Sunday, June 22, 2008

Homo Politicus

The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government
Dana Milbank

The premise of this tome is that Dana Milbank, Washington Post columnist, is an anthropologist studying the primitive tries found along the banks of the Potomac and writing them up for publication, possibly achieving tenure in the process. It only works up to a point. After the fifth or sixth chapter the joke is pretty stale.

Politicians, lobbyists, journalists, staffers and various hangers on in Washington D.C. have their quirks and peccadilloes and Milbank is here to tell us all about them. Since it is on the eleven o'clock news every stinking night right after he drive by shootings, the carjackings and the baby alligators in the toilet, we are all pretty familiar already. If I hear one more blue dress joke I am going to scream.

The glossary of Potomac speak is useful and interesting, though. Here are a few examples:

You're doing a heck of a job.
You will be fired in ten days.

I don't pay attention to the polls.
My approval rating is 32 percent.

Frankly . . .
The following statement is false.

Since it's the quadrennial silly season I thought a bit of political reading might be in order. This is plenty, though. I'm going to return Newt's bogus diatribe and check out a nice Laura Lippman novel or something to cleanse my palate.


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