Howard Fineman: Why does it make people so mad to see political elites and media elites hobnobbing at a Georgetown cocktail party?
A fun little leftover from last night to cleanse the palate. I grudgingly admire this guy’s ability to chum the social-media waters with a tweet distilling incestuous Washington elitism to its purest essence and then to complain about the entirely predictable reaction.
Try to imagine the clammiest snooty D.C. scene you can imagine. What is it? It’s a cocktail party, of course — in Georgetown. The fabled Georgetown cocktail party is so closely identified with elitism that it’s been used on the right for years as an insult aimed at establishment media, to accuse centrists of having sold out. (“You wrote this RINO column because you’re afraid you wouldn’t be invited to any more Georgetown cocktail parties if you hadn’t.”) It’s so shopworn and cliche by now that you’re more likely to hear establishmentarians joke about it themselves than you are to see populists using it in earnest. “I published a piece today defending Never Trump. See you at tonight’s cocktail party in Georgetown.” Etc.
Who would be at this clammy, snooty hypothetical cocktail party we’re imagining? Obviously some very well-known politicians, as the eagerness of attendees to kiss the asses of the powerful is a basic part of why this scene is so repulsive. So, let’s say, Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi. There’d also be lots of media types, as it’s the spectacle of the “watchdog” press doing most of the ass-kissing that makes the tableau particularly gross. Any media people will do but obviously the more famous they are and the more closely they’re associated with journalistic starf***ing, the more odious the scene becomes. So, think Maureen Dowd, say.
Fortunately, such a ludicrous scene would never happen in reality. Or would it?
It’s almost suspiciously perfect. The dictionary definition of an elitist Washington cocktail party becomes reality — just hours after Democrats’ big Mueller impeachment show turns out to be a total dud, with Pelosi seemingly evincing not a care in the world?
And the party was being thrown to celebrate a book about Supreme Court confirmation fights, a subject on which Senate Democrats have failed spectacularly not once, not twice, but three times in the span of three years? And there’s Chuck Schumer, also seeming to be having a grand old time?
And the journalist hosting it just so happens to have been the conduit for Pelosi’s recent trash talk about the left’s heroes, the Squad?
It’s as if this image was forged in some populist lab, a deepfake designed to encourage the total overthrow of the Democratic establishment.
The reaction on Twitter from both sides was swift and brutal and foreseeable to everyone in the universe. Except, somehow, to the man who posted it.
Tonight I tweeted a pic of a Georgetown party hosted by @maureendowd, attended by @SpeakerPelosi, @SenSchumer and DC journos. In the old days it would’ve been a benign big-shot brag. No more. It was viciously ratio’d by left and right. I deleted it. All establishments are hated.
— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) July 25, 2019
“All establishments are hated.” Any theories why?
Anyway, congrats to all involved for the collective Beltway-corridor gross-out. Until the White House Correspondents Dinner is restored to its Obama-era grandeur as the Super Bowl of establishment politico/media starf***ing, stuff like this will have to suffice.