This Town Melts Down
Mark Leibovich is the author of the 2013 New York Times bestseller “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral – plus plenty of valet parking – in America’s Gilded Capital.”
On Sunday July 16, he follows up with This Town Melts Down in The New York Times Magazine.
Chances are political junkies will read it, read about it or both.
I suggest both.
Perhaps there have always been calls for a third party but we now seem very close to having one, or maybe even two or three.
There are Democrats in two flavors: Pussy Hat Progressive and Don’t Be Silly.
Republicans are divided between The Base and Holy Shit.
Morning Joe co-host, Joe Scarborough, recently exited the Holy Shit wing of the Republican party in favor of None of the Above.
None of the four factions has a majority and, if a second choice were offered, Disgusted would show well.
When I read his story, I tried to decide if Leibovich was snarky or nasty. I think he is both but he moves back and forth between the two, sort of like the debate about whether Trump is a psychopath or a sociopath. Since few of us really know the differences between the two pairs of words, you might as well go with “both” for each pair.
What is not in doubt is that Leibovich is accurate. What is also beyond doubt is that reactions to the story will depend entirely on which wing of which party you call home.
Is Leibovich a Pussy Hat Progressive or a Don’t Be Silly? I am not sure, but it doesn’t really matter. He is definitely not a Holy Shit or he would have depicted the current situation more as an extension of prior Washington conduct – okay a substantial extension – rather than a phenomenon that appeared from nowhere descending the escalator of Trump Tower.
Read his story, watch him on the talk shows as Trump critics suck up to him or Base commanders attack him. Neither group will be discussing anything that matters; they only care about his impact on the preferred narrative. He didn’t care about anything that mattered either or, if he did, he did not include it in the story.
Imagine the kind of person who thrives on reporting and writing this story. Imagine the contrast between what he had to do to get people to talk with him and then what he did to them.
Then imagine that Mark Leibovich is not an outlier. This town is full of them.