As expected, British Prime Minister Tony Blair today announced that he would step down from that position on June 27th. Blair has served for ten years, and the British electorate has clearly grown tired of a man whose admitted charms are intertwined with a streak of officious sanctimony so severe that it makes Mario Cuomo seem humble by comparison. Also, there's that whole Iraq thing. In today's Times, acerbic commentator A.N. Wilson suggests that Blair "got involved in the calamity because, once again, he is superficial, decent and brave," but that somewhat misses the point: Britain is a client state of this country and has been for nearly seventy years (Google "lend lease" if you're interested). None of the four opposition leaders Blair saw off during his tenure would have done anything differently: We own them. Which is why sappy Tony has a bright and lucrative future delivering inspirational speeches to convention halls full of businessman in the Midwest. So long, Tony. Thanks for doing as you were told!

Blair to stand down on June 27 [Guardian]
A Player Who Never Found His Stage [NYT]