Yesterday I went on a bit of roadtrip to the Oregon coast, this picture was taken from the parking lot of the Astoria Column which is being renovated so I wasn’t able to take a picture from a higher vantage point. At the bottom of the hill is Astoria and the bridge across the Columbia to Washington, the mouth of the Columbia is a tiny bit west of here. I figured I could make this one look decent, so I posted it.
I’ve been reading Mark Leibovich’s This Town for the past couple of hours. The book documents the incestuous relationships between Washington’s elite. He persuasively argues that the apparent extreme partisanship in Washington is mostly a game, a show for votes. Politicians, the media, lobbyists, and other insiders all constitute a single social circle were people float between all of the roles over time. Unsurprisingly, there are more important things in Washington than liberalism, conservatism, or any other ideology: money. He sums it beautifully when describing BP hiring and influencing insiders after the Horizon disaster in the gulf, “Washington becomes a determinedly bipartisan team when there is money to be made — sorry, I mean a hopeful exemplar of Americans pulling together in a time of crisis.” The Washington Leibovich describes won’t surprise you with the brush strokes, we all know Washington is ruled by money more than anything else, but the details, the specifics of cocktail parties, influence peddling, relationships between members of the media and ‘public’ servants, and the size of the revolving door show the depth of depravity, the stickiness of the swamp, in all it’s awful glory. It’s fascinating, like watching a fiery car accident, except America is the car and we’re the passengers futilely screaming for help.
I finished the book this morning. I would definitely recommend it.