The drain

Don’t miss this story of a veteran West Virginia journalist getting arrested for asking HHS Secretary Tom Price questions about the AHCA last night. It’s important.

Public institutions are crumbling fast. Look at the federal judiciary, the independent press, the premise of FBI investigative oversight, the federal ownership and protection of public lands, the impending reversal of public prison reforms, etc. There’s an established pattern for this in history — autocracies are by nature swift beasts — so it should only surprising in a very ethnocentric sense.

Is there a coherent vision for resistance in the U.S. right now? I’m not seeing one, because it seems to me that American culture has completely centered itself on the lust for punditry and partisan politics and personal recognition (which is to say, social media). “I stake my claim against *your* claim. I define myself against my neighbor’s gains and nothing more.” Again, that’s old hat in an historical sense (the Greeks referred to this lust as “thumos“), but the stranglehold has tightened visibly since 2001.

If the American public wanted anything other than to turn the James Comey firing into a constitutional drama — a TV show — then today would be totally different.

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