Letter to Our European Friends
America is in the midst of an all-important electoral campaign. But, talking to Europeans, I've discovered that there is puzzlement and misinformation on your continent about what's happening on ours. Europeans feel an understandable confusion when faced with a political system consisting of two houses of Congress and a White House, and nobody is home in any of them.
Also, America's political parties are indistinguishable to the European eye. A British journalist once described the situation thus: "America is a one-party state, but just like Americans they've got two of them." (I forget which British journalist said that. But there are so many British journalists who should be forgotten. Maybe it was Alexander Cockburn.)
The difference between American parties is actually simple. Democrats are in favor of higher taxes to pay for greater spending, while Republicans are in favor of greater spending, for which the taxpayers will pay. In foreign policy, Republicans intend to pursue the war in Iraq but to do so with a minimal number of troops on the ground. This is not to be confused with the disastrous Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld policy of using a minimal number of troops on the ground to pursue the war in Iraq. Democrats intend to end the war, but they don't know when. Democrats are making the "high school sex promise": I'll pull out in time, honest!
Keep reading P.J O'rouke:s aticle over at Cato Institutes webpage
This must be one of the best explanations of the political scene in the USA I've ever read. Still it makes more sense than politics in Europe where we only have two flavours of politicians. One that are socialistic and one who actually doesn't deny that they are!