September 11, 2018


Boring Is the New Black: It's enough excitement already. (Gail Collins and Bret Stephens, Sept. 11, 2018, NY Times)

Bret: The threat to turn the Justice Department loose on our editorial pages because of the Op-Ed article we published by an anonymous senior administration official is the sort of thuggish tactic Tricky Dick might have fantasized about. (Say what you will about the Pentagon Papers, they were actual secrets being revealed there, not the common knowledge of every sane person in Washington.)

Again, it's depressing that the Republican reaction has been to denounce The Times or accuse the author of treason or cowardice, rather than acknowledge the simple truth of the situation. But anyway ... who do you think it is?

Gail: I'm so glad I don't know because I am terrible with secrets. I do love all the speculation about Mike Pence and "lodestar," though. Do you think the president's going to take Pence up on that lie detector offer? Or tell Jeff Sessions to tap his phones?

By the way, about Jeff Sessions. A lot of people feel that even though he was a weasel throughout his career, they're glad he's attorney general right now. I know you're definitely not a fan, so what's your take?

Bret: I think Sessions should lie in the flea-ridden bed he's made with the president. He was the first senator to endorse Trump and now he's getting exactly what he deserves. What's worse, he's chosen to accept public abuse and humiliation from Trump so that he can make good on his real ambition, which is to abuse and humiliate immigrants in a manner that's a national disgrace.  [...]

Gail: [...] And then finally in 2020, we elect a new president who is hopefully both a Democrat and kind of boring. What say you?

Bret: I say boring is the new black. I envision someone like Tim Kaine without the charisma; Gerald Ford without the malice; George H.W. Bush without the vicious hatred of broccoli. Basically, anyone smart and responsible and good at making you forget he's even there. Or rather, she. It's past time.

Gail: Amen.

In order to give ourselves better odds of electing boring--or merely competent--presidents we need to de-democratize the primaries and return more influence to the party.

Posted by at September 11, 2018 7:25 AM