Opening Act: Pat Mara

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 24 2013 8:43 AM

Opening Act: Pat Mara

Two years ago I found myself in an unexpected place: The basement bar of D.C.'s Meridian Pint, next to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Patrick Mara, a young Republican businessman and activist, was making his second bid for an at-large city council seat. A win would have become some sort of national story, maybe, because no Republican had won an election in D.C. since 2004, when libertarian-leaning Carol Schwartz held a seat. But Mara won 11,851 votes and narrowly lost.

Last night was supposed to be different. Mara got in earlier, and the national Republican Party invested more -- Chris Christie robocalled D.C. Republicans for the guy. The seat had opened up because another member had resigned in a graft scandal; the Washington Post endorsed Mara in the hopes he'd scare the ossified Democrats who hold every D.C. office. Politico profiled Mara as one of a breed of "big city Republicans" trying to make the party competitive in the lands of metro stops and failing schools. Mara voters (myself included) headed to a bar across the street from that last party spot, and waited... until Mara (before absentees are counted) received only 11,367 votes, putting him solidly in third place.

What happened? The "reform" vote was split between three white candidates, largely between Mara and the second-place finisher Elissa Silverman. The city's rapidly gentrifying wards divvied up their vote beween three people who ran against the current council. That allowed Anita Bonds, a Democratic loyalist who got started in city politics under Marion Barry, to eke out a win with 1/3 of the overall vote, powered by landslides in the black wards. There will be, for now, no Republican renaissance in D.C.

Rand Paul keeps explaining his drone stance; the opposition to their use is very, very limited after all.

Here’s the distinction, I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat an act of crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him, but it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tube, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.

Brian Beutler pays his respects to Max Baucus.

The House GOP isn't hurrying to introduce big legislation. It is, however, voting on a bill that would redefine and regulate the metals used in commemorative baseball coins.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.