Friday, June 21, 2013

Catch of the Day

Kevin Drum's correspondent asked:
So, I'm just waiting for the inevitable piece from Ron Fournier asking why and how Obama and the Democrats could have let the Farm Bill debacle in the House occur. Or, how this demonstrates a lack of leadership in Washington, particularly by Obama. Or, how the leaderlessness of the White House is infusing into the House through some osmosis-like process and corrupting John Boehner.
And the winner is...NBC's First Read: "Leaderless in Washington: [...]  Bottom line: Nobody is really running Washington right now, and the public is noticing."

So I got cranky, and wrote something here about "really running" Washington and separated institutions sharing powers and the rest of it, but I'll add one more thing: no, the public isn't "noticing." Mass publics don't pay attention to squabbles such as the farm bill fiasco; they don't pay attention to who is up and who is down in the estimation of the pundits and reporters; they don't know, and don't care, about most of what people obsess about in Washington. Including those things which are terribly important to to their lives!

Granted, if pundits constantly repeat that there's a leadership gap or some such nonsense, there's a chance that people will recognize the phrase and echo it back to pollsters. But for the most part, people just don't care about that stuff.

At any rate: Nice catch!


  1. Yeah that is really annoying. Especially since a liberal hack pundit could look at the farm bill fiasco and say that Obama/Pelosi are strategic geniuses for tricking House Republicans into voting down their own bill. That of course is silly, it was the GOP's bumbling and extremism that sank it, but you could just as easily make that argument.

  2. The complaints and outrage are getting so predictable (and have been for a while) that I don't blame anyone for tuning out. Thank you, JB, for pointing out that people are going to do ignore this 'lack of leadership.' You're the only political writer I know of who adamantly makes this point. Most predict the public will rise up, though some revile "the low-information voters" ignoring that it's an equal opportunity failing.

  3. Including those things which are terribly important to to their lives

    It's because legislation is impossible for most people to understand (a feature of incredibly lengthy bills like Obamacare.) And voting is basically pointless. So not following politics is choosing "rational ignorance." If Nancy Pelosi doesn't know shit about the giant bills she's foisting on us, there's no reason for citizens to. Of course, why should she? Her job is to twist arms and sell! Sell! Sell!! Not understand the junk that she's selling.

    This is like belittling faux independents. What should you expect? National politics worsens every year. It will get markedly worse if immigration is not tightened. The country is too big. The feds are "responsible" for too many things.

    It's a crime that the US has been subsidizing giant farming corporations for so long.

    1. Weird, I didn't know that Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the house.

  4. The parliamentary battle of the NSDAP had the single purpose of destroying the parliamentary system from within through its own methods. It was necessary above all to make formal use of the possibilities of the party-state system but to refuse real cooperation and thereby to render the parliamentary system, which is by nature dependent upon the responsible cooperation of the opposition, incapable of action.

    Ernst Rudolf Huber (witness)
    From the Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality
    Volume I, Chapter VII

    Now doesn't it all make sense?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Who links to my website?