Thursday, October 27, 2005
It's total bedlam here in Washington, D.C.!
When there's big things afoot in the Nation's Capital, you can guage the excitement by watching passersby and tabulating their smirks and eye rolls.
Washington Person #1: Miers withdrew her nomination. (smirk)
Washington Person #2: Yeah, I heard. (eye roll) But thanks.
#1: I tell ya, with Miers gone and with the Plame indictments coming down, plus Iraq and the hurricanes, (eye roll) Bush and his folks are really in a shit storm right now. (smirk)
#2: (eye roll) Yeah.
#1: I am very (eye roll) excited by all this big news. (smirk)
#2: (eye roll) (smirk) So am I. (smirk) It will certainly be interesting (smirk) to see how it all shakes out. (eye roll)
#1: (eye roll) Sure will. That Fitzgerald, we'll see (smirk) if he can make these charges stick. (eye roll)
#2: (eye roll) (smirk) (smirk) (eye roll)
#1: (smirk) (eye roll) (smirk) (eye roll) (smirk)
#2: Maybe this could actually benefit the country. (smirk)
#1 & #2: (hearty laugh) (smirking)
#2: Hey, I'll bet you can't name the last 12 solicitors general. (smirk)
#1: (eye roll) I'll name the last 12 solicitors general when you name the last 12 editors of the Post opinion page. (smirk)
And so on...
Before I go any further, don't get me wrong here. Washington is a great city. Underrated, in fact. It's highly diverse, lots of smart people, plenty of culture (much of it free, unlike other cities), plenty of nature, competitive (errr, kind of) college and pro sports teams, and a HIGHLY underrated singles and social scene. These are all things I look forward to exploring and detailing in this blog.
However, having or hearing a conversation with A Washington Insider on The Big Issues Of The Day can get a little grating. It's like a contest to see who can be the most cynicical or drop the most names. This is what passes for excitement in this town? Two jerks in charcoal suits rolling their eyes at each other? Where is the fist pumping and street dancing and casual fornication?
On the other hand, normal human conversations about politics are extremely interesting and worthwhile and, yes, even exciting. In fact, I encourage more political discussion, for whatever that's worth. I like Ralph Nader's take - people should follow politics just like they follow sports teams. I second that emotion.
But back to the original point. Big weeks like this in D.C., with the Plame/Rove scandal and the Miers withdraw, make huge news that is very much worth attention, even if it seems a little boring at first (D.C. in this and many other ways is the polar, perfect opposite of L.A., but that's another blog). It's just that the discussions themselves around here are so cynical and parochial as to be comical.
In a nutshell, excitement that is centered in Washington is like a good smell that is centered in Birmingham. It's not that it's not a legitimate thing. It's just gotta be graded on a curve, that's all.
(Photo Credit: Michael Slonecker)