I missed this when it aired, but here's The Nation's Chris Hayes, nailing the culture in Washington, D.C., in about 60 seconds.
O'DONNELL: How awkward is this for Democrats, and what does it mean to the culture of Washington that you can so quickly and easily move from one side to the other and it's just this constant churning back and forth?
HAYES: It means that the culture of Washington is totally and completely corrupt. And that the country is ruled -- and I know this sounds radical, but true -- by a very intense financial oligarchy, that basically has purchase on both parties. I mean, what you see here -- and I don't want to downplay the import of the derivatives bill that passed out of the Ag Committee and the financial regulations, some of the measures of which are quite strong and built because of this public anger -- but the fact of the matter is, drawing these lines between who's on the side of Wall Street and who isn't, every single one of these members is talking to Wall Street every day, and raising money from them, and having them whisper in their ear. And over the years, we have seen finance metastasize so that it's 40 or 50 percent of corporate profits, and funneling that money back into purchasing the assent of elected representatives in a way that brought us to this crisis point. So we can make technical fixes to regulation, but what we have to do is break the political/economic power of the banks, and that I don't see on the horizon.
On a recent Friday night, a couple hundred influentials gathered for a Mardi Gras-themed birthday party for Betsy Fischer, the executive producer of "Meet the Press." Held at the Washington home of the lobbyist Jack Quinn, the party was a classic Suck-Up City affair in which everyone seemed to be congratulating one another on some recent story, book deal, show or haircut (and, by the way, your boss is doing a swell job, and maybe we could do an interview).
McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, arrived after the former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie left. Fox News's Greta Van Susteren had David Axelrod pinned into a corner near a tower of cupcakes. In the basement, a very white, bipartisan Soul Train was getting down to hip-hop. David Gregory, the "Meet the Press" host, and Newsweek's Jon Meacham gave speeches about Fischer. Over by the jambalaya, Alan Greenspan picked up some Mardi Gras beads and placed them around the neck of his wife, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, who bristled and quickly removed them. Allen was there too, of course, but he vanished after a while -- sending an e-mail message later, thanking me for coming.
Remember, Allen is the person who blew up the Washington Post's attempt to embed this nonsense within their institutional journalism -- which is sort of like a doctor wanting to catch syphilis. Of course, the sabotaging of that crass enterprise doesn't look as impressive when you realize that it was simply a redundant arm of the same well-established con.