Tuesday, May 18, 2010


"I just said it was like a cross between a bulldog and chihuahua,
but what I meant is it will have a
fantastic hybrid vigor."
Boris Johnson - Mayor of London

Most Americans are paying little or no attention to the recent elections in the UK. I might be among them were it not for the fact that I indulge in a bit of BBC on podcast while out walking off the pounds. What I've enjoyed most about the recent UK excitement is the way the right (Cameron and the Conservatives) have so easily found a route to compromise with the (sort of) left (Clegg and the LibDems.) (Please pardon my parentheses.)

Our own Barack Obama has been attempting to travel a similar course, with many unexpected and, doubtless, heartrending roadblocks thrown up in his way. Somehow, he managed to endorse offshore drilling for oil just in advance of the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico. Somehow, he managed to endorse the SM-3 missile interceptor system just before it was shown to be pretty-much worthless. Honestly, I don't believe the guy is an asshole — but I think he's been getting some pretty bad advice.

The Far Right has taken over the Republican establishment, and the Tea Party dorks are almost a breath of fresh air — kind of like a right-of-center LibDem-ish minority. There is nobody even remotely open to compromise in the GOP except for, perhaps, Lindsey Graham and those two women from Maine. Unlike just about all the other Republicans, they're not unmitigated opportunists — they say what they mean. (I especially admire Lindsey Graham, for his genuine respect for the law.)

Frankly, Mr. President, this might be an ideal time to be a one-term president, so stop trying to compromise and take a firm stand. Dump those Rubin relics, repudiate the remnant Clintonians, and just lose the goddamned election in 2012! The steps the new president will be forced to take — to deal with an ongoing economic crisis — will be so unpopular that his or her party will be pesonae non gratae for many subsequent years.

Take one for the team, and stop trying to be all things to all people. You're not.

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