A new book by D.C. insider Mark Leibovich tells how things actually work in our nation's capital. A detailed analysis of who does what for whom in that town provides an anatomy of corruption.
For example, Leibovich tells how Geoff Morrell, a public relations man for the Pentagon, was wondering out loud at a D.C. party what he'd be doing now that his boss, Robert Gates, was stepping down. Fortunately for him, he was overheard by the famous lawyer Bob Bennett, whom he just happened to know personally, who landed him a jackpot pr job with BP America.
How could this happen? you might ask; an administration official gets a top job with an enormous corporation with the assistance of a top D.C. fixer, as chronicled by an elite, insider journo. The reason it can and does happen is because they all know each other.
They call it "networking," which is a polite name for the reality of the place: it's who you know and to whom you kowtow that determines the payoff. Ability, merit, virtue (God save us), and even ideology have little to do with it.
And everything in Washington D.C. has a cash value, because that's the bottom line of how it works. Nothing happens in the village without money changing hands. If you want to move anything at all, you have to grease the skids first.
So, when politicians tell us we should "Believe in America," what is it again we're supposed to believe in, exactly? Where does "We the People" come in?