Behind the Funhouse Mirror

Last week I kept talking about the stupidity that was suffusing most “debates” over the impending appropriations sequester. This week stupidity could give way to surrealism, as (1) the lurid stories of generals and admirals going to bed hungry gain intense purchase in some precincts of the chattering classes, and fires and disasters going unattended spread on the wind in others; and (2) shrieking demands for a delay or replacement of the sequester disguise more serious efforts to modify it in the actual appropriations measures enacted by the end of March.

Meanwhile, the nation’s governors are in Washington for their annual “winter meeting,” which means plenty of media articles about their problem-solving wisdom as compared to the preening and posturing peacocks of the Imperial City (which used to be one of the late David Broder’s annual or semi-annual specialities); a separate batch of media articles about governors who might run for president in 2016; and dueling statements from the governors as a whole begging the president and Congress to cut big or small fiscal deals, and from the partisan caucuses of the governors backing the very DC compatriots they scorn as a class.

There will be as much “news” to ignore as to disseminate this week, and I’ll try to peer behind the funhouse mirror with the requisite degree of acuity and cynicism.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.