Ladies and Gentlemen, Pick Your Team

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I think Paul Krugman has the right take on the fact that South Carolina voters chose a disgraced Republican to represent them in Congress vs. an honest, centrist Democrat:

Look, we have an intensely polarized political system, and in Congress, at least, party affiliation is basically all that matters. When Massachusetts voters chose Scott Brown because he seemed like a nice guy, they were being idiots.

….Maybe, just maybe, you can make a case for choosing the right person for governor, regardless of party. But when you’re sending someone to Congress, all that matters is the R or D after that person’s name. It seems that conservative voters understand that; liberals and moderates should, too.

This wasn’t always the case. Today it is. For all practical purposes, we live in a pseudo-parliamentary system of governance, and the only thing that matters in Congress is what party you belong to. If you’re a Republican, you’re obsessed with Benghazi, Solyndra, Fast & Furious, and debt ceiling hostage taking. If you’re a Democrat, you’re obsessed with more prosaic topics: passing a budget, keeping social welfare programs from being ripped apart, implementing Obamacare successfully, and asking the rich to help out a wee bit with our long-term budget balancing. Pick your team.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

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It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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