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Truer Words Never Spoken

October 8th, 2008

I read a lot of Washington Post stories, in particular their editorials, which is really the only way to get analysis these days since reporters are so afraid of being called biased they can’t just come out and say “so and so is telling a lie”. Today I read the first editorial I’ve seen of one Anne Applebaum, who is a native Washingtonian (not of the state variety) talking about the supposed “Washington” that we hear politicians claiming to represent middle America are always railing against. She’s got an all-star list of politicians who (a) run Washington and (b) are from middle American… and yet, Washington still seems to be this thing that middle America hates. She brings her editorial to a finish with the following paragraph that every one should read.

Washington, however stuffy it may once have been, is no longer in need of “a little bit of reality from Wasilla Main Street.” Washington is in need of expertise, management experience, long-term thinking and more political courage — from wherever in the country it happens to come. More to the point, Washington needs people who think like national politicians and not like spokesmen for the local business executives who fill their reelection coffers and the local party hacks who plan their campaigns. Let’s be frank: The “bailout” bill was passed last week not because members of Congress decided it would work but because it was stuffed with the pork, perks and tax breaks without which no piece of legislation, however important to the nation as a whole, can now pass. Maybe it’s unfair to call that “small-town” thinking, but it sure is small-minded. And small-mindedness, not snobbery, is the dominant mind-set of 21st-century Washington.

I wish I could write like that.

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