Trump Made the Democratic Party Better
The Menendez indictment shows that it's really, *really* not "both sides."
1. Menendez, Brother
Last week we talked about how the two political parties (currently) differ in their institutional responses to corruption. Republican institutions tend to rally around their bad actors. Democratic institutions tend toward trying to police their bad actors. Not always and not perfectly. There are exceptions to both. But as a general matter, this is just objectively true in 2023 America.
In the course of that piece, I linked to the breaking story about New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez as evidence that corruption itself is present in both parties. The next day we got news that Menendez had been indicted.
The Democratic reaction to Menendez’s indictment is yet more evidence in support of my thesis: Right now, the Democratic party is a much healthier institution than the Republican party.
I want to work through that thesis and then explain why I think we are where we are.
So let’s start with where we are: We’re four days out from the indictment and here is a sampling of the reaction from Democrats: