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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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."