Transatlantic Punditry
July 20, 2010

My new Salon column is up, and this one puts my semester abroad to good use, taking British PM David Cameron’s recent “big society” announcement as a jumping off point to explore some of the differences between his party and the American Republican Party. As I put it:

Tories, for all of their myriad flaws, seem to be responsible adults who share some acquaintance with the real world. Republicans, on the other hand, are Republicans.

Go ahead and read the whole thing. And if you like it, today being Tumblr Tuesday and all, feel free to shoot me a recommendation.

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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┬áthrough 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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