1 min read

Washington Parties

The NYTimes has an article about the canceling of a old school Washington social scene column, with some interesting insight into how the way our leaders interact has changed and polarized over the last 50 years:

…The Washington that Ms. Quinn covers, one governed by convivial elites who battle by day and clink glasses at night, no longer exists. In the old paradigm, people with different points of view would assemble in various salons of Georgetown and set aside their differences over an Old Fashioned before the coq au vin was even served.

Now the butter knife has been replaced by a machete. People with opposing political points of view are less likely to eat with the loyal opposition at night than to try to dine on them in a quick hit on MSNBC or Fox News. And even once that is accomplished, there is the endless peering into the BlackBerry to observe the day trading in political capital that goes on in blogs, on Twitter and in e-mail newsletters.

via The Media Equation — Sally Quinn’s Column on Social Graces Dies for Lack of Them — NYTimes.com.

This is a little bit of a chicken and an egg debate, but I would guess that politics polarized and anti-establishment, outsider street cred got important for incumbents first, killing what collegiality existed. Now, the social system probably just reinforces those changes by providing less opportunity and incentive for politicians to get friendly with each other.