Having done this for more than a decade and, at this point, thousands of posts I don't remember a lot of what I've written on here. But there are a few that I remember in detail, either because I thought they turned out particularly well or I had more fun than usual writing them. When someone reposted this Ezra Klein ode to Centrist Butthurt on Facebook yesterday – you remember the one, in which he realized that Evan Bayh was a big, bad liarface and a perfect example of all of the things he claimed were "wrong with Washington" when he retired and gave his famous jeremiad-interview with Klein – I remembered writing a response to it many moons ago with the unforgettable title, "Satisficing and Cocktail Wieners."

All of that could have been written today or twenty years ago or in 1875 and it would be equally relevant. There always have been and will be Evan Bayhs – sanctimonious charlatans who pose as crusaders to score points from decrying the system while embodying all of its worst excesses. What is more problematic in the modern context, though, is the endless supply of Ezra Kleins willing to take these people seriously and then act like jilted tweens when their heroes prove to be shallow hacks. Only the rosiest of lenses (or the most all-encompassing ignorance, which I will assume does not describe Klein) can allow a supposed journalist to look at a man as obviously full of shit as Evan Bayh, see a Good Man, and then be shocked when he's on his knees sucking paychecks out of News Corp and the Chamber of Commerce six months down the road.

11 thoughts on “MEMORY HOLE”

  • Not only did your prediction that Bayh would become a lobbyist come true. He is a lobbyists' lobbyist — Marathon Oil and the US Chamber of Commerce — and a Faux News contributor to boot. There isn't a trough in DC that Bayh doesn't have his snout buried in.

    And for the record, the average American has more to fear from the US Chamber of Commerce than he does from Al Qaeda. Thanks, Evan, for helping to destroy middle-class America.

  • The DC crowd has seems to adopt a world-weary know-it-all-ism attitude but then seem remarkably stunted socially, living in a perpetual adolescence of social circles and deference for those who sit at the cool kids table. Who's in who's out, these are the fun things to talk about, because they don't require knowledge of any actual facts.

    Just look at the giggles when Obama was asked about pot legalization in 2009. Or the Clinton blowjob hysteria. Or endless conversations about how they think politicians appear to the public. I doubt they even realize their shallowness due to Dunning–Kruger effect.

  • Courts attract courtiers, and courtiers indulge in betrayals and intrigues, flattery and libel. Our journalists and pundits don't seem to be a particularly bright or self-reflexive lot, so maybe it's not surprising that they get confused about what they are supposed to be doing – whether it's that thing on their name tag or that thing they really, really want to do with the sexy powermen.

  • Bayh is a less interesting version of David Kleinfield. When he's lying in the hospital bed and his mercurial revolver is out of kickback bullets, Vinnie Taglialucci (dressed as a Fox News journalist) will take out the garbage.

  • " Our journalists and pundits don't seem to be a particularly bright or self-reflexive lot, so maybe it's not surprising that they get confused about what they are supposed to be doing…"

    They're just courtiers, who pretend that they aren't.

  • Middle Seaman says:

    Bayh and Klein represent generic brand names such Beta Blockers and drones. They come in quantities large enough to supply not only every political niche, but also business, academia and the military. Political right, left and center reek of them.

    How these people succeed alludes me despite working with them for decades. I skirmish with them on Twitter only to find out the Mr/Ms X who heads this great humanitarian organization is a moronic hack.

  • I stopped reading him and Matt years ago because they acted like Meghan what's her name was such an expert on everything and cited her too often. I thought they were trying to get in her pants.

  • This was around the time that it became apparent that Ezra was turning into a Beltway whore. Working at the Post does it to people. I think he wants to be part of the silly crowd that confuses c . 1990s contrarianism with independence. Clearly that was the advise he got in stocking his start up. I suspect that if he keeps the Beltway Insider schtick going, he'll fail with his independent website. There's enough of that already and there's no reason for an indie to follow that path.

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