This is hardly a new development or an original insight, but civic-minded Americans dare not tune out politics–wholesome as that might be from a mental health perspective–between the more intense phases of election cycles. Aside from the phenomenon of the “permanent campaign,” and quasi-permanent fiscal battles in Congress, even the happiest Democrat understands that the 2012 elections settled relatively little in the ferocious ideological battles increasingly dominating our public life. The vast sums of money “wasted” by Republicans in 2012 will be replaced, and perhaps a new batch of billionaires will look at the influence and celebrity obtained by Sheldon Adelson and others this last year and decide to dump a few hundred million of their own in 2014 or 2016 into this or that holy right-wing cause.

All of this is to say that the Washington Monthly, in print and electronic forms, will be there to keep a watch on the rogues and fools in Our Nation’s Capital when you have better things to do with most of your time or just can’t stand consuming another hour of cable TV shouting or thread-bare and feckless MSM “coverage.” Indeed, the basic idea of Political Animal is to enable you to stay in touch with news and views without having to read a million words or watch a thousand images yourself.

But we can’t serve this function without your occasional help, and now’s the time for it. Please, if you haven’t already, make a donation as your budget allows. We’ll do our best to make that the smartest investment you make in civic health care.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.