Our Representatives

Will Wilkinson defends the relevance of the Weiner scandal:

I'd rather voters evaluate candidate representatives on the basis of their policy opinions and legislative competence, and I think the desire to minimise the more numinous symbolic aspects of political representation can be a noble one. But we mustn't kid ourselves. I was relieved when George W. Bush left office because he made me feel a bit ashamed of my country. There were a number of reasons for this, but one of them was that I thought he sounded a bit dumb. Despite my deracinated cosmopolitan ideals, despite the fact I never voted for him, I nevertheless felt he represented me when he spoke, and I didn't like it. He made us all look a bit dumb. Representative Weiner represents a bunch of New Yorkers in a more direct way than George W. Bush ever represented me, and I imagine most of them now like that fact less than they used to. I'm not going to tell them it doesn't matter.