Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another member of the media avoids the point

Anne Applebaum in today's Washington Post claims that Sarah Palin is wrong in putting down Washington; she notes that the members of congress in fact don't originate from Washington, and she goes on to say:

"The result: 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."

Arrgghh, but that so avoids the main point. No one denies that Chuck Schumer, say, originates from New York. The point isn't so much where people come from. It's their mind-set. And surely Ms. Applebaum can't deny that those who, wherever they started out, wind up spending 5, or 10, or 20, or 30 years in Washington too often get changed (I almost wrote "corrupted"; and some do wind up there) by it. They lose touch with their constituents; they get too interested in the perks of office; they think only about getting elected next November; they blindly assume that bringing pork home to their district will somehow work out well for the whole country. That's the "Washington" that Sarah Palin and many others (rightly) complain about. It's not a hometown or a place, so much; it's a way of thinking. And the over-450-page-long bailout bill is an excellent example of it, which is why I sure don't see overwhelming joy out here in the heartland over it.

We cannot pretend that Sarah Palin's "Washington" doesn't exist. We all know it does.