Leibovich's This Town: The Tittle-Tattle Flibbertigibbet Musing of a Fashionisto Political Reporter in the Washington Beltway
If the scandalmongering of today's political events makes us yearn for The West Wing to the extent that the simulacrum becomes our perceived reality, then, This Town stokes like "Big Blue" crystal meth.
K Street and the Kremlin aren't invading our nation's capital. Rather, a pretty small city is being overrun by more than 600,000 people who dream of the White House.
Sadly, the book confirms our worst suspicions of how our nation's capital works -- or rather, doesn't. It also reflects a news media failing in its watchdog function. Still, there is hope beyond the book's negative portrait, about which, more later.
I wanted to enjoy This Town and I think Mark Leibovich has talent and insight. I promise I tried. But I worry about the tone, intent and soul of a book like this. Probably because the place I find myself these days makes me see things differently.
One of the first people to respond and react to Howard Kurtz's shabby treatment of Pari Bradlee was Bradlee's mother-in-law, Sally Quinn.
As was said of Philadelphia's founding Quakers, many may have come to Washington to do good but did well. Very well indeed. Yet with many of them, Leibovich claims, it comes "with a desperation that, to me, is the most compelling part of the Washington story, whether now or before: it is a spinning stew of human need."
Listen, I know this Mark guy seems to be gifted at peering into the souls of others --- even better than Bush gazing into Putin, but this book serves no useful purpose. It is cynical and mean.
Despite what you've heard, the spirit of bipartisanship in Washington is not dead. Simply look past the vitriol, bombast and gridlock, then listen for the ka-ching of the nearest cash register, made flesh by friendly lobbyists and special interests.