Monday, August 01, 2016

Confidence games

This piece from Walter Russell Mead, discussing some of the email traffic found in the DNC hack, falls into the "read the whole thing" category. A taste:
Too bad that we now have to depend on leaks from Putin moles to know what’s going on in our country, but the donor stroking industry revealed in these emails is anything but secret. Thousands of prominent people are involved, either as strokers or strokees. Many of these people are extremely well known to journalists at major newspapers, and not a few of them are married to journalists.

Yet here is the NYT treating these leaked emails as a window into an unknown world. The unwillingness of the press to delve into the Vanity Fair at the heart of modern progressive politics (there is no such reluctance to peer into the mysteries of Republican finance) is a real problem.
It is a con and I imagine people involved start to feel like this:

Mead reminds us of the larger toll:
It’s the indirect costs that are high; if anyone wonders why so many of our career politicians are cynics with deep contempt for the public they serve, years of fawning over dumb rich people, pretending to take their silly ideas seriously, assuring each of them that you aren’t like the other stupid rich people, no, you are special, you are smart, and our ten minutes a year friendship punctuated by check writing is deep and sincere—all this tends to corrode the soul. Having a political class who subsist on exploiting the character weaknesses and insatiable narcissism of dilettante plutocrats isn’t the best way to cultivate an ethos of responsibility and patriotism at the highest levels of government.
And because the political class is so thoroughly compromised, it's easier for an orange-hued charlatan to run his own con. More, a lot more, at the link.

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

Well said. It occurred to me that we have two scumbags running for President--the veep slots in both cases are better than the #1--but the advantage for the GOP was that we at least had the conversation about whether Drumpf's sins were disqualifying. No such luck on the Democrat side.