Everyone is to blame for the current decrepit state of being in our nation’s capital. There’s a reason to assign guilt to and find the roots of dysfunction in every Washington resident institution. And, yes, according to our readers, that includes National Journal.
The hundreds of reader responses to National Journal‘s “Who Broke Washington” series run a full gamut of finger-pointing. Harry Reid’s a “PIMP and the PROSTUTE [sic]” writes one reader. “The Marxist in the White House” is to blame, another reader writes. Or maybe it’s Karl Rove, who’s been “the sole owner of driving the wedge between political parties.” The American people are to blame for not “decisively choosing between the two parties,” writes another. It’s the D.C. media’s fault “for sucking up to Washington’s powerful.” It’s National Journal‘s fault, because, as one reader wrote, “I think you know.”
No joke, two responders even left the blame at the feet of Jesus, compared with one vote for Satan.
This is obviously not scientific. People who comment on online stories (and we love you guys — keep doing your thing) are not representative of America as a whole. But polling backs up a “blame everyone” sentiment. A Pew survey from the end of last month found that 77 percent of Americans felt either angry at or frustrated with the federal government as a whole. And they are also not big fans of journalists and the media. A new CBS News poll finds that Americans are largely split in whom they blame for the government shutdown, with 44 percent blaming congressional Republicans and 35 percent blaming Democrats and the president. Americans also don’t trust, well, polls.
In his “Who Broke Washington” piece today, Ron Fournier places blame on former House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a man who “checks every sleazy box,” from redistricting to a political “my-way-or-the-highway mind-set.” The thing is though — and Fournier gets at this point — this kind of aggressive political sorting is rampant among everyone. That, of course, includes our wonderful commenters.
National Journal‘s readers may be onto something when they blame a wide swath of America (and deities), political and otherwise, for our current political troubles. Large numbers of Americans don’t trust anything, and some resort to political demagoguery with ease. Washington isn’t going to get fixed by retreating to specialized outrage networks and calling each other “PROSTUTES.” The practice of assigning blame itself can become a crutch that keeps things broken. We may not have all “broken” Washington, but we may all deserve some of the blame for keeping it this way.
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Twenty-three members of Congress "on Thursday asked the Justice Department to clarify how a looming rule change to the government's hacking powers could impact privacy rights of innocent Americans. The change, due to take place on December 1, would let judges issue search warrants for remote access to computers located in any jurisdiction, potentially including foreign countries. Magistrate judges can normally only order searches within the jurisdiction of their court, which is typically limited to a few counties."
"Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced that her campaign and joint fundraising committees raised $101 million in the first 19 days of October, giving her committees $153 million in cash on hand." Her campaign itself has about $62 million on hand. The campaign said the average donation was $50.
Hillary Clinton appeared on the campaign trail for the first time with Michelle Obama on Thursday night. At the joint appearance in North Carolina, Mrs. Obama said, “When you hear folks talking about a global conspiracy and saying that this election is rigged, understand that they are trying to get you to stay home. They are trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter, that the outcome has already been determined and that you shouldn’t even bother to make your voice heard.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that "there was “precedent” for a Supreme Court with fewer than nine justices—appearing to suggest that the blockade on nominee Merrick Garland could last past the election." Speaking to reporters in Colorado, Cruz said: "I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That’s a debate that we are going to have.”