The first are acts that expose a gap between reality and the stories politicians tell about themselves. Sometimes this occurs when a politician’s criminality is exposed. But much more often, it is the banal things that display glaring hypocrisy and enrage voters. Remember Bev Oda? I bet the first thing you recall about her is that nine years ago, she, a minister in a government that touted its fiscal prudence, ordered $16 orange juice at a fancy hotel.
The second type of failure comes when a politician’s gross incompetence becomes impossible to ignore. Despite all his scandals, Donald Trump might still be president if his team had not failed so spectacularly at containing the coronavirus.