Another Word With My Penn Pal
May 07, 2010
Oh, one more thing about that Mark Penn: In noting all the wrong things about his op-ed, I left out this part: Thursday's elections in Britain could be a harbinger of what is likely to come to America in the not-too-distant future: new movements and even parties that shake up the political system. Cleggmania shows that even the most tradition-bound electoral systems are facing the pressures of rapid change made possible by modern communications. ... In Britain, the scandal over parliamentary expenses and frustration with the economy produced great demand for new choices.
This Is No Rout
May 07, 2010
Unequivocally, the British public has voted for equivocation.
The Government We Deserve
May 05, 2010
So what has the British election been about anyway? The answer isn’t flattering to Brits.
Rick Hertzberg notes that if the Liberal Democrats get to hold the balance of power in the U.K. elections, they'll probably demand a referendum for proportional representation: There are many possibilities. But if you want to know what the Lib Dems really want—their beau ideal, their Holy Grail, their single-payer system—it was explained twenty-seven years ago, by the great John Cleese, in a ten-minute “party political broadcast” he made for the SDP/Liberal Alliance in the 1983 general election. The video is a fantastic find.
April 21, 2010
What, you ask, is going on? The honest answer is that no one in Britain really knows what is happening with our election.
The Liberal Democrats’ Moment
April 20, 2010
Seldom has a single debate had such an impact on a political campaign. A week ago, jaded observers were wondering whether David Cameron’s Conservatives could hold on to the lead over Gordon Brown’s Labour Party that they had enjoyed for more than two years, and the Liberal Democrats seemed doomed to their traditional also-ran status.
March 15, 2010
LONDON -- Could Prime Minister Gordon Brown become the Harry Truman of British politics? For many long months, Brown and his Labor Party were written off as sure losers in this year's election, likely to be called for May 6. David Cameron, the young, energetic and empathetic Conservative Party leader, was all but handed Brown's job by the chattering classes, so consistent and formidable had been his lead in the polls. But suddenly, Cameron doesn't seem quite so inevitable. One recent poll showed Brown's party within two points of Cameron's.
Obama Sticks to His Guns
December 02, 2009
Listening to Barack Obama explain his new strategy for Afghanistan tonight, you may have been struck by a sense of deja vu. Before a sea of somber West Point cadets, Obama invoked the grim memory of the September 11 attacks. He vowed that the days of “blank check" policymaking are over. He called al Qaeda a “cancer” that threatens the region and said he would not allow the group a safe haven there. He insisted that the U.S. would get tougher about corruption within the Karzai government and would extend a hand to low-level Taliban fighters willing to switch sides.
Correspondence (February 7, 2005)
February 07, 2005
EURO TRASHED There is one subject that I wish John B. Judis had dealt with in greater depth ("Unreconciled," December 20, 2004). He quotes Spanish Prime Minister Jos Luis Rodriguez Zapatero telling Der Spiegel that "Europe must believe that, in 20 years, it can become the most important world power," but Judis makes this sound like a reaction to George W. Bush's reelection. Having watched the European Union take shape while working in Europe over the last decade, this "world power" attitude was as present in Europe during the early '90s as Judis says it is today.
December 18, 1995
By all measures, Gordon Brown’s Labour Party is going to be trounced at the British polls next month by either the Tories or the newly ascendant Liberal Democrats (or both). With Brown’s popularity lagging, it’s easy to forget that the Labour Party once represented an exciting modern progressive party—particularly back when Tony Blair was on his way to becoming prime minister, and he and Brown were heralded as the party's future.