One Thing the Election Won’t Change
November 2, 2010

is the course towards a potential “undeclared war” in Yemen. The sad fact of the matter is that a Republican Congress will be far too busy investigating the Obama administration’s illusory ties to the New Black Panthers and whether or not the EPA is engaged in a conspiracy to blunt the impact of climate change for them to bother with trivial matters like the expansion of our national security apparatus and its heavily classified, intermittently monstrous activities.

Besides which, the GOP has no credibility on these things anyway. They got the ball rolling on both the unitary executive and the one percent doctrine, so it’s a little late for them to feel outrage at these things. Not like they would, anyway; for all of the Tea Party’s talk about liberty and small government, there’s no squaring that with the fact that Sarah Palin — Mama Grizzly herself — has taken most of the surviving neocons on as her own little bear cubs.

Happy election day, everybody!

(By the way: I’m going to continue linking to most of my posts over at the League, because I am shameless, but you would do well to follow them anyway. It’s a great stable of writers. Additionally, there’s my author-specific page and accompanying RSS feed.)

Ahead of the Curve
July 26, 2010

On my way back from #nn10 (from which I’m still recovering), I checked my RSS reader and noticed that the Washington Post was running a piece of analysis titled What the GOP could learn from Britain’s Tories.

Well gosh, that sounds a lot like a Salon column I wrote not one week ago!

While I suspect the conclusions Dan Balz and I draw on what policy lessons the right should take are pretty similar, the differences in our pieces are, I think, pretty instructive. I want the GOP to make a serious philosophical overhaul—Balz, on the other hand, comes to the fairly predictable conclusion that their problems could be solved through triangulation, aiming for the center, etc.

While it’s true that the Republican Party could benefit from coming back from the far right fringes, that seems to me like a pretty banal point. And in this column, as in so many other pieces of political analysis written in objective journo weaselspeak, the good is framed as being entirely a matter of electoral advantage.


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Post-Politics GOP
July 6, 2010

John Boehner
Image via Wikipedia

When the Republican Party originally announced they were going to solicit popular opinion through the Internet, I have to admit that I was a little confused. Weren’t the most avid users just going to be Tea Partiers? Wasn’t the GOP just going to take all of the answers and process them into a cosmetically modified version of the old platform? Why forestall the inevitable?

Well evidently, they’re trying to forestall it because it means that they effectively don’t have a platform in the meantime. And you don’t have to defend your crazy platform if you don’t have one!

Example A: The odd spectacle that is John Boehner—who, if the GOP does well in this election will become Speaker of the Houseclaiming he has “no idea” whether or not his own party is for privatizing Social Security.

Of course, we know that the GOP is for it. If we know it, then no way does Boehner not know it. But for another month, or however much longer they can drag this out, he can pretend the matter is totally up in the air, thereby avoiding a situation in which he is forced to insult either the Republican base or basic sanity.

Maybe once people get sick of watching him punting that particular ball down the road, the RNC can release an updated party platform in wingdings. Then they can shrug their shoulders and say, “Sure, we’d like to tell you our position on Social Security, but this is going to take a while to translate.”

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