConnell.  “Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to meet my wife for a nooner, which is something that I enjoy on a regular basis,” he said, before pulling his head back inside his shell.

Democrats called for a full investigation into the new charges, and said that if President did not comply, they were likely to send scores of angry Tweets.  House Speak Pelozi called for new laws to prevent Presidents from killing a man in Reno just to watch him die, or for any other reason not legitimately related to national security.

Zontar date #hs45g0a15 [equivalent to April 4, 2020]


The mystery over the sudden disappearance of more than 100 Dalmatian puppies from the Animal Rescue League of Palm Beach County deepened on Sunday when the President was spotted playing golf at one of his busto golf courses wearing pants that appeared to have been stitched from the skins of Dalmatians.

According to The New Zork Times, their ace White House Correspondent, Mazzie Zaberman, asked the President if he was wearing leisure wear made from the hides of murdered puppies.  The President responded that if he did, he would be within his rights and said his golf attire was “pitch-perfect.”  He then called Ms. Zaberman “a cheap skank who chases after troop ships.”  In a statement, New Zork Times editor Zean Zaket denied that his reporter was a cheap skank who chases after troop ships, and called the President's rhetoric “not ideal.”  Sources close to the President's daughter Zivanka said she was troubled by the remark.

Do swing-state voters care about
puppy murder charges against President?
On Schlox News, former White House Press Secretary Zarah Zanders termed the allegations “fake news from the pro-puppy lobby.”  She said real Americans support the right of the President to wear whatever clothes he wants, and to kick his ball back on to the fairway in the exercise of executive privilege.

Asked if this latest Presidential outrage would finally be sufficient to warrant impeachment, Speaker Pelozi said, “The Democratic House has a strong pro-puppy agenda that it will pursue aggressively.”

On the Senate side, Republican statesman Wilfred Z. Romney said, “Speaking of dogs, have I told you I like the hot dog?”

While some members of the media believe that the puppy-skinning charge may be an “inflection point” in the endless impeachment debate. New Zork Times columnist David Brookz reminded his readers that Democrats were calling for single-payer health care so both sides were responsible for the current political climate.

The latest controversy does not appear to be hurting the President with the billionaires he depends on to finance his re-election bid.  Said hedge fund mogul Steven Z.  Zwartzman, “He can skin, chop up, and eat puppies all day long, but unlike Elizabeth Zarren he's not going to raise my taxes!”

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Talk Civility to Me

Editors' Note: Now that the Red Sox have resumed their 20th century behavior (huge expectations followed by collapse), thus bringing the baseball season to an end, you may find yourself with time on your hands. Why not pick up a good book? Excellent idea!  We recommend One Man's Meat by E.B. White. Whatever you do, don't go near any of this fall's unreadable tomes. As a reminder to recent Spy devotees, an unreadable book is not just bad, it's so trite and obvious that you can absorb its contents without having to so much as open its cover. For example: 


A Republic if You Can Keep It
by Neil Gorsuch
Crown Forum
$30, already marked down to $17.99

You'll recall Neil Gorsuch as a supporting player in one of the most seedy and corrupt bits of political business in recent decades: the decision by the Republican Party to deny real President Barack Obama the right to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, not because the nominee was unqualified (the nominee being the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Merrick Garland), but because the Republicans wanted to see if by some Moscow-directed miracle, their candidate would win in 2016 and thus fill the seat with a reliable reactionary Republican.

Neil Gorsuch learned how important civility was
from an early age.
So it was, and so Neil Gorsuch now occupies Merrick Garland's seat, one brick in the crushing conservative majority on that Court.  Therefore we are surprised to learn that his book embodies a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin, warning in effect that a Constitution was all well and good, but it would take the continuing commitment of later generations to democracy, representative government, and the rule of law to protect the infant nation.

You'd expect from the title a dire warning from “Thanks Mitch” Gorsuch about the peril in which the Republic finds itself, but you'd be wrong.  Instead what you're going to get is a rehash of the complaints of privileged white men who live in fear that their power and glory will be undermined by those less worthy than themselves, e.g., women, people of color, immigrants, and even fellow white men who don't regard the current corrupt plutocracy as entirely consistent with the ideals that animate the best of our country.

Much of the whining is couched in terms of “civility:” the rejection of any criticism of white male power on the grounds that it is not sufficiently restrained or eloquent.  All things considered, we like civility too, or at least not getting the finger when we try to merge on to the Mass. Pike at rush hour.

But, as Rebecca Traister and others have pointed out, civility as a cover for the effort to delegitimize the justified complaints of the oppressed and powerless is, to put it civilly, a crock.  To put it less civilly, it's a tool of oppression.

Indeed, the entitled white man view of civility is entirely cramped: it's civil to wrest babies from their mother's breasts and chuck them into cages, gerrymander minorities into political irrelevance, and subvert all American political norms in the relentless pursuit of money and power.  Calling a reactionary white male hack a “bedbug” (in the context of a news report about actual bedbugs at his workplace) – that's beyond the pale.

Is it civil for a mediocre white lawyer who has spent his entire life enjoying his privilege and in turn working to bend the law to advance it to demand (as Gorsuch does) that if you don't like the current arrangement of power and wealth in America, you should leave the country?

We think we have the answer:

Fuck no.





How to Fight Anti-Semitism
by Bari Weiss
Crown (again)
$20, already marked down to $15.46

Here's what you can learn by reading Bari Weiss's book:
1. Anti-Semitism is bad
2. That's all she knows about it

Tell you what, just send us $10 and we'll call it even.
Bari Weiss interviewed the leading authorities on anti-Semitism


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Spy book excerpt: A Very Stable Genius Plot by John Barron

A VERY STABLE GENIUS PLOT

by John Barron*

*($34.95, coming soon from Schlox Books)

Editors' Note:  In addition to its incisive reporting and commentary, the Spy tries to keep up with the best of contemporary fiction.  There's a lot of it around these days, but among the most exciting tales we've heard recently is this excerpt from the forthcoming thriller, A Very Stable Genius Plot, by John Barron.



[As our story opens, The Very Stable Genius President has saved Alabama from a terrible catastrophe by unleashing a Category 6 Twitter Storm.  But the calm doesn't last long as developments in the strife-torn Middle East threaten the very existence of the illusion of The Very Stable Genius]

Chapter Five

The Washington sun gleamed through the windows of the office of the CIA Director, Helga Torment.  She sat at her polished cherry-veneer desk reviewing her morning briefing on her Agency's top-secret GMAIL information management system.  Thanks to the cutting edge technology deployed by the CIA, all the latest intelligence was displayed in summary form on a giant screen on her desk, known to Agency insiders as a “monitor.”


The CIA Director was eager to meet
with her ace agent
Director Torment bit her lip.  She played with the bronzed enema bag on her desk – a souvenir from her days fighting terrorism in Afghanistan.  The news from Alabama was good – they had been spared a terrible hurricane thanks to the wisdom and leadership of the Very Stable Genius.  But the wily Iranians were now threatening to plunge the world into a nightmare of nuclear war.  Step one: sell their oil to someone.  Step two: use the money to buy food and medicine for their people.  Step three: the nightmare of nuclear war.

They had to be stopped, and Director Torment knew just the man for the job.  She pressed the buzzer under her desk.  At once, nine heavily armed SWAT troops invaded her office and sprayed it with automatic weapons fire from their highly customized AR-15 weapons, bought covertly at an arms bazaar in Annandale, Virginia.

“At ease, men,” said the director, silently cursing herself for not remembering that the buzzer on the desk summoned her assistant, while the buzzer under the desk summoned the anti-hostage strike force.

The burly chisel-jawed leader of the squad, Sgt. Fury, said “No problem, ma'am.  We'll send in Martina.”

An instant later, Martina, a tall statuesque redhead with a slight Eastern European accent, walked in the office.  Director Torment had hired her on the personal recommendation of the Very Stable Genius and she did not disappoint.  From the look in Sgt. Fury's eye, she had not disappointed him either.

“Vat you want?” Martina asked crisply, like the consummate professional she was.

“Get me Jack Ryan.”

Chapter Six

Night had fallen by the time that Captain Jack Ryan USN, ace intelligence operative, had been brought to CIA headquarters via the sensitive VIP transport program code-named UBER.  Although Ryan had been on duty since the 1980's, he still looked not a day over 35, or perhaps 40 depending on which has-been was playing him.

Dressed in an immaculate navy-blue Men's Warehouse suit and polished cordovan wingtips, he looked every inch the veteran Washington hand that he was.  On his wrist he wore the advanced timekeeping system issued to every senior intelligence officer, known as CASIO.

“It's good to see you Jack,” said Director Torment, rising from behind her desk to grasp his hand and stroke his manly cheek.

“It's good to see you too, Madame Director,“ he replied like the disciplined Naval officer that he was.

“Please call me Helga,” she said, ushering Jack to a luxurious black Naugahyde sofa against the far wall.  She sat next to him, stroking his dark hair, clipped short. “Perhaps you're wondering why I called you here so suddenly.”

Jack smiled, in an extremely masculine yet oddly compelling way.  “You need my help?”  It was more than a guess.  On his way to the meeting, Jack had absorbed a vast range of background material covering all aspects of US national security as well as the traffic on the Outer Beltway, thanks to his confidential source known only as WTOP.

“An Iranian-flagged vessel is planning to ship fuel to Syria in violation of UN sanctions.  They have to be stopped,” said Director Torment.

A violation of UN security council resolutions?  Jack knew that letting the Iranians defy UN sanctions could lead to the unraveling of the entire system of international law.  The effects on global peace could be incalculable, he calculated.

With the lightening-quick thinking for which he was famous, Jack said: “Here's my plan.  We set up an untraceable cutout in the Cayman Islands and hire an agent to represent it.  The agent would offer the captain a million dollars to steer the vessel to a friendly port.  No one would even know we were involved.”

The Director picked up her direct line to UBER and entered in the top secret coordinates for their emergency trip: the White House.

Chapter Seven

Sanjay, the trained UBER operative specially selected for this mission, showed how he earned his five-star rating and only two hours after leaving Langley, Jack and the Director were dropped off outside the Secret Service post on West Executive Avenue.  The uniformed heavily-armed agent picked up his phone to clear the two senior agents into the West Wing.

The crack White House security team was hard at work, but Jack could only hear the agent's side of the call.  “CIA Director Helga Torment and her escort,” said the guard.  He paused. “The CIA.  The Central Intelligence Agency,” he explained with the attention to detail for which the Secret Service was famous.  After another pause, the guard said, “No I haven't seen the KFC shipment.  Yes I'll send it in as soon as it arrives.”  Turning to the two CIA operatives the agent handed them their temporary ID badges on lavalieres and said, “Go right in.” Jack noticed that both ID's, to protect operational security, were marked MCLOVIN.  The Secret Service never misses a trick, Jack thought.

Inside the Oval Office, the Very Stable Genius sat behind his desk dipping McNuggets into top-secret sauces.  Also in the famed chamber, which was shaped like an oval, was the burly Secretary of State, who stood next to the President opening the sauce packets, and a group of interns.

Jack quickly outlined the plan to the group.  Displaying his extraordinarily high IQ, the Very Stable Genius cut to the heart of the matter: “This guy looks like the asshole who plays me on Saturday Night.  Tell him to fuck off.”

The President decided on Intern Brian's plan
The Secretary of State put down the barbecue sauce packet and turned to the intern who was opening a fresh Diet Coke for the President.  “Brian has an idea,” said the Secretary in his down-home Kansas twang.

The intern, smoothly pouring the soda over the top of the glass and onto the rug, said, “I can send the captain an email offering him the million and telling him we'll hunt down his relatives in the United States if he doesn't play ball.”

All eyes fixed on the Very Stable Genius.  He popped another McNugget into his mouth and said, “I love it.”

“I love it,” said the Secretary of State.

“I love it,” said Director Torment.

Suddenly a hidden door opened.  In walked the Vice President.  No eyes turned toward him.

[If you want to know the thrilling conclusion, you'll just have to buy the book – Ed.]

Sunday, September 1, 2019

East of here: Who fears Europe? Not the proud men of England!


By Isabel Archer
Spy London Bureau

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's scheme to close down Parliament and take the United Kingdom out of the European Union on October 31 with or without a deal has generated a firestorm of controversy in old Albion.

Government reports turning up in the press now warn of delays in transporting goods across the new UK/EU borders in the Channel and across the Irish frontier.  The latest tocsin of disaster, leaked to Sky News, outlines the dire threat with precision:

  • On day one of a no-deal Brexit, the worst case scenario would be a two-day maximum delay for freight and vehicles at Dover and an average wait of one-and-a-half days. 
  • That could amount to a pile-up of up to 8,000 vehicles. 
  •  Even with a best case scenario, with businesses as prepared as they possibly could be, vehicles will be waiting for two to three hours, with 50% of vehicles waiting for at least eight. 
  • The report also says that many haulage companies, faced with lengthy new processing periods, will simply cancel their vehicles' journeys (and with them their cargo) because of long waiting times.
Post-Brexit fine dining
Such delays would lead to shortages of basic commodities, painful truck pileups at Channel ports, and the likely loss of trade in fresh produce, meat, and seafood, to the detriment of British exporters and anyone in the UK who would prefer not to subsist on bangers and mash.

The concerns were consistent with an earlier Government report that the lobby for British grocers (the BRC) seems to take rather seriously:

The BRC highlighted how the government's own no-deal Brexit document, leaked to the Sunday Times last month, revealed that "certain types of fresh food supply will decrease" in the event the UK left the EU with no withdrawal agreement.
"The government's own assessments showed that the flow of goods through the channel crossings could be reduced by 40-60% from day one, as would the 'availability and choice' of some foods," the BRC spokesperson added.
"The BRC's own assessment has shown that soft fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, tomatoes and lettuces, would likely see reduced availability as they are largely imported during the winter months.

And if the prospect of subsisting on beans and Bovril has you reaching for the Prozac, well,
according to the BBC:
While there are regular fluctuations in medicine supplies, there are concerns a no-deal Brexit could make shortages worse.
About three-quarters of the medicines and most of the clinical products we use come from or via the EU.
The government says the main risk to supply is reduced traffic flow between the ports of Calais and Dover or Folkestone.

As usual, the Brexiteers who have told the British for three years that leaving the European Union would be easy and profitable have a ready response to any concerns that such predictions were a load of bollocks: any warning of dire consequences is nothing more than “Project Fear.”

It's gotten to the point where anyone pointing out the plausible ill effects of a cliff-edge Brexit has to apologize in advance.  Here's a recent example by the head of a well-known far-left cadre:

Members of the CBI understand that politicians are facing desperately hard choices and want them to hear the economic evidence direct. This is not politics, spin or “Project Fear” scare tactics. It is what British businesses are saying. One of the loudest messages is that no-deal Brexit is not the end of chaos for business, it’s just the beginning. As one chief executive put it to me, it’s a swamp not a cliff-edge. No deal can sound like a glorious leap to freedom, a clean break. But that’s dangerously false. For thousands of companies it would mean extending crippling uncertainty against a new backdrop of ill will.
The Trotskyite who penned those words in the pinko Financial Times?  Welcome, Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry.

When mouthpieces of capitalism like the CBI have to defend themselves in advance from claims that they are merely stoking unfounded fears and the Frenchies will cave at the first sign that their roast beefs are being withheld at the Channel, it sounds like British political discourse has reached a new low.

Apparently not.

Nigel Farage, shown here with his
Brexit Party brains trust
We sent our intern Louise Mensch into the archives to see if she could find any other time in the history of the United Kingdom in which voices attempting to sound the alarm were told they were simply trying to create baseless fear for political advantage.

She found one.  It involved a British politician who warned about the dire effects of a deal with Europeans that that Tory Government of the time thought was a pretty good deal.  Said politician, widely regarded as a crank and a has-been, excoriated the Government on the floor of the House of Commons and raised the specter of dire consequences.

It did not go over well with the ruling Tories:

Lord Maugham called [the man] an “agitator” who should be “shot or hanged.”  The Times reported that [the man] had “treated a crowded House to prophecies which made Jeremiah appear an optimist” and referred patronizingly to his “dismal sincerity.”  His speech, according to the Daily Express, was “an alarmist oration by a man whose mind is soaked in the conquests of Marlborough,” and his failure to support the government “weakens his influence among members of the Conservative Party.”  (W. Manchester, The Last Lion: Alone at 372.)

The man was Winston Churchill.

The threat was Nazi Germany.

The issue was the surrender of Czechoslovakia at Munich. 

The chaser: Everything Churchill feared came to pass.

But that won't happen this time because [Louise please confirm] Nigel and Boris have promised the English that crashing out of the EU will definitely lead to peace in our time.