What Washington Is Really Like
I love the anecdotes streaming forth from Matt Latimer's tell-all about the Bush administration. And I love the counter-anecdotes angrily administered by Latimer's former boss. But what does annoy me is Latimer's refrain that this is really the tale of a wide-eyed Midwestern Everyman being slowly ground down beneath the jackboot of the Beltway. "I wanted to give people a glimpse of Washington from someone who came from the middle of the country," he said this morning on MSNBC's Morning Meeting. "I wanted people to see what Washington is really like."
Washington is a big place. If you hang around cynics and frauds, that says something about the company you keep and the cohort you've chosen. It doesn't say much about Washington. The folks at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, for instance, keep a firm grasp on their souls. Some Hill offices have long since veered into careerism, but many are filled with exhausted staffers who are trying -- and maybe failing -- to make the world a better place, and doing so for a lot less than they could make in the private sector. As an example, I've spent the whole day posting comments from experts who spend all day studying delivery system reform and trying to explain their findings to the political system. They don't do it because it's glamorous or enriching. It's not being a presidential speechwriter or penning a dishy book. But it's important.
Latimer's experience, obviously, is his own, and not for me to question. But it's not a reflection of what "Washington is really like." It's about what Senator Jon Kyl's office was really like, and what Spencer Abraham, and Donald Rumsfeld, and the Bush administration were really like. You can argue that it's about what the modern Republican Party is like. But Washington? That's a more complicated place.
Posted by: bdballard | September 22, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jkaren | September 22, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bmull | September 22, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: valeskoi | September 22, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: zippyzeph | September 22, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: constans | September 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jasper99 | September 22, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kcc3 | September 22, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: janspa | September 22, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.