Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, “What went wrong?”, they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: “Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?”
If you’re interested in reading any day-after stories examining at how so many people were caught so off-guard by electoral results that were pretty clearly forecast to anyone paying attention (also), Conor Friedersdorf’s smart take is a pretty good place to start.
Jodi Kantor’s story about the President’s competitiveness has gotten a lot of attention, primarily because it fits into (a) a narrative of the President as someone who is good at lots of things (as his supporters see it) or (b) a narrative of the President as a huge egotist (as his detractors would say).
For me, it brings something else to mind: Can you imagine being the kind of person who would run for President? And not just “run for President” in the quixotic sense. I mean being the kind of person for whom the presidency is an achievable goal, and being the kind of person who would then devote countless years toward achieving that goal, and being the kind of person who would see all of the obstacles and drawbacks and downsides and still want that job. Continue reading
Good lord, that took no time at all. Have you heard of Rep. Christopher Lee, a second-term Republican congressman from western New York? On Wednesday afternoon, Gawker posted photos and e-mails the married 46-year-old sent to a woman he met on Craigslist. He claimed to be a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist. Well, at least the last two could turn out to be accurate down the line. He resigned several hours after Gawker’s post.
Really, the most interesting part about this (besides the inevitable pearl-clutching that will ensue from Gawker bringing down a congressman, because shock and consternation over the role “tawdry blogs” play never gets old) is the speed. The report surfaced. There were some non-denial denials. Then, boom, he resigns. In hours. His actions alone weren’t particularly salacious; he’s just another rich and powerful guy who thinks he can step out on his wife and not get caught. This isn’t how America is used to sexual scandals involving members of Congress. There’s no underage male pages, no sexual advances in an airport bathroom and no prostitutes (the last guy still has his job, by the way). What’s more, where are the protracted denials and avoidance of the press and loud calls for his resignation, followed by a press conference where his wife is forced to grit her teeth and stand next to him? I’m so confused. When an elected official does something wrong, they are supposed to resign? Who knew?
What if Americans living in poverty had illnesses but nobody knew? A bill passed the House of Representatives that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to look into this, but it hasn’t gone anywhere in the Senate. Of course.