Barbarians are storming the Beltway!

Barbarians are storming the Beltway!

Let’s say you’re a congressman from Montana (I’m choosing this state randomly as a hypothetical example), and you decide to support a bill that would upset many of your constituents. Fortunately, they don’t usually pay attention to such things.

Your opponents call you out in an op-ed that runs in The Washington Post. It makes a small splash inside the Beltway. But you’re not overly concerned. The readers who matter to you — the ones who have the power to vote you out — are thousands of miles away in your home district.

But then another critical op-ed runs in the Billings Gazette. Suddenly, your office starts receiving phone calls from angry constituents back home. Wisely, you listen to your constituents and change your stance on the legislation.

At first glance, op-eds that run in small local newspapers in faraway places like Montana might not seem significant. But they can have an enormous impact on Beltway politics.


Sam Ryan