Used Car Politicians
Why are there so many third-rate B-movie actors cosplaying as public officials in this clownworld country?
New York mayor Eric Adams told the sad story of his close friend and fellow police officer, Robert Venable, who was killed in the line of duty in 1987. Adams held up an old, coffee-stained photograph of his buddy. According to Adams, he has carried this picture in his wallet, every day, for the past 36 years. Adams made sure the photo was visible for the news cameras.
Unfortunately for Adams, news has since leaked that the photo he held up wasn’t decades old; it was mere days old. Adams’ staff had found the picture on Google and printed it off. To make it look older, Adams had apparently asked them to splash some coffee on it.1
This is a comically familiar pattern by now. A politician makes some very public statement or takes some very public action to show how much he cares about an issue. He poses for the camera. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He puts on a show. Then someone leaks a video or document showing the whole thing was staged and the professed emotions were fake. The politician responds with either (1) crocodile tears — “Okay, I was faking before, but now that I’m apologizing, my emotional display is sincere!” — or (2) narcissistic reframing — “I cannot believe you would be so malicious as to attack me for lying about such a small detail, when my emotions about this matter are obviously so sincere!”
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