Thursday, October 05, 2006

Two elites

In recent years this country has been plagued by two elites, each pursuing its way with little reference to the rest of us "boobs." We boobs do not have the good fortune of living in either Hollywood or Washington, DC. To be sure the really prosperous movie people live in places like Beverly Hills and Malibu, while the DC crowd dwells in the superrich counties surrounding the District. Alas, some of the latter group live not far from me in Manhattan, which has become a suburb of Inside the Beltway, to all intents and purposes.

After the glory days of Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn the political pretensions of the Hollywood elite have been punctured. I suppose that they will still give pots of money to Hillary if she runs for president. But most of the leading figures seem to be engaged in innocuous, even worthwhile enterprises now, such as adopting African children. Mel Gibson's outbursts, while different in content, help to point up the unreality of the Hollywood worldview. Let the Hollywoodians continue to do good works, while sparing us the dubious benefit of their opinions.

Not so with the gang Inside the Beltway, Foley's disgrace notwithstanding. I was reminded of this permanent government of insider operatives by the spotlight that has been aimed on the Congressional pages. I do not care whether this institution survives or not. It is one of many training agencies for professional political junkies, all of whom are being readied for service as part of the army of unelected political operatives. The Kennedy School of Government, Columbia's SIPA and many others of that ilk come to mind.

Congress itself is correctly described as unelected. No matter how massive the Democratic landslide in November may prove to be, it is unlikely that more than 15-20 House seats will change hands. The rest are protected by gerrymandering, and the office holders will stay there just as long as they want. The voters have nothing to do with the matter.

I have long subscribed to the sobering idea that the United States is not a democracy but a republic. Now it isn't even a republic any more. Arguably it is an imperial kleptocracy.


Post a Comment

<< Home