After the Times calls the Chilean President’s decision to push hard to rescue the miners a “extraordinary political calculation”, here’s Tom Scocca:
It’s a foreign concept, sure. Here in the United States, everyone agrees that the job of an elected official is to “spend political capital” to “control the narrative” that will determine whether that official is regarded by the media and the public as a success or a failure, which will determine the result of the next election. This is why, 21 months into the Obama administration, we still have mass understaffing on the federal bench and nobody cares. It’s why we can’t even go through with digging a lousy railroad tunnel—who will absorb the political damage if there are cost overruns?
So when our horse-race-obsessed, broke, self-pitying nation sees Chile get something difficult done, obviously it must be because the Chilean narrative demanded it. Not because the thing needed to get done.
By the way, Chile’s president serves for one term.
(This is via Jay Rosen)