I just finished reading "This Town", by Mark Leivbovich. I urge you to read it. It's a down and dirty expose on what is coming down in Washington D.C. these days. Oh sure, you knew just how dirty and corrupt our politicians are but you probably just had the vague notion that most politicians who go there, even those with good intentions, almost always become corrupted by the "good ole boy system that thrives most productively in our nation's capital.
"This Town" tells you how it's done, who the "players" are, defines the pecking order, then goes about revealing just how shallow and superficial our national leaders really are.
Leibovich does it so damn well, and in such a humorous vein, that he'll have you laughing and crying, sometimes both at the same time.
One wonderfully oily scene that reflects the utter soullessness of the Washington elite is presented at Tim Russert's funeral. Though Russert was a beloved newscaster, one of the few who skewed both left and right when deserved, the politicians who attended the funeral made a sham of it, foregoing any pretense of either mourning or celebrating Russert's life; instead they used the occasion to swap business cards and schmooze with the greats and no so greats in attendance. I won't give away any more details but, suffice it to say, you'll be thoroughly enraptured by the callous disregard for the dead and utterly astounded by the superficiality of the political elite; it's literally like staring down a rattlesnake just before he strikes.
Leibovich lends credibility to the book by freely admitting he's one of those Washington insiders himself. Leibovich worked nine years for the Washington Post before he moved to the New York
Times as their chief political correspondent. He's noted for writing political profiles of Washington's biggest names and he's brought a wealth of political dirt to satisfy the greediest of political groupies.
Having worked for the Post and the Times you might suspect that Leibovich might be hardest on
Republicans...and you'd be wrong. He stated in a recent interview that much of the silliness in the book comes at the hands of Democrats who have held power in D.C. since winning control of Congress in 2006.
As a conservative, after reading this book, my admiration for those Tea Party folks in Congress knows no bounds. Those 70 or 80 folks who brought a zeal for reform to the capitol, and have thus far stuck to their guns, seems an almost impossible task as Leibovich describes the means and manner of corruption in the capitol. Most of our leaders are either millionaires and billionaires and are as detached from Main Stream America as anyone can get and still live here.
After reading this book you'll never again watch the Sunday morning talk shows and ever again believe a word uttered by pundit or politician. And speaking of pundits, you'll delight in learning just how vacuous and simple minded are the folks who moderate political discussion or who bring you the "so-called news"
After reading this book you'll cry at weddings, laugh at funerals...and think twenty car pile-ups are hilarious.