The Dog That Hasn’t Barked

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Andrew Sullivan weighs into the debate about whether Obama has been a successful president and concludes unsurprisingly1 that he has been: “Obama is easily the winner and currently stupidly under-rated,” he says. But at the end of his post he tosses out this aside:

But notice what hasn’t happened. Where are all the scandals promised by Michelle Malkin? Where are his Katrinas and Monicas?

This struck me because I happened to be thinking the same thing a couple of days ago.   Democrats in Congress have had a few wee bouts of bad behavior lately, but nothing out of the ordinary. All in all, despite the noise machine’s woeful attempts to talk up his alleged Chicago thuggishness, Obama’s presidency has so far been almost completely free of scandal. No sex scandals, no money scandals, no conflict-of-interest scandals, no nothing. This is why his less judicious enemies are still pathetically beating the Bill Ayers drum: because they haven’t been able to come up with anything better.

The usual time for a party/presidency to become scandal-ridden is year 6, which for Obama will be 2014 if he gets reelected. So far, though, he’s run such a clean shop that I wonder if he’ll avoid the six-year itch completely?

1Unsurprisingly for anyone who reads Sullivan’s blog, anyway.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest