Sunday, January 26, 2003

Tony's New Crony-Here's a cute food fight- two Americans telling the British what to do. Patrick Ruffini has this paean for Tony Blair
I like Iain Duncan Smith as much as the next guy. But by reaching an unpopular decision rooted in moral conviction and standing with the U.S. on Iraq, Tony Blair has attained the full measure of a statesman. This is why I think it's especially important that those of us on the right here in America refrain from supporting the Conservative opposition and tacitly support Blair's re-election in 2005 or 2006.
You might call off the dogs some, but you have to give the Tories some props, especially if Blair continues to mugwump on the Euro and greater EU intergration and the Tories run a solid pro-US Eurosceptic platform.
It's a tough call to make. When it comes to taking the war on terror to Iraq, the vast majority of Blair's Labour MPs aren't just unhelpful; they're proactively malignant. There's also a strong possibility that Blair will be replaced sometime after the next election with someone more eurocratic than he, Gordon Brown being the most obvious contender. If Blair is party leader at the next election, one fervently hopes that, armed with vindication in Iraq, he can use his centralized authority in the party to drum out the neo-Trotskyites and groom a pro-American successor. But even setting these hopes aside, it just seems right to me that the need to reward a good friend should overwhelm all else, even ideology.
The problem that could happen if Blair does run the neo-Trotskyites out is that they run to the Liberal Democrats, making them the party of the left and squeezing out NuLab. The trick will be for Blair to keep control of the party without POing the hard-left of the party. If Blair does lose control of the party to the leftists, the Tories will be their to win the next election. If Blair does keep control, we have a fight between two fairly pro-US candidates. However the Conservatives would be better partners in international affairs. As far as rewarding friends, you still run candidates against a honorable member of the other party. For instance, would the Georgia GOP have rolled over and played dead if Zell Miller had run for another term? Their heart might not have been in it, but they would have run a solid campaign and lost 60-40. No, you still back the Conservatives, but don't lose too much sleep if Labour wins. As I recall, Churchill was voted out of office in 1945 after the war was over. The campaign posters were, IIRC, "Thank you, Winston. Vote Labour." Time to reverse the field-"Thank you, Tony. Vote Tory."

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