City Desk

Georgetown Dish Writer: Sally Quinn Doesn’t Delight My Veblen!

By now, there's surely no more need to deconstruct Sally Quinn's article about how D.C. parties have become terrible. But it's hard to ignore a post yesterday on Georgetown Dish that comes to Quinn's defense. In his windy way, David A. Rothman manages to encapsulate Georgetown's "Let's put on a show...and save the world!" ethos.

The first clue that we're in for a treat is the article's title: "On Sally Quinn, Money, Power, Bipartisanship and My Inner Veblen." That'd be American economist and leisure theorist Thorstein Veblen (Rothman helpfully provides a Wikipedia link), who would presumably disapprove of Quinn's lavishness.

"Sally Quinn-bashers have once again been at work—ridiculing an essay headlined Sally Quinn announces the end of power in Washington," Rothman writes. "Granted, Ms. Quinn has never delighted my inner Veblen."

Disapproving Veblen aside, Rothman has another 1,500 words about how, if the Post would just unleash Quinn to throw parties, most of the District's—and possibly, the country's—crises would be solved.

But would Power People come? Well, surely not every politician is out to ostracize Ms. Quinn; besides, what better way for conservative Republicans from moderate districts to show open-mindedness than to drink and dine with her? Mix those guests with the standard Democratic suspects, and perhaps D.C. can become just a tad less hate-ridden and dysfunctional and save a few jobs in Muskogee.

Problems solved! But will Rothman's Veblen ever be delighted?

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  • Remote

    It was a good article, CP.

    Here it is, distilled:

    "Power in Washington used to be centered on the White House, the Congress, the Cabinet, the diplomatic corps and the journalists. Today, all of those groups depend on money for their very existence. The real power lies with the lobbyists, the money-raisers, the super PACs, the bundlers, the corporations and rich people. The hottest ticket on the planet is not an invitation to the White House but an invitation to the World Economic Forum in Davos."

  • David H. Rothman

    > Problems solved!

    So, Will, does the sarcasm mean you're against the bipartisanship and collegiality that the Quinn-style parties in Georgetown and elsewhere encouraged? And that you think cash-driven socializing is instead the way to go? "Remote" is right. Far from being an egotistical whine, the Quinn piece is a must read for those of us who would rather that government not be controlled by the highest bidders. It isn't as if Sally Quinn or Georgetown can singlehandedly reform Congress or the rest of government, but, extravagant or not, the old socializing certainly beat today's transactional variety.

    David Rothman
    (Speaking simply for himself--not even for Alexandria)