Quick Note About Perspective

Just to clear something up that’s been bothering me for a while: some readers (at least as reflected in the comment thread) seem to be concerned that my analysis of political developments, and particularly the GOP presidential nominating contest, do not serve the interests of “the team.” In particular, it is occasionally suggested that I’m going too easy on Mitt Romney, who is presumably a bigger threat to “the team” than other GOP candidates, or is perhaps a bigger threat to the country because a lot of progressives think he’s not as sincerely crazy as others and might therefore fight him with less fervor.

For what it’s worth, as I said when I started blogging here, my job as I see it is to help readers negotiate the political news of the day and add some value via analysis and the benefit, such as it is, of my experience. I am pretty clear about my biases and allegiances. But I’m not working for any political “team,” and if I offer analysis about Romney or Santorum or anyone else, it’s because I think it’s accurate, not because I am laboring under the illusion that anything I write is going to have any effect whatsoever on the Republican nomination contest.

So when, for example, I observed this morning that Mitt Romney appeared to be getting a raw deal in terms of pundit reaction to Super Tuesday, it wasn’t because I felt sorry for him, or hoped he would win the nomination, or was blinded by hatred of Rick Santorum (I don’t hate him; I just hold him in minimum regard, and he offends my religious sensibilities as much as my political or ideological tendencies). It was because in the actual GOP nomination contest, elite opinion is an important asset for Mitt Romney. That he is not getting much credit in the chattering classes for winning six of ten contests and a majority of delegates on Super Tuesday is germane to any balanced analysis of what happened last night and what is going to happen next.

Similarly, I wrote about Rick Santorum’s struggles with Catholic voters not because I’m engaged in some sort of holy war against Rick, but because this is an aspect of the primaries so far that an awful lot of smart people have been getting wrong over and over. My job is to try to get it right, and since I went to the trouble of going back and looking at exit polls to check out Santorum’s performance among Catholics since Iowa, I will point out my findings whenever it seems appropriate.

Sorry for the self-absorption here, and I won’t bring it up again. But you don’t need to waste time wondering about some “agenda” or private motives I might be harboring. Even if I wanted to be devious here, there’s just not enough time in the day. So what you see is what you get.

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.