Saturday, June 09, 2012

Weep For Sally Quinn...

After a lifetime spent in Washington D.C, she bemoans the changes that have come over the capital's social scene. I won't argue with her first observation, although I am not sure the embarrassing spectacle that the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner has become is necessarily the end of the world as we know it:

I was shoved up against Callista’s [Gingrich] hair and nearly broke my nose. It was scary. I felt as if I had been caught in a crowded theater and someone had yelled fire.

It was telling that Vanity Fair had bought more tables at the dinner than most of the Washington news organizations.

On the way home (we skipped the after-parties), I suddenly realized that this grotesque event signaled the end of power as we have known it. That dinner — which seemed to have more celebrities, clients and advertisers than journalists and politicians — was the tipping point.

Fair enough. But her analysis, and woe-is-me the barbarians have entered the palace take on the change that has enveloped DC is almost too painful to read:

Today, money trumps power.

Journalists used to be powerful. But now there are so many 25-year-old bloggers, many of them showing up on the TV talk shows, that the old-timers are struggling to catch up, tweeting their hearts out and using hip language like “hashtags.” And those young bloggers care about money, too. There aren’t enough jobs, and newspapers and Web sites are struggling to make profits. Even the people on top are insecure. Nobody knows when he or she is going to be let go; the guillotine drops on media stars with alarming frequency.

Bitter much, Sally?  How dare those young up-and-comers threaten your God-given right to seniority, security, and undeserved respect.  But that's OK, you've grabbed the crutch from the Wisconsin Democrats and taken it as your own:

Interest groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,Citizens United and American Crossroads have become more and more powerful, beating out everyone else in the game.

In the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin writes that the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, allowing corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose political candidates, will change things dramatically: “The Roberts Court, it appears, will guarantee moneyed interests the freedom to raise and spend any amount, from any source, at any time, in order to win elections.”

There you have it. Money is power. The fundraiser has replaced the Washington dinner party.

And who was the first president in U.S history to refuse public funding for a general election, Sally?  Who was the elected official who promised to raise a billion dollars for his re-election campaign?  Who is the guy who has attended a record 150 fundraisers while the nation's economy remains mired in neutral? Who was the man who set the mad money wheel into motion?

Sally has forgotten the name of Barack Hussein Obama.  Except when she complains that he's too busy doing fundraisers to attend her dinner parties.  But that, of course, is the fault of Citizens United.

Here's the "ouch" part:

Washington has become a community of small groups of people, mostly staying within their circles, occasionally making a foray out into the bigger world to large events, only to be turned off by the endless corporate “fundraiserness” of it all. How special can you feel when you know you have to pay to go to an event and then get a bad seat on top of that?

Hey! I used to matter, you know...

Sally enters our world, and is shocked, shocked to see what it feels like to live among the powerless.  Fortunately, we have Citizen's United, and our bloggers.

But maybe this small-group trend is not such a bad thing. Maybe, as in one of those post-apocalyptic movies where the planet has been destroyed by war, people will begin to make their own lives.

The death of the Washington dinner party is akin to a nuclear holocaust?  Way to show your real- world bona fides, Sally!

That’s what Ben and I have done. In the past, we might have attended five-course dinners a couple of nights a week, with a different wine for each course, served in a power-filled room of politicians, diplomats, White House officials and well-known journalists. Those gatherings don’t exist anymore. Now, we host and go to small dinners with close friends...

Just like the rest of the 99%.  Sally should be proud that she's actually living the lifestyle that she's championed for the rest of us.  She seems to be struggling with it a bit though, although her essay concludes with the hope that she might find happiness in her somewhat simpler life.  Simpler being a comparison to what she once had, but still - I have no doubt her current "smaller" dinner excursions with "friends"are still more lavish and "powerful" than anything most of us plebes will experience in our lifetimes.

Next up for Sally: Life under Obamacare!  Hope you weren't as attached to your annual mammograms and checkups as you were to your five course dinners with the movers and shakers of Washington...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sally is horrible