Why we fight

Obots and PUMAs alike should recognize that this is a big part of what Obama is up against:

The Clintons brought in a whole new crowd, many of them young and arrogant and clique-ish, which created such a competitive social atmosphere that the environment became toxic. In the beginning, advised by bipartisan fixer David Gergen, the Clintons hosted a series of small dinners for the chattering classes; these petered out as the first couple didn’t find them useful (or fun). Ironically, President Clinton had given a toast at Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham’s welcoming dinner for him shortly after he was elected. He talked about Washington being a place that was obsessed by “who’s in and who’s out, who’s up and who’s down.” It was as though he were predicting his own tenure: A lot of enemies were made. When the Monica Lewinsky affair turned into a debacle, during his second term, Clinton was impeached partly because of the ill will toward him in the city. After that, the Clintons went underground and very few from the administration were seen out and about.

[…..]

Indulge me for a moment on the topic of our cultural bellwether, “Avatar.” In the film, the Pandora natives worship the goddess Eywa, who is the spirit that connects them to their planet. If there is such a goddess in Washington, I believe, it is the spirit of community. Those who live here want to welcome new friends. Washingtonians are open and willing to invite newcomers and make them part of their lives. If they can’t do that, there is automatically a distance that is created so that if — no, make that when — the administration gets into trouble, there is too little sympathy or support.

When an administration begins to express hostility to those in the community, the Na’vi pull out their arrows with the poison tips and begin taking aim. The rougher things get, the more members of the administration need to reach out, not withdraw. Nobody has ever been able to master this yet. Consequently everyone suffers — needlessly.

It would be inspiring to see a new administration understand the simple secret of how to belong to the community. Then, they would never have to hear, as the heroine of Avatar, Neytiri, says to the would-be hero, Jake Sully: “You will never be one of the people.”






40 replies
  1. 1
    demkat620 says:

    The Villagers will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  2. 2
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Um, excuse me. The State of the Fucking Union is on. Your Avatar thread can wait, good sir.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    WTF. And I mean, WTF? Sally Quinn’s Washington is a “community” in much the same way that Louis XVI’s Versailles was a community. If only our vacuous and degenerate aristocracy could suffer the same fate. They are certainly deserving of it for all the harm they have inflicted upon this country.

  4. 4
    bago says:

    Aww. Baby needs attention.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    @demkat620: We know what the Villagers look like, as opposed to some ho-hum Wall Street crook who is obscure enough to blend in with the crowd on the IRT.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    Your Avatar thread can wait, good sir.

    Not about Avatar!

    It would be dumb to say this kind of thing is why Obama needs our back, but…that’s more or less what I think.

  7. 7
    Dave Fud says:

    Being one of them instead of outside the beltway is a large part of the problem with these bloviators; so yes, this is what the Obama administration is up against, but it is up to him to use populism to drown out the insider voices that demand special interests be considered and that those who seek change aren’t serious.

    The natives of Avatar are those being invaded, those who are weak, unlike the Brooks’, chunky or otherwise, who can’t seem to understand that they represent moneyed interests, not voter interests. Comparing the insiders of Washington to the natives of Avatar, is, like everything else these fools talk about, turned completely on its head.

    Dave Fud +4

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    Your Avatar thread can wait, good sir.

    Not about Avatar!

    It would be dumb to say this kind of thing is why Obama needs our backing, but…that’s more or less what I think.

  9. 9
    Will says:

    She is the Mrs. Drysdale to the Clinton’s Beverly Hillbillies.

    What these Villagers dodn’t understand is that the Hillbillies were the good guys.

  10. 10
    DougJ says:

    Aww. Baby needs attention.

    Me or Sally Quinn?

  11. 11
    SpotWeld says:

    Anyone else get the impressions she didn’t actually see Avatar, just had a nephew explain it to her…

  12. 12
    SpotWeld says:

    @DougJ: She needs a lithium drip

  13. 13
    jenniebee says:

    Well she’s a wench, no doubt, but it’s fair to say that if Marie Antoinette had invited the Duc d’Orleans to more of her parties instead of her husband banishing him from Versailles, the libelistes wouldn’t have found in the duc such a friendly outlet for distributing their pornography-as-politics and without the libelistes there’s no revolution. Just period, they keep their heads.

  14. 14
    DougJ says:

    As much as I to hate say this, I’m agreeing with Chris Matthews right now, both his predictions about how this plays with the WSJ crowd and his critique of the jobs program.

  15. 15
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @beltane:

    WTF. And I mean, WTF?

    That is exactly what I said. I’m guessing Quinn was either up against a deadline and desperate, or she was just plain on one.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    I think it’s kind of funny that Sally Quinn goes to the trouble of asking her readers to ‘indulge [her] for a moment’, as if that woman spends the tiniest femtosecond of her life not being indulged.

  17. 17
    DougJ says:

    God damn, Matthews is really making sense. And I’m still sober.

  18. 18
    slag says:

    Some delivery guy was wearing a t-shirt today that said:

    “Sarcasm: Better than killing people”

    And I thought: Well, that’s true.

    But after reading this, I’m thinking killing certain people may be underrated.

  19. 19
    max says:

    Obots and PUMAs alike should recognize that this is a big part of what Obama is up against:

    Saw this long ago. I know, I know, tell me about it.

    max
    [‘Neo-confederates and Villagers and Martian war machine bankers, oh my.’]

  20. 20

    DougJ:
    Not to pick a nit, because I read you religiously, but Digby’s been all over this pretty much the whole time she’s been blogging.

  21. 21

    My favorite comment about the article:

    You’ve not truly arrived in DC until Sally’s blown you in the toilets at one of her salons.

    Doug, can you use the mighty skills at punkage and pwnage that you displayed yesterday to go after Sally Quinn? That would be so awesome.

  22. 22
    DougJ says:

    Not to pick a nit, because I read you religiously, but Digby’s been all over this pretty much the whole time she’s been blogging.

    I know. That’s how I became aware of it. I should probably link more to her but I haven’t agreed that much with her Obama critique as of late.

  23. 23
    Lex says:

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle: Yes, she has, and on this particular piece, Digby is en fuego.

  24. 24
    Lex says:

    @El Cid:

    I think it’s kind of funny that Sally Quinn goes to the trouble of asking her readers to ‘indulge [her] for a moment’, as if that woman spends the tiniest femtosecond of her life not being indulged.

    For. The. Win.

  25. 25
    DonkeyKong says:

    How bout Sally invite all her squab gobbling chardonney guzzlers over to the townhouse for a bolshevik style group picture.

  26. 26
    Comrade Luke says:

    @DougJ:

    What did he say? I assume it’s not positive?

  27. 27
    Liberty60 says:

    @demkat620:

    The Villagers will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

    Sorry, I was with you, until I realized you were joking.

  28. 28

    @SpotWeld:

    Anyone else get the impressions she didn’t actually see Avatar, just had a nephew explain it to her…

    Yes. Why is it that these types always fail, epically, when they attempt to use analogies based upon the latest tropes in pop culture? I mean it’s fun to watch, but Jesus, you’d think that they’d figure out how clueless they sound when they write this sort of thing.

  29. 29
    DougJ says:

    What did he say? I assume it’s not positive?

    Pretty positive.

  30. 30
    Comrade Luke says:

    @DougJ:

    WHAT?! That’s shocking.

    Like I said in the other thread, hopefully this shakes things loose a bit, because we needed it.

  31. 31
    slag says:

    On the plus side, DougJ is right. Having these people dislike Obama definitely makes me like him more. On a visceral level even. He does have to choose between us and them in this environment (as much as I hate that kind of framing). It’s to Obama’s credit that he chooses wisely.

  32. 32
    Dazza says:

    With thanks for the teriffic tips within the post, it’s truly aided my family!

  33. 33
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I’ll believe the Villagers are anything like the Na’vi when I see Sally Quinn riding a goddam pterodactyl.

  34. 34
    TEL says:

    @SpotWeld: My first thought was WTF??, followed by what you said. I guess she used the “Avatar” comparison as a tool to try and broaden the appeal of that POS column?

  35. 35
    Badtux says:

    Am I imagining things, or did she just call the Obamas “uppity”?

    Reminds me of the Southern ladies I grew up amongst, who were far too cultured to use something as crass as the N-word, but whose circumlocutions to arrive at the same basic conclusion were epic.

    – Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  36. 36
    CalD says:

    And yet not even Ronald Magnus, in all his goodness, was ever so beloved of the people (73%) as the lowly Clinton was after suffering the most grievous wounds his persecutors could visit upon him, with all their slings and arrows. And boy didn’t that just piss ’em off even more.

  37. 37
    hamletta says:

    Just reading the excerpt, I knew it would involve Sally Quinn, and the link title told all. No need to “read the whole thing” for me. Being a native Washingtonian, I hate that woman with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns.

    I have vague memories of being a little pitcher with big ears, listening to my mother and my godmother discuss her latest shenanigans. I’m pretty sure they used words that Good Christian Ladies would not use, but Good Lutheran Women always keep at their disposal.

    How much of the destruction of a great newspaper can be laid at her Patsy Stone–like feet?

    She is vile. And I can’t believe she had the unmitigated gall to take communion at Saint Timmy’s funeral “because he would have wanted it that way.” No, Sally, you ignorant slut, as a devout Catholic, he would have wanted you to convert first, because that’s how Rome says it’s done.

    And this woman runs the WaPo’s “On Faith” site?

  38. 38
    chopper says:

    If there is such a goddess in Washington, I believe, it is the spirit of community. Those who live here want to welcome new friends. Washingtonians are open and willing to invite newcomers and make them part of their lives.

    as someone who lived in washington for quite some time, let me be the first to call this assertion unmitigated horseshit.

  39. 39
    Paul in KY says:

    This was a part of VP Gore’s problem (IMO). He had never kissed butt to the courtiers (especially those who buy ink in 50 gal barrels) & they did their best to shaft him.

    Feeding & care of those boobs is part of the job. Pres. Roosevelt was great at this, so was Pres. Kennedy.

  40. 40
    jayjaybear says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    I’ll believe the Villagers are anything like the Na’vi when I see Sally Quinn riding a goddam pterodactyl.

    She’s already a harpy. Does that count?

Comments are closed.