In the words of George Packer, in the New Yorker:
"the forest of names on the Republican side, “two figures—Jeb Bush and Scott Walker—have quickly moved to the head of the pack. Perhaps only Mr. Rubio has a good chance to join them at the top.” The reasons have to do with fundraising, positioning, élite support, broad acceptability—that is, with the roles spelled out in the piece. The author, Nate Cohn, concluded, “It will be fun to watch.”
That was when he lost me.
It might not be wise for a sometime political journalist to admit this, but the 2016 campaign doesn’t seem like fun to me... If this is any kind of fun, it’s the kind of fun I associate with reading about seventeenth-century French execution methods, or watching a YouTube video of a fight between a python and an alligator. Fun in small doses, as long as you’re not too close.
American politics in general doesn’t seem like fun these days. There’s nothing very entertaining about super PACs, or Mike Huckabee’s national announcement of an imminent national announcement of whether he will run for President again. Jeb Bush’s ruthless approach to locking up the exclusive services of longstanding Republican political consultants and media professionals far ahead of the primaries doesn’t quicken my pulse."
Thee's lots more where this came from too, but it's all so depressingly familiar to me. Now we are going to get this:
"The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have made exclusive agreements with a conservative author for early access to his opposition research on Hillary Clinton, a move that has confounded members of the Clinton campaign and some reporters, the On Media blog has confirmed."
Every one of us knows that this book is going to be a right wing Swift Boat smear, but the New York Times and the Washington Post, supposedly the two best newspapers in the country, have "made exclusive agreements," i.e. are going to pay for the privilege of carrying these Republican lies; i.e. once again, as they did with Gore and Kerry, they are going to collaborate with the Republican party to see to it that any Democratic candidate is crushed in an avalanche of hatred.
And while we are on the subject, how about this news?
"Jeb Bush demands donors pony up six figures to get in the door...
Want to be a donor Jeb Bush actually cares about? No piddling one percenters need apply at this Super PAC-driven stage of the not-yet-official campaign. It takes a 0.1 percenter's money to matter to Jeb these days, and the people giving what was seen as good money as recently as 2012 are being downgraded...Last month, Bush’s campaign held a breakfast fundraiser in Florida that required $250,000 simply to get in the door, said one Republican strategist who has worked on multiple presidential campaigns. The strategist said that some attendees who normally attend GOP campaign events balked. One invitee joked about the high cost of entrance, said the strategist, asking, “Can I do coffee?”
A pair of March fundraisers for Bush -- one that included his former president father and another that included his former president brother -- required couples to raise $100,000 to attend. Jeb Bush also held a Wall Street fundraiser in February, which demanded an “eye-popping” $100,000 per ticket."
That's right, you guys out there who could pony up $25,000 or $50,000 for one candidate, out of your multimillion dollar incomes: I bet you thought you were rich. No more. Now that a few dozen people are capable of financing whole political parties on their own, who cares about pikers like you? You just got kicked off the bus. It's not the 1% any more, or the 0.1% or even the 0.01%. Guess what? You guys aren't in the inner circle any more. You are as necessary to the process as the bums that live in the park a few blocks from your $10 million dollar New York condos. The system isn't for you any more.
And what's more, in a few more years, even the Romneys and Bushes, guys with $250 million or so, are going to find themselves outside the circle, once the Koch brothers and the few dozen more of their ilk have so gorged themselves on our national wealth that neither they nor their tools like Scott Walker need to give a God damn about the rest of us.
That's the inevitable end of our nation's progress, and I see nothing that can stop it. I guess that is why I don't find it much fun any more.