A new book by New York Times journalist (and Washington insider), Mark Leibovich, entitled This Town promises to expose the rather nasty underbelly of cocktail party Washington DC. Supposedly many in the MLG complex are concerned that they are in the book. There are probably many others who are worried that they are not in it.
Washington DC, Downtown, Capitol Hill, and the White House is not that big an area. In a few square miles deals are done, tax dollars allocated, careers created and destroyed, power gained and lost, backs stabbed, files leaked, influence sold, and millions and millions made. It is a courtesan culture. Who’s doing what, with whom, to whom, and how much are they being paid for it? Who’s up? Who’s down? When are you leaving for Martha’s Vineyard? See you in Aspen.
This is the culture. It is a world completely separated from the world beyond the District. That the Georgetown cocktail party circuit crowd is making many of the decisions in our increasingly centralized country should give us pause. Their values are reflected in the laws which are written and the policies carried out from sea to shining sea.
And the Washington crowd loves to think of themselves as the smartest crowd around. They congratulate themselves and each other on their accomplishments and power gained all the time. Pick up a copy of Washingtonian Magazine sometime to see for yourself.
If this book really does shed light on DC insider culture it is welcomed. More Americans should know how things are done in the Gilded District.