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Trouble Everywhere

Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, laments the state of the establishment. In a tweet, he said:

Government in US shut down. Complete meltdown in UK politics. Protest wave forces Macron into wide dialogue in France. Just mess in Italy. Still no government in Sweden. Another day these days…

The stalemate predicted by the last Belmont Club post is now fully evident. While Theresa May's Tory government could not sell its Brexit plan to Parliament, neither could Jeremy Corbyn seize power. Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg says he will back Theresa May in any confidence vote, "even if she stands on her head on the despatch box. ... I will not vote in no confidence against her to put a Marxist in 10 Downing Street."

The outbreak of unrest observed by Bildt is so vast that the Washington Post had an op-ed explaining it: Putin at work. The hand of Russian collusion is seen everywhere. "From Brexit to NATO and the shutdown, Putin is winning so much he might get tired of winning," it read:

We don’t know exactly how much Moscow spent supporting influence operations to impact the U.K. and U.S. elections in 2016, but it seems hard to overstate how good the Kremlin’s return has been on what Western intelligence agencies believe was a relatively modest investment.

Russian efforts to manipulate American voters during the last presidential campaign have been aggressively covered in this space, but the Kremlin’s bid to boost Brexit was perhaps even more brazen. The Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a meaty report last week about Russian influence operations overseas, but it was entirely overshadowed by the latest bombshells stemming from special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation. The 206-page report outlines Russian disinformation campaigns across 19 countries. It highlights loopholes in U.K. campaign finance laws that might have allowed an influx of Russian money to boost the referendum. That’s not to mention the propaganda from Russian-run Twitter and Facebook accounts, plus state-funded media.

It's worldwide conspiracy. If anything the problem with the Mueller investigation is it is too small -- like sending a rowboat after a megalodon. If the op-ed is right then they're going to need a bigger special prosecutor.

The alternative explanation for the perfect political storm now rocking the West is that a substantial number of people actually voted for Brexit, and Donald Trump, and are angry with the policies of Emmanuel Macron, reflecting some kind of global revolt by the Western "have-nots" against the "haves."

This possibility was advanced by Glenn Reynolds writing in USA Today. "Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad." It's the Deplorables versus the New Class: