Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Velvet Rope
Most people are regular people: taxis and coach instead of limos and first-class, the bleachers instead of the skyboxes, the nine-dollar bottle of wine instead of the one that costs $35. But from time to time, we find ourselves on the other side of the velvet rope. When we know we're only going to be there for a short period, we enjoy it, but we're almost self-conscious about the way we act while we're there. Look at me, look where I am, hope I don't look out of place. (Spending time with a famous person can provoke a similar reaction.)

However, when regular people get the right to be inside the velvet rope all the time, not everybody reacts well. Think of lottery winners here, or Roseanne and Tom Arnold. Acquiring the credential that gets you inside does not automatically grant you the savoir faire to act gracefully once you're there. The nouveau riche really are different from those who are born to wealth, fame, and/or power, and from those who have learned over time what to do with the wealth, fame, and/or power it's been their good fortune to acquire.

(Wow, "savoir faire" and "nouveau riche" in back-to-back sentences. Welcome to the fuckin' Algonquin round table.)

So anyway--a FEMA official told Congress today that disgraced FEMA director Mike Brown was more concerned with his dinner arrangements than with responding to the unfolding Hurricane Katrina disaster. Which is exactly the kind of behavior you'd expect from a regular guy from outside the ropes who got a ticket inside and decided he liked the view. Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. Have your people bring the dessert cart.

The Smart Money:
It's been my position here for quite a while that once the Plamegate indictments come down, Karl Rove will get away clean. There's no reason why his skill at political combat, directed against his White House colleagues, shouldn't be able to save his ass, just as it's saved his boss's ass on so many occasions. Thus I believe others are likely to be indicted, but not Rove himself. You can find lots of people who'd debate that assumption, but there's a difference between those who are just talking and those who are willing to back it up. One way to back it up is to put money on it. According to the Financial Times, the website Sportsbook is taking wagers on Rove's fate, and 70 percent of those laying money down are betting Rove avoids indictment and keeps his job.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?