Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Miss Manners defends DC

When I praised Anne Applebaum for making the point that the “Washington” that reform-minded politicians love to trash does not really exist, I did not consider the charge that — in addition to greedy, dissimulating, corrupt, etc. — Washington is also impolite.  Thankfully, Miss Manners comes to DC’s rescue.

“I’m not rude,” I point out (gently and politely), “and I was born in Washington. My family and friends aren’t rude. You are talking about the [representatives] you sent there. You voted for them. Why? To get them out of your own town, I suppose. But how can you blame my town for that?”

The tell-tale can of corruption

The tell-tale can of corruption

This is what is so frustrating about the “clean up DC” movement.  It happens every election cycle, even though, theoretically, some of the people that voters are “sending down to Washington” — from Alaska, or somewhere equally provincial, presumably — are the clean ones.  Is there just a constant need to hit refresh, to clean up the cleaner-uppers, or are these would-be reformers just too quickly sullied by the irredeemable perfidy of our nice little town?

Though Miss Manners spends a good deal of time emphasizing DC’s virtues, the point is not that DC is overwhelmingly fantastic, and that its free museums make it a far superior city to New York — as incontrovertibly true as this may be.  The point is that there is something transparently hollow, and incredibly grating, about politicians’ constant need to excoriate our nation’s capital.  This tired campaign promise is so deceptive — and so completely meaningless — that the real corruption seems to be in so persistently continuing to utter it.

(Image from flickr user jcolman under a Creative Commons license)

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November 1, 2008 - Posted by | U.S. politics, Washington DC |

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