The R.F.K. Jr. Big Short

robert f kennedy jr rfk jr
Difficult to imagine as it might be, R.F.K. Jr.’s face-plant in front of America’s third-largest political party was, in its way, more embarrassing—and potentially consequential. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
John Heilemann
May 27, 2024

In the overlapping realms of politics and political media, the term “shitshow” has in recent years been thrown around so often and so widely as to have been essentially debased by promiscuous overuse and dum-dum commodification. But every so often, an occasion presents itself for which no other descriptor will really do, and this weekend’s Libertarian Party national convention in our nation’s capital was precisely such an occasion.

Taking place at the Washington Hilton—best known as the site of another legit shitshow, the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner—and bearing “Become Ungovernable” as its official theme, the Libertarian convention unfolded over four days, the last of which, Sunday, revolved around the selection of the party’s presidential nominee and was televised live by C-SPAN. On the (I hope and trust entirely safe) assumption that no one reading Impolitic was batty enough to watch much, if any, of the proceedings live, I offer this account.