Washington D.C., skewered

The inimitable Fred Reed spends two weeks in our nation’s capital.  He analyzes those who live and work there . . . and finds them wanting.

Gangrene of what was once an occasionally honest journalism has certainly occurred. The hostility of the media to Trump was absolute. Having spent decades in the trenches with Washington’s scribblers I am hardly inclined to senior-civics fairy-tale expectations of truth. Still, this was something new. Rachel Maddow, railing against Trump. Some other panel show, railing against Trump. Another called Hardball, railing against Trump. Minor talking heads, headlets if you will, using highly prejudicial wording: Trumps wants to “gut” Obamacare.

It is a lynch mob. In two weeks I saw not the slightest attempt at impartiality.

The customary arrogance of the Beltway Bubble runs strong. The city seems isolated from the rest of existence. It talks to itself about itself and isn’t particularly aware of the rest of the world. (“The Bubble” is shorthand for New York, DC, and Hollywood, the tripartite beating heart of political correctness.)

The city obsesses over twaddle about Russian malignity, over who grabbed whose ass, and transgender bathrooms. I heard nothing of the roiling currents of growth and change in Asia, of the incipient onslaught of new Asian airliners, the BRI, and de-dollarization. The focus on trivia seemed almost adolescent.

A disdain for the rest of the country, nonexistent twenty years ago, now flourishes. It is a virulent snobbishness of class and region. “Flyover land”  is the most common name for the rest of America. Hillary made the scorn explicit with her Deplorables, but it shows in casual conversation in which people here speak of Mississippi and Arkansas as “the middle of nowhere.”

This is a different country.

. . .

Washington is fascinated by Washington, by Congress and the Supreme Court and some of the bureaucracy. It has little interest in the rest of the country or the rest of the world. Or knowledge of it. A friend familiar with the Congress bets that ninety percent of the Senate don’t know where Burma is. A member of Congress I know told me of going to Thailand with another member who kept confusing it with Taiwan. This is crazy. But it is Washington.

The city has become a Gotcha polity in which the media look for any actionable “gaffe” as they say, or a “slur,” and then pile on to the malefactor.  The preferred sins are racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism. The miscreant is expected to squirm like a puppy that has wet the rug, apologize profusely, and beg forgiveness. Trump didn’t. It galls the city.

. . .

Finally, methinks the Byzantine Kindergarten has badly underestimated  the influence of internet. Among the many intelligent people I know (a fair few, eeeeeek! supporters of trump) the Net has become primary, the media secondary. When the New York Times says something nauseatingly PC, well-informed rebuttals surge across the Web. People on the Net, not constrained by political correctness, can speak of the many topics forbidden in Washington.

There’s more at the link.

I’m struck by the resemblance of contemporary Washington D.C., as described by Mr. Reed, to Paris in the period preceding the French Revolution in 1789.  It was said by some observers during and immediately following that uprising that the Palace of Versailles, seat of King Louis XVI‘s government, was a “glass house” or a “hothouse”, filled with its own concerns, governing an imaginary country that it had concocted for itself in its own collective imagination, but bearing little relation to the real France outside its gardens and hedges, or the needs of its people.  The Court was so out of touch with reality that the uproar in the Estates General caught it off-guard.  It lost control of events, and never managed to regain it.

I was even more forcibly reminded of that resemblance by newly-elected Senator Mitt Romney’s comments about President Trump in the Washington Post a few days ago.  The Senator seems to be completely out of touch with the mood of much of the country outside the political and financial elites within which he’s moved and lived all his life.  His concerns are not those of Mr. and Mrs. Average American.  He’s an American aristocrat, an enormously wealthy man who’s always moved in the circles of Wall Street and Big Business.  His views represent them, not the man in the street, and I daresay much of his work in the Senate will be on their behalf, rather than for the people who elected him.  I can’t help comparing him to the hapless Calonne in pre-revolutionary France.

One wonders.

More and more, I get the feeling that events are overtaking our political class.  They’re fiddling while Rome burns.  Our economy (as we’ll discuss later this morning) is in anything but good shape, but neither major political party seems interested in that reality, or in doing anything constructive about it.  They’re too busy arguing among themselves, and dividing the spoils of power in Washington.  Trouble is, unless they start paying attention to reality, those spoils may not be worth having . . .



  1. Want to get Cnngress back to work on the budget? Have Trump issue an Executive order stopping their paychecks and their staff's paychecks.

  2. c-90: Have Trump issue an Executive order stopping their paychecks and their staff's paychecks.

    That'd come awfully close to violating the 27th Amendment and/or the separation of powers. You want an unaccountable god-king? Because that's how you get an unaccountable god-king.

    1. Congress needs to not get paid until they start working together to get something done. Only problem is so many of them are rich so it really wouldn't matter.
      They need to hurt a little.

  3. It is sad to see what could be the end of the nation as evidenced by the politics of DC. They have long ago forgotten the purpose of the government and have taken powers and privileges that serve to widen the gulf between the elected and their acolytes in the government and the media and the people of the nation.

    The rift between the flyover citizens and those who reside in the 'select' regions of our country will serve to be our undoing in due time. It is not an abuse of the flyover people by the elite that will cause this to occur. It is the complete disconnect of values and lifestyles that will serve to ignite the conflict. People do not like to be told what to do and how to live by others who do not live in the same manner. As the increasingly preferential policies of the left further serve to isolate the flyover country from their government the resentment will foment into anger and a willingness to demonstrate said anger with force.

    The parallels between our present state of affairs and France just prior to the beginning of their long period of revolution is not to be ignored. The author has done well in bringing this to the reader's attention as it is probably the most prescient observation I have seen in reviewing the present political conflict we are in.

  4. I see similar things in the damn-the-rapes-and-murders, full speed ahead on massive third world migration. There was an article, IIRC on Voice of Europe, in which a young woman said two things that were very notable in my estimation:

    1. That the gods – yes, plural – would not forgive what the leadership of Sweden had done to the country. I've read, albeit in only a few places, that people are starting to abandon Christianity; and in some ways it makes sense. The logic is simple: "If Christianity means I need to allow unlimited immigration (xref the Pope's statements) and the destruction of my nation and culture, screw that noise!"

    2. She said "We are sons and daughters of Vikings".

    The globalist elites are hell-bend on suicide. Which, actually, may be part of the plan: sooner or later the peoples of Europe will say ENOUGH, and violently. When you have Marxianic Zeal, however, you believe that out of that chaos will come the one-world Socialist superstate. If you think about it in that perspective, IMHO, the deathlock on migration makes sense…

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