1. Karla Adam in the Washington Post:
The details of President Trump's state visit to the U.K. are still to be penciled in. But following an extraordinary intervention Monday evening, it now seems unlikely that he will be extended the honor of addressing both houses of British Parliament.The United Kingdom is such a close ally of the United States that it is described as a "special relationship." Now the other half of that special relationship is outright rejecting the United States president, and with good reason.
Citing "racism" and "sexism," the speaker of the House of Commons told lawmakers Monday that he was "strongly opposed" to the president addressing both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall. President Barack Obama delivered a speech in the medieval hall in 2011, the first American president to do so.
"I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump," John Bercow said.
"We value our relationship with the United States. If a state visit takes place, that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the speaker. However, as far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism, and our support for equality before the law, and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons."
...He added: "Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump, I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall."
Bercow's intervention was greeted with cheering and applause by some members of Parliament.
Even more alarming, an editorial by Klaus Brinkbäumer in the German newspaper Der Spiegel argues: "Europe Must Defend Itself Against a Dangerous President."
Germany must stand up in opposition to the 45th president of the United States and his government. That's difficult enough already for two reasons: Because it is from the Americans that we obtained our liberal democracy in the first place; and because it is unclear how the brute and choleric man on the other side will react to diplomatic pressure.Emphasis mine.
...It is literally painful to write this sentence, but the president of the United States is a pathological liar. The president of the U.S. is a racist (it also hurts to write this). He is attempting a coup from the top; he wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power. He fired an acting attorney general who held a differing opinion from his own and accused her of "betrayal." This is the vocabulary used by Nero, the emperor and destroyer of Rome. It is the way tyrants think.
...Trump fuses these worries of his voters with nationalism and xenophobia. That's how demagogues work and it is how they become effective. The fact that the United States, a nuclear superpower that has dominated the world economically, militarily and culturally for decades, is now presenting itself as the victim, calling in all seriousness for "America first" and trying to force the rest of the world into humiliating concessions is absurd. But precisely because this nonsense is coming from the world's most powerful man, it is getting trapped by him.
This is not a threat that will somehow resolve itself. The German economy has become the target of American trade policy and German democracy is ideologically antithetical to Trump's vision. But even here, in the middle of Germany, right-wing extremists are trying to give him a helping hand. It is high time that we stand up for what is important: democracy, freedom, the West and its alliances.
This does not mean escalation or that we must abandon our contacts with America and all the working groups between our governments. What is does mean, though, is that Europe must grow stronger and start planning its political and economic defenses. Against America's dangerous president.
The above, in combination with increasing suspicion from our allies around the world that they cannot trust Donald Trump and the rest of his administration with intelligence that won't get leaked or shared with Vladimir Putin, is making us immediately and observably less safe. Which is to say nothing of Trump's belligerence toward foreign leaders, and his administration's determination to cause trade wars with Mexico and China, just for a start.
Republicans spent eight years (mendaciously) saying that President Obama had undermined our standing around the globe and made us less safe. That was not true. It was never true.
But in two weeks, Trump has done precisely that. And the self-proclaimed patriots of the Republican Party are silent.