Another tell-it-like-it-is column that pulls nary a punch today from Charles Pierce. If that news alone isn’t enough to get you to click the link, here are two paragraphs to whet your appetite…
For decades, Washington functioned as the most predictable of company towns. The government worked through a series of unwritten rules and gentleman’s agreements. The people out beyond the company town were an afterthought. The real work of governing was done at dinner parties, and over drinks after the day’s session of Congress was over. Civility was never the natural order of things in politics, so the people in Washington fell into an elaborate pretense of politics, a kind of mock competition of ideas, sort of like professional wrestling, where the blood is not real and the chairs break apart on contact. Then the money got bigger, and the city grew more isolated, and the pretend politics with the fake blood got further and further removed from their actual consequences, and nobody noticed that Washington was turning into Versailles. That is the lost culture for which Brokaw so yearns today.
This second one riffs off of Brokaw’s claims that “I’m in Mainstream America a lot” (makes it sound like visiting a foreign country, he does):
Actually, Tom, you should’ve stuck around a little longer on Main Street America. Here’s what happened after you left…the Republican banker’s bank got gobbled up by Bank of America, which foreclosed on the Democratic contractor’s house through a robo-signing scam. He’s living in his car now. It also laid off three-quarters of the staff at the bank, including the Republican banker. He’s a greeter at the Wal-Mart they built across town, which undercut the prices of the lady who ran the grocery store and put her out of business. The housing bubble burst, so the guy with the backhoe sold it for scrap and he’s spent the last year looking for work. For the moment, he’s the cashier in the tattoo parlor that moved in where the grocery store used to be. Mainly, he drinks a lot. Once a week, they all get together and find a way to keep their families moving toward the soup kitchen run by the nice Methodist ladies on the outskirts of town.