Frank Rich raises a question that I've wanted to address for a long time. As Kevin Drum points out, our local search engines (Google, Bing) have new Algorithm gods ruling in a heaven that has no past. So, in spite of occasional searches over the past few months, I've been unable to reconstruct something I wrote about in 2004, around convention time.
That something has to do with the enormous difference between Republicans' and Democrats' social, after-hours behaviors at their respective conventions as described in various parts of the media in 2004.
In short, Republicans drink more, hang out with more dial-up female hired hands, go to more strip clubs, and leave more wives at home. Democrats bring wives, avoid luxury hotels, and go to bed early. This time, I bet, the media will be paying attention to the activities of the delegates in the evenings. If the storm allows, of course.
Frank Rich at least mentions Republicans behaviors, not only in the Sea of Galilee but at their conventions.
Politico broke a story on Sunday that a group of Republican congressmen, their staffers, and families had gone for a rowdy dip in the Sea of Galilee on an official trip to Israel last summer, with a representative from Kansas, Kevin Yoder, swimming in the buff. Is this a mini-scandal worth caring about?
What interests me about it is that two of the three founders of the GOP’s self-styled “Young Guns” — Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy — were on that junket, if not skinny dipping themselves. It’s also interesting that they kept this mini-scandal secret for a year. It makes you wonder what else happened on this junket or other outings by this cohort. Perhaps the third founding “Young Gun” — that would be Paul Ryan — can tell us.
In an NBC/WSJ poll released last night, only 12 percent of registered voters said they approved of the job Congress is doing, tying the all-time low. And most of the survey was taken before the Akin comments and the Sea of Galilee news. If you were John Boehner, how would you be feeling right now?
Probably that I need a smoke. As Chuck Todd of NBC News has put it, loathing of Congress is the one issue around which “this country has come together.” And given the Akin–Galilee developments, 12 percent may prove a high water mark; Congress could yet hit an approval rating to rival Al Qaeda. But this is a far bigger immediate problem for Romney than Boehner. By putting Ryan on the ticket, Mitt can’t escape his association with the Republican House, and next week many of those congressmen will descend into a Tampa full of strip clubs and other temptations where dress is optional. ...Frank Rich, NYMagazine