Tuesday, March 28Welcome

Are older people better in politics?

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s failure this week to fail to win the vote to succeed Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House has driven home the enormous clout she had in the position. Staff writer Franklin Fore Her resignation from the role marks the twilight of the “ruling troika” of Democratic elders, including Senator Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden, as writes. , but Frank predicts we’ll miss it soon.

But first, here are three new stories from Atlantic.

Greed for Legacy

Kelly Koducky: Why did watching Nancy Pelosi’s leadership transition make you think about the merits of age as a politician?

Frank Fore: As a politician I have watched for a long time, she is the one who knew best how to wield power. Never in my life have I seen a politician get things done better than Nancy Pelosi. And I think she just keeps getting better and better. A lot of the time when people seemed to be stuck at work, and for a good chunk, I thought she was stuck at work, but she became effective in her new and different ways. continued.

Kelly: Do you think it’s a function of time and experience beyond Nancy Pelosi being a really sharp and talented politician?

Frank: She is definitely talented. But, you know, there was this brief moment that just ended where there were three elderly politicians. [Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden], they all had or are having the best moments at the end of their careers. And I think they’ve done a lot better than anyone expected or, given the circumstances they were in, they had the right to do… A long legislative game. I thought the lesson of the past two years was that Democrats could easily fall into despair and ruin, but the trio found a way to win big at the last minute.

Kelly: And, conversely, there’s this week’s spectacle with Kevin McCarthy, who lost nine straight votes to take over as Speaker of the House.

Frank: McCarthy has been in leadership for a long time. he has a lot of experience. But even with a leader as skilled as Nancy Pelosi, he can’t manage a caucus full of so many mean people and malicious pranksters.

Kelly: You write that aging politicians either become benefactors of lobbyists or become better at getting things done. What, in your view, would tell us which direction they should take?

Frank: Politicians can be greedy in many ways. Some people become greedy about their careers as they experience them. And those are the people who go crazy with power and become mean. And some politicians are greedy for their legacy. I think they’re more worried about how they’ll be perceived when it’s all over.

This may be a simple juncture, but I think there is little difference in the way people think about the meaning of their lives and what they want to derive from it. I think it’s translated into the outside world.

Kelly: You wrote in your essay that the last Congress passed many forward-thinking bills, and that this meant that older members of Congress risked political capital to secure a future they would never have. It contradicts the idea that people may not be very interested in it.

Frank: yes. And to me, that measure is what they’ve done to the climate.our recently departed [from The Atlantic] My colleague Robinson Meyer wrote a great article about the Control Inflation Act being one of the most underrated recent policies. It is this sweeping set of measures designed to usher the American economy into an era of sustainability. That’s what I valued most about this parliament. I was afraid that if they didn’t address climate change now, nothing would happen for 10 years and the planet would miss out on this great opportunity. But seizing the climate momentum with this bill created an opportunity for the United States to become an incredibly active leader in climate diplomacy, and we now have the moral authority to lead on climate change. I have.

Kelly: You conclude your essay on Hakeem Jeffries, Pelosi’s supposed Democratic successor. What do you expect from Jeffries and the new generation of leaders?

Frank: I think Congress is a very special institution. The interesting thing about Pelosi and Schumer is that no one considers them to be great public communicators.How do they do on TV, how do they do when they give a big speech? And they’ll both get very bad marks on that score. that is What I am good at is understanding the interests, careers and psychology of all the members in the caucuses. And I think it’s a power structure that will never change. There are always new people joining parliament, so there are always new complexities in managing such people.

But you know, my guess is that Hakeem Jeffries was part of Pelosi’s leadership crew for a while as part of Pelosi’s leadership crew. So I hope he can be good at all the things she was good at. And it just takes a bit of hard-earned experience for him to get there.


news of the day
  1. President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to observe a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine ahead of Orthodox Christmas. A senior Ukrainian official dismissed the move as a “propaganda gesture”.
  2. Pope Francis presided over the funeral of former Pope Benedict XVI.
  3. The man charged with killing four University of Idaho students was charged last night with four counts of murder and one count of robbery. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 12.

night reading
Illustration of a person sleeping on his back trapped in a transparent cube
(Jan Buchczyk)

how we learned to be lonely

Arthur C. Brooks

Communities are surprisingly resilient after trauma. Londoners banded together during the German air raids during World War II and then rebuilt the city. When I visited Phuket, Thailand, six months after the 2004 tsunami killed thousands and displaced many more, I was struck by the miraculous recovery underway and the many places where I was born. found that very few traces of the tragedy remain. It was inspiring.

Transitioning from survival to thriving is crucial to healing and growth after a disaster, and scholars show it can be a common experience. Work together to do your best to help yourself and your neighbors.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 seems to be resistant to this phenomenon. The pandemic’s most striking social feature was how it isolated people. For those lucky enough not to lose loved ones, the main trauma it created was loneliness. Perhaps many people, including you, are still wandering alone without friends or loved ones to help them rebuild their lives.

Read the full article.

see more Atlantic

culture break
A collage of blurry pixelated images of television sets and TV show stills
(Atlantic; Getty; HBO Max)

read. Karl Dennis’ poem “Jacob and Esau”.

“If this is the kind of fairness available/in the family, what can he expect/from the outside world?”

clock. Check out our list of 13 feel-good TV shows to watch this winter.

Play our daily crossword.


Frank recommends two recent media outlets about Christopher Rush. He is “an intellectual historian/social preacher who was a huge figure in the ’70s and his ’80s and continues to be revered by both the Trump Right and the Socialist Left.”The first is an essay Jacobins By critic Christian Lorentzen, Frank says it nicely explains the origins and persistence of Rush’s bizarre fandom. The second is, “A great recent episode of one of my favorite podcasts. know your enemy, About Rush’s masterpiece true and only heavenThis is one of my favorite books on American politics. If you want to understand the deeper origins of populism and the deeper issues of liberalism, start here. ”

— Kelly

Isabel Fattal contributed to this newsletter.

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