Reading about the Republican convention in the UK is about as depressing as it gets. Everywhere it is the ABC so far as the “quality” press seems to go. This, from The Telegraph, the supposedly conservative paper of England, on Tuesday had only a minor story (page 14) on the convention and in relation to the single most important Republican meme – you didn’t build that – this is what they wrote:
Mr Ryan has led Republican criticism of Mr Obama for telling small business owners their success depends partly on government infrastructure.
Utterly unrecognisable. This is the theme of the entire convention, but that is how The Telegraph tries to explain it away. You would barely know what the reference is to so hard does the writer try to disguise the point.
So now I am reading The Evening Standard which provides the first press report available here in the UK. The story is entirely about Clint Eastwood which allows them to avoid actually having to dwell on what Romney said. And then on the editorial page, there is a full page article from someone who normally frequents salon.com. Amongst his concluding thoughts is this:
The relationship between Romney and his party highlights a longer-term problem. For the Republican Party, it means a nominating process that naturally selects less and less electable candidates, who must try to win with a narrower and narrower political coalition. For America at large, that means a national political discourse that moves farther to the right than ever.
For this character, the virtually undisguised socialist thoughts of the American president – re-distribution of wealth, greater central direction, higher taxes on the productive, betraying America’s allies – are all merely common sense and mainstream. It will be an interesting nine weeks to the election.