Won't Somebody Please Think of the Flakes?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 2 2011 9:26 AM

Won't Somebody Please Think of the Flakes?

When writing up the weird trend of granola Huffington Post bloggers loving Ron Paul (and seeing their mash notes shoot up the most-recommended lists), I somehow failed to notice the second-most-popular essay. It's a listicle (of course) from healthy eating businesswoman Laura Trice. Surprise! It's stupid. And I say this as someone who voted for Paul in the 2008 primary and will most likely either vote for him or Gary Johnson this time.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Dr. Paul doesn't care if big groups like him (like unions and businesses). His donations come primarily from individuals, not from groups. He is willing to serve his country honorably without personal gain.
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Non sequitur -- it's not like the union money for Barack Obama, or the hedge fund money for Mitt Romney, is for their personal gain.

Dr. Paul's old-fashioned decency, integrity, honor and real-life experience are exactly what our country needs after hiring actors, puppets, oil and other group-connected slick sales men and marketers.

Just like the other entries in the HuffPo-for-Paul genre, this presents the congressman as the Last Honest Man who will, if elected, surely enact everything a frustrated person wants him to enact. A good companion piece to these posts is David Freedlander's fish-barrel-gun look at the post-2008 feelings of the insufferable Brooklyn scenesters who worshipped Obama. Novelist Amy Sohn, come on down.

The best day is the day you get the advance, and then everyone wonders if you were worth it and whether or not you will earn the advance back, which of course, you probably won’t. Then you just become the person everyone paid too much for.

This disconnect between the way Washington understands the White House's failures and the way everybody else does is massive. Ask somebody who covers the policy why Obama's not getting much done, and he'll tell you it's a combination of some White House blunders, chief among them letting Congress do too much. One reason that Congress was left to do so much, of course, was that Republicans made sure everything that passed from 2009 to 2010 needed at least 60 votes, and because Democrats only had 60 votes from September 2009 to January 2010, they had to trust Congress to get stuff past Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins or another moderate.

Outside Washington, the understanding seems to be: "We voted for a magic president, and yet things aren't magical. We need another magic president."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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