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.It is a con and I imagine people involved start to feel like this:
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.
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.