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March 27, 2014

suddenly jeb

Had a pretty strong political flashback this morning.

The story (Morning Edition, natch) was about Sheldon Adelson holding some sort of shindig so that potential Republican presidential candidates can come and kiss his ring.  (Why?  Because Adelson is what they call a money mark.)  And you know how it is, you've heard enough political process stories in your lifetime and they start to blur into that white noise soundtrack like the Weather Channel back before they porned themselves up, but then something caught my ear:

Jeb Bush was cited, placidly, as a leading contender for 2016 race.

Now, I don't follow this shit as close as I used to, but I definitely follow it, and I follow all the psychopathic perpetual campaign process stories specifically, because I am a sucker for that and also I am bad for America.  So what I do know is that the idea of Jeb Bush as a full-time candidate was mostly whispers, sourced mostly from moderate types like (the maybe-someday candidate) Joe Scarborough) who hope for a centrist to ride in and unify the party.

(That of course makes no sense, as the rift in the party is caused by a vocal faction with some hard-right tendencies, which faction is no more likely to rally around a centrist than they are to rally behind Mr. Peanut.)

So then, to hear Jeb's name included with the usual suspects (Christie, Paul, Cruz, et al.) in a mainstream news report means that the imminentization of the candidacy of Jeb Bush has moved from the planning stage to the implementation stage.  And I sincerely don't remember when this tipping point tipped.

And this counts as a flashback because I recall the same thing happening sixteen years ago: there were the usual suspects running around, like McCain and Alexander, and then all of a sudden George Bush's name coalesced out of nowhere and then bam! he's the candidate.

This is not to say that this will be happening like that this time around.  But it is curious how seamlessly the popular opinion shifts — correlation or causation?

Posted by mrbrent at 10:12 AM

March 25, 2014

learning things about oneself

Agh, I did it again.

This is not the slow inevitable creep to oblivion that has taken away so many of your favorite personal blogs, if that is the correct term.  Absolutely not.  The freedom of having your own publishing platform that is not in the service of a Silicon Valley billionaire is invaluable, and I have no plans for walking away from it, ever.

I've just been thinking, is all.  What is interesting?  Is it more important to care about what is popular to read, or what is compelling to write about?  What is the future of the writing about things for strangers?

If you follow the business pages, you will see that everyone else it thinking about the same things, from the NYT to my old friends at The Awl to everyone in between, including those gussied up content farms that Nick Denton feels so threatened by.

Back soon.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:18 AM