As this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) opens, we're seeing an interesting new phase in the evolution of the American right. While political movements usually have internal debates about where they should position themselves ideologically, the right has become the "big tent" the GOP always claimed to be. Worried about the Bilderberg Group imposing a one-world government? Want to go back to the gold standard? Spend a good portion of your time painting Hitler mustaches on pictures of President Obama? Don't feel fully dressed unless you're wearing colonial-era garb? Then come on in -- we couldn't be happier to have you.
Today, a group of movement right muckety-mucks released "The Mount Vernon Statement," meant to be a guiding document for their side. You've got the heavyweights -- Ed Feulner of the Heritage Foundation, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform -- and a few lesser lights, such as professional gay-basherElaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness. The document itself is about as vague as it could be. There isn't a single policy issue mentioned; just a lot of repetitions of phrases like "founding principles" and "limited government."
Feeling the need to pretend they actually have a desire to reform health care, Republicans have seized on two things they can repeat: 1) We should have "tort reform," which when Republicans design it means making it almost impossible to recover reasonable damages for medical errors, and 2) We should "let people buy insurance across state lines."
"The unexamined life," Socrates said, "is not worth living." Pretty much what you'd expect from a philosopher with the luxury of lying about in a toga contemplating the procession of his days. Nevertheless, today the march of technology allows us to examine our lives in ways we didn't before -- and, of course, convey the results of that examination to others. I give you 2009 in the life of Dan Meyer, a high-school math teacher and edublogger living in Santa Cruz (via Boing Boing):