David Axelrod was on Morning Joe today. He struck a chord or two that I'm always strumming – much as I love the show and all (quality ones) like it.
Many people in punditland have this ga-ga thing they do about being in Washington. It's truly sickening. But I learned this morning that Mr. Axelrod isn't one of them. God bless him. Chuck Todd usually comes through too (although I'm still trying to forgive him for saying Virginia had seceded from the South politically) – yesterday he said that although the Amtrak gang is all abuzz about whether or not the president is overexposed, people in the real world not only don't think that, they have enough sense not to waste precious time on such nonsense. President Obama is a very well-loved man in the real world. We know what an idiotic question that is. You, he, and everybody else should never forget that.
I was born in Arlington, Virginia. I graduated from Woodson high school in 1975. My father was a Washington bureaucrat. I grew up here. It used to be a nice place to live. It's not any more. It's a mean, cutthroat place now. I hate it. My husband and I have bought a house in Jackson, Mississippi (a surprisingly lovely place to live by the way, where you can buy a house that would cost $600,000 in Arlington for under $100,000. With a half-acre lot by the way) and the minute he's eligible to retire we're leaving. The traffic, the hordes of people you can't say hello to because they don't speak English (and I hate Lou Dobbs as much as anyone), and the regular Americans who'd just as soon knock you down as look at you are more than we can take any more. We're leaving Fake, Mean and Stupid Land and going back to America. I can't wait.
LBJ, when he retired, said that he was going home, "where people know when you're sick and care when you die." Eisenhower said "There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home." Axelrod gave me another one to add to my list this morning: "At least in Chicago they stab you in the front." I don't have a pertinent quote from David Souter, but the fact that he also hated Washington and couldn't wait to leave means he too, is on my list of smart people. I use it to keep me from throwing up when I watch the punditocracy fawn over all things Washington. I'd like to thank David Axelrod for not being one of them. Talk about a breath of fresh air. He made my morning.