Mark Steyn's latest effort at National Review is one of the funnier articles I've read in a while, and in it he explains why it is so many weirdos seem to get elected in this country these days.
Of course, being nominally a republic of citizen-legislators, we have inaugurated the post-modern pseudo-breakout from “the bubble,” in which the president and his family sally forth to an ice-cream parlor in Alexandria, Va., accompanied only by 200 of their most adoring sycophants from the press corps. These trips, explained the New York Times, enable the Obamas to “stay connected” with ordinary people, like White House reporters.
The real bubble is a consequence of big government. The more the citizenry expect from the state, the more our political class will depend on ever more swollen Gulf Emir–sized retinues of staffers hovering at the elbow to steer you from one corner of the fishbowl to another 24/7. “Why are politicians so weird?” a reader asked me after the Sanford press conference. But the majority of people willing to live like this will, almost by definition, be deeply weird. So big government more or less guarantees rule by creeps and misfits. It’s just a question of how well they disguise it.
Writing about Michael Jackson a few years ago, I suggested that today’s A-list celebs were the equivalent of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria or the loopier Ottoman sultans, the ones it wasn’t safe to leave alone with sharp implements. But, as Christopher Hitchens says, politics is showbusiness for ugly people. And a celebrified political culture will inevitably throw up its share of tatty karaoke versions of Britney and Jacko.