NATO’s real crisis is Turkey and other comments

NATO’s real crisis is Turkey and other comments

Foreign desk: Trump Can Teach May How To Listen

President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May will have lots of issues to talk about when they meet privately Friday. But Sven Hughes at London’s Spectator hopes Trump adds a “discreet word” — not about policy, but about listening. By which Hughes means “the fine art of hearing the voice of the public,” because the British leader, embattled over Brexit, has become “so focused on what she wanted to sell, that she stopped listening to what the audience wanted to buy.” And while Trump can be accused of many things, “being disconnected from his base is not one of them.” Hughes’ plea to the prez: “Get her to start listening before it’s too late” and “we all feel that it’s no longer worth trying to speak to her.”

Diplomacy watch: This Trump Is the ‘Comeback’ Artist

Commentators often suggest reading President Trump’s 1987 book on negotiations, “The Art of the Deal,” to better understand him. But watching President Trump’s foreign diplomacy, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius suggests they’d be better off reading his 1997 memoir on climbing out of bankruptcy, “The Art of the Comeback.” In it, Trump “is feisty, but he’s also wounded. He has bluffed and bargained his way back from the brink.” He believes his predecessors and traditional allies ran the project into the ground, and he’s “investing in a new set of friends and forgiving past transgressions to build a new portfolio.” In this light, consider the North Koreans’ flattery of Trump and stated desire to formally end the Korean War as a hint “they know their man” — that is, the “hungry-for-new-partners ‘Comeback’ artist.”

Historian: How Justice Souter Built the Trump Court

The Supreme Court seems headed for its most conservative era in 80 years if Kavanaugh is confirmed. Jeff Greenfield at Politico suggests the person most responsible is former Justice David Souter — who “retired nine years ago, and whose departure had no impact on the ideological composition of the court.” Nonetheless, he “fundamentally altered the political terrain on which the coming confirmation battle will be fought.” When President George H.W. Bush nominated him at a time of mounting conservative frustration with the activist liberal court, Souter’s sponsors assured he was “a home run for conservatives.” Yet he quickly became “one of the staunchest liberals on the court.” That “created a rallying cry” on the right: “No More Souters.” And it justified Republicans’ willingness to “vote for a candidate who, in earlier times, might have been happily abandoned” but was seen as reliable where judges are concerned.

Security desk: NATO’s Real Crisis Is Turkey

European nations see President Trump as the biggest crisis facing NATO, given his belligerent rhetoric. But as Bloomberg’s Eli Lake notes, “US policy — so far — has not reflected Trump’s tantrums.” American troops remain in Poland and sanctions on Russia are still in effect. And focusing on Trump’s tweets runs the danger of ignoring a much bigger problem: Turkey, which has become “the weak link in the alliance” and is “slipping into the sphere of influence of Russia — the very country that NATO was created to deter.” Ideally, this week’s summit “would be an opportunity for the US president to cajole European allies into presenting a unified opposition to [Recep] Erdogan’s conduct.” But he hasn’t availed himself of that opportunity, and they’re not inclined to shift the focus, either.

Media critic: Identity Politics Claims Another Newsroom

After staff members objected, Business Insider this week pulled Daniella Greenbaum’s article defending Scarlett Johansson, who’s under attack for portraying a transgender man in a coming film. John Sexton at Hot Air argues Greenbaum presented “a fairly reasonable argument. Acting is about pretending.” But “that was too much” for her colleagues, who got the piece taken down by claiming she has “no expertise” on the subject. Sexton notes that “it seems pretty clear that ‘expertise’ in this case means agreeing with the left.” Then BI issued a vague statement faulting Greenbaum for “name-calling” by using the phrase “social justice warriors” — as if Business Insider’s “own actions didn’t prove the author had a point that went well beyond name calling.”

— Compiled by Eric Fettmann

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