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Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein

Posted: November 5, 2008 03:22 PM

A Night When The People Holding Open the Doors Were Happier Than The Ones Walking Through Them


Since I already sent my serious post, I just wanted to chime in with an anecdote. I was in Washington D.C. last night, staying two blocks from the White House. At 11:30 pm, a half hour after the results were announced, I happened to walk past a very stuffy private club, one that, as far as I can tell, is populated exclusively by hardcore Republican men in their later years. It's the kind of place where you can imagine lobbyists slipping bribes to judges, and Central American coups being plotted... or maybe it's just me. Anyway, as I passed by, two men in black uniforms were high-fiving each other and hooting with delight. From what I could tell, one man was the doorman at the club, the other the chauffeur for one of the club members. Both were African American.

Just then, the club door opened and a bloated, red-faced stereotype of a man walked out. He was utterly miserable; he defined the word "scowl." The two uniformed men immediately returned to their duties: one held open the club door, the other held open the car door. But as they stood at attention, I'm pretty sure I noticed them share a furtive smile.

That, for me, was D.C. last night. Of course the dynamics of wealth and privilege that define the city are still intact. But for one night the people holding open the doors were a hell of a lot happier than the ones walking through them.