Culture > Q&A

Town crier

"Town crier" Continued...

Issue: "American bounty," Nov. 30, 2013

In This Town you don’t spend much room on ideology, but you do say, “This town leans left and assumes like-mindedness so it tends to be especially tough on its own if respect is not paid.” I knew you were going to read that passage. I’ve gotten into all kinds of trouble for it. I think it’s true. Look at the voting records. I live in northwest Washington and don’t know a lot of evangelical conservatives in my neighborhood. I don’t know of any in my newsroom. There could be this completely secretive world that exists and doesn’t talk to me, but I just haven’t seen it. I know a lot of deeply religious people who live in Washington or around Washington. They’re in politics, and you’d have to talk to them about whether they feel like outsiders here. But I’m just trying to speak honestly about the world I’m covering. I don’t mind getting heat for this. But it’s a fact. 

You mention that “Obama’s Super PAC reversal brought a few days of predictable indignation from the right over his hypocrisy and hand-wringing from the left over his impurity, but after everyone got over their shock and outrage, this town celebrated the flip-flop. It was not only foreseen, but great for business.” The more power comes to Washington, the more money comes to Washington. That’s great for the business of journalists, media people, and consultants in Washington. Sure. People can decry this all they want. Hundreds of millions of dollars come flowing to a lot of the media companies and strategists who are paid directly by these super PACs. One of the biggest disconnects there is economic. You wonder who’s working for whom and what job they have their eye on and whether it’s the job they were elected to do or what might come next. 

You note that political consultants refer to rich, self-funded candidates as “checkbooks.” Any other terms we should know? The larger point you’re making, and I was making, is that many in Washington have contempt for their customers. They see American voters as pawns to be manipulated.

Watch Marvin Olasky’s complete interview with Mark Leibovich:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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