Blame Your Favorite Scapegoat for Dysfunctional Politics

<em>National Journal</em> readers blame Washington failures on pimps, supposed-Marxists, and deities.

A member of the Tea Party movement holds posters of U.S. President Barack Obama depicted as Adolph Hitler during a protest outside the Fairmont Hotel before President Obama arrives for a fundraiser May 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California. 
National Journal
Matt Berman
Add to Briefcase
Matt Berman
Oct. 4, 2013, 9:50 a.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
1 days ago
UPDATE
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
1 days ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
1 days ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

FAKE NEWS
Trump Goes After The Media
1 days ago
UPDATE

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

FBI TURNED DOWN REQUEST
Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login