Arlo Guthrie: Republican

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When I wrote that Alec Baldwin had come out as a Republican, I was being ironic — merely highlighting his political incoherence in favoring tax breaks for the TV/film industry.

But there’s no punchline with Arlo Guthrie. It is actually true. Ron Radosh is spreading the news, quoting Arlo from today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine.

[Arlo:] I became a registered Republican about five or six years ago because to have a successful democracy you have to have at least two parties, and one of them was failing miserably. We had enough good Democrats. We needed a few more good Republicans. We needed a loyal opposition.

Five or six years ago. In case the dates don’t add up for you, that was during the administration of George W. Bush! And evidently, Arlo remains a Republican, because he sees the need for a “loyal opposition,” one that in the time of Obama mania he seems to think is more necessary than ever.

I suspected something was going on with Arlo. Two years ago, at a concert he gave at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia with his family, he uttered some pointed words about how he was fed up with trade unions, whose featherbedding forbade people like him to carry his own guitars onto stage. Breaking the union rules, he made a point of telling us that he was doing it anyway, “despite the union.” He also said: “I used to think I knew all the answers. Now I don’t even know the right questions.” I guess he won’t be singing Woody’s “Talkin’ Union” anymore.


Addendum: Appended to Ron Radosh’s original post is now a statement by Arlo describing his current political outlook in more detail. He’s more or less a libertarian type, I think it’s fair to say.

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By RWB on Sunday, July 26, 2009 · Posted in Commentary on current events