I’m sure I’m not the first one to make this observation, but the supposed accelerated news cycle is having a stroboscopic effect on the passage of this presidency for me. At first everything was moving at such a breathless pace that I felt an almost physical sense of movement. Now, everything has been moving so fast for so long that it’s as though things are standing perfectly still. One scandal feels much like the next. We are in a land that has no signposts: a featureless plane of stupidity, a weird stasis.
And so, in spite of the oft repeated cliche that any X amount of time is an eternity in politics I will defy the scolds and gaze into deep time, like I did in 2010 when Republicans had their Tea Party wave. Back then, I’d looked forward to 2020, the next redistricting year, and concluded that Hillary would be the best set-up to take us back to the promised land. I made a few key phone calls and said only, “Clear the field.” You know the rest. Looks like I may have been right in my assessment. But not in the way I expected.
Looking beyond 2020, one thing that concerns me about a post-Trump world is the sort of anti-First Law of Motion of the media. Once a body is set in motion in the vacuity of media space, no countervailing force will stop it from doing the thing that gets eyeballs, clicks–turns a profit, in other words. And so I look forward and wonder, will Jake Tapper be able to prevent himself from scolding President Gillibrand for some totally anodyne shit? Will the media be so high on its own supply of rageahol that it won’t be able to wind itself down and cover a “normal” presidency? What possible incentive will it have to do that in what will likely be an even more fragmented media landscape?
It seems like the kind of question media boffin Jay Rosen might have some thoughts about. Or the enlightened jackal salon of the Balloon Juice commentariat?
Not that there’s much we can do about it. (And lamenting the deteriorating level public discourse is as old as the agora.) But what we can do is elect some Democrats. And here’s how: This is the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.