Liberal Pundit Josh Marshall: American Right Favored Brexit Because of the ‘Same…Nonsense That Animates Trumpism’

June 26th, 2016 11:54 AM

Though the Brexit debate didn’t break down along ideological lines, some liberal writers focused their morning-after scorn on pro-Leave conservatives. Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall wrote that it was a “source of comic relief” to “watch…American conservatives take a Brexit victory lap” and pooh-poohed their contention that Brexit is Britain’s “ticket to reemerging as a great power.”

To the contrary, Marshall sniped, Britain “ceased to be a great power because it lost its imperial holdings…not because it joined the EC/EU (forgive me, 'duh' gods for stating the obvious.)” In Marshall’s view, American conservatives rooted for Brexit because of “the same turn back…the clock to glory nonsense that animates Trumpism…American conservative glee [over Brexit] is just a retreat to the tribalism at the core [of] its nature.”

The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman thinks Brexit further decreases the chance of a Trump win: “There’s a lot of speculation that something similar could happen here in America in our presidential election. But giving the American people a few months to witness the shitstorm created by this right-wing tantrum in England probably makes that less likely than ever.”

In fact, mused Benjamin Wallace-Wells of The New Yorker, progressives across the Atlantic may soon look at the U.S. as a model in much the same way American liberals used to regard Scandinavian social democracies (bolding added):

The Democrats have become the party of vocal American exceptionalism. This is partly a direct response to Donald Trump’s paranoid claims that the United States is a “third-world country” and the subject of collective global mockery. But it’s also the case that, against the nationalism rising across Europe and at home, American liberalism does look more isolated, and more singular. “We’re still, in Lincoln’s words, the last, best hope of earth,” Clinton insisted, in a speech denouncing Trump, in San Diego, early this month. Or at least, the last best hope of liberalism. One irony of Clinton’s candidacy is that she is projecting a globalism not obviously shared by others around the globe—not even by America’s most traditional ally. The liberal project is increasingly an American one.