Nicholas Lemann’s description of Washington, D.C. is just one of many fine observations in his essay on Karl Rove in the latest issue of The New Yorker.
Perhaps the most revealing comes in the piece’s concluding lines:
Rove’s paradox is that he combined a modestly Madisonian view of political motivation with an overwhelming drive to power. The ego said one thing, the id said another, and the id always won. Trying to be the most aggressive strategist, with the most influence over politics and policy, in the most historically significant modern Administration, finally landed him on the sidelines, the place he least wanted to be.
To leave the White House for a caeer as writer, analyst, commentator and teacher –even one with a direct line to the president and in all likelihood all future GOP leaders in Congress and 1600 Pennsylvania– is, for Dean Lemann, “the sidelines.”
The necessary valuation of MSM that flows from this standard of measurement is consistent with my view of MSM, but it hardly squares with the collective ego of the Beltway-Manhattan media elite.