Tonight on “Real Politicians of the United States”


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Sam M says:

    I don’t know. Is shallowness really all that bad? Aaron Burr KILLED Alexander Hamilton in a duel, over a dispute that stretched back to Burr beating Hamilton’s father-in-law in an election. And Alexander Hamilton wasn’t even the only person in his own family killed in a duel. From wikipedia:

    “Hamilton’s son, Philip, was killed in a November 23, 1801 duel with George I. Eacker initiated after Philip and his friend Richard Price partook in ‘hooliganish’ behavior in Eacker’s box at the Park Theatre. This was in response to a speech, critical of Hamilton, that Eacker had made on July 3, 1801. Philip and his friend both challenged Eacker to duels when he called them ‘damned rascals.'”

    Maybe eye-rolling and reality TV represent real ADVANCE in public discourse.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Sam M says:

      @Sam M, To be clear, my point has nothing to do with the civility of a sign calling someone the Worst Governor Ever, nor with said former governor rolling her eyes. My point has to do with the fact that we seem to think these two facts actually matter and are a Really Big Deal requiring a full-scale investigation of all parties involved. We don’t seem to give a rat’s ass whether our politicians are actually representing us, but rather whether they are on “Team L.C.” or “Team Kristen.”

      It’s not that I think personality-based politics are anything new, either, by the way; it’s that we’ve gotten to the point where two words in a Facebook post or an eye roll from an out of office, half-term governor of a small-population state are cause for headlines and staff editorials.

      Politics have become nothing more than just another form of entertainment.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    has our culture and politics really become this shallow?

    Two words: Sarah Palin. (In case it’s not bleeding obvious, that’s a “yes”.)Report

    • Avatar Rufus in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      @Mike Schilling, I agree with your “yes” and am not sure about your “Sarah Palin”. She appeared on the national scene about two years ago- surely cultural and political shallowness were already a problem by that point. We could maybe see her as a flower that took root in that particular dirt, but I remember people bemoaning cultural dumbing down in the 80s and 90s, not to mention during the early years of the new millennium. As an Onion headline from late 2001 held, Americans, in the wake of 9/11 were yearning to care about “stupid shit” once again. In that sense, the culture has recovered.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Rufus says:

        It’s one of those topics where, whenever you think things have bottomed out, you’re mistaken. Palin makes me wish for someone as knowledgeable and savvy as W. But is she the nadir, or is worse on its way? I’d put no money on the former.Report

        • Avatar Simon K in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          @Mike Schilling, And at one point W had me wishing for Newt Gingrich. But since Newt’s reappearance on the scene and descent to new depths of absurdity (and loss of the slight hint of a sense of humor he had when not running for anything) he almost has me wishing for W again.

          I’ve resorted to keeping a list of Republican politicians I would ever be prepared to vote for. To be removed from the list they have to say something simultaneously both ridiculously, absurdly incorrect and appallingly inhumane at the same time. Just one or the other isn’t enough, because hey, we all have bad days. The list is getting very short.Report