Ladies and Gentlemen, Pick Your Team


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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