The Village Social Tabbies Hiss And Yowl
Mrs Tim Russert has a new article in Vanity Fair this month about the Village hostesses. Apparently they are very upset. Nobody seems to have good dinner parties any more.
It all started with Carter who refused to serve drinks. Luckily, Reagan came in and brought back the glittering social life these people know they deserve. But it wasn't to last:
Lea Berman: I remember at the end of the Reagan years we got Democrats in Congress, and it really got ugly at dinner parties. We were just under siege the whole dinner. I told my husband, “I am not going to go through that again.” People of different parties weren’t really friends.
The Bush Sr administration was pretty good because they entertained a lot of foreign leaders and those were simply wuuunderful parties.
You know what happened next:
Sally Quinn: In terms of entertaining being partisan, it started with Clinton. The people who were seen as “hostesses” were people who had money or were raising money.… When the stuff about Clinton and women started appearing, in the second term, things shut down. Everybody wanted to go hide in a cave. For people willing to defend him, it became intolerable for them to go out.
In 2000, after being elected to the Senate, Hillary Clinton bought a fashionable house near the British and Italian Embassies. Before her run for the presidency, she added on to the house in order to have more space for entertaining.
Since Hillary has been here in the Senate for the last eight years, I think I’ve seen her twice. Otherwise, she is at fund-raisers. She entertains constantly, but it is all political. It is people who work for her or raise money for her.
(I won't be ignooored, Hillary.)
Mrs Russert continues in her own words. Apparently, she was afraid that people didn't know the history of the stupid, trumped up scandals that came to nothing in the Clinton administration, so she felt it necessary to give her readers some detail --- and then trash the one hostess (who is evidently outré among the cats) of the moment:
The Clintons’ second term was mired in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and ended with the president’s shocking eleventh-hour pardon of the fugitive financier Marc Rich. Favored hostesses during the time were Clinton fund-raisers, who are now hoping a second Clinton presidency will provide a new opportunity to shine. One of the most aggressive contenders still vying to become a successor to the likes of Pamela Harriman is Beth Dozoretz, former Democratic National Committee finance chair.
Dozoretz, who constantly touted her close, personal relationship with Bill Clinton and pledged to raise $1 million for the Clinton library, is a onetime garment-industry executive married to Ron Dozoretz, a psychiatrist and the C.E.O. of a behavioral-health-care company that is heavily dependent on state contracts and that has been criticized in the past for providing substandard services. He contributes to both Republicans and Democrats. His wife first became known to the public when she took the Fifth Amendment before Congress in order not to have to answer questions about her role in the Marc Rich pardon. Last February, Clinton friends were taken aback when the Dozoretzes hosted a fund-raiser for New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, a presidential candidate, but that should not have been surprising considering the contract for a reported $325 million that Ron Dozoretz’s FHC Health Systems has in New Mexico. Beth Dozoretz is said to phone media outlets to tout her parties and ask to be included on “A-lists,” and in the middle of dinners she allegedly confers with her husband to discuss whom they’ve spoken with and whom they should cultivate.
Bush Junior is portrayed rather glumly, but is excused because he had this heckuva war to contend with. And anyway, the real problem is, as usual, that horrible "partisanship:"
Ken Duberstein: The result of partisanship is gridlock—nothing gets done—and Washington and Capitol Hill have become the laughingstock of the nation. If you had a more nonpartisan social life, people would understand one another better as individuals, understand people’s motives and integrity, and not see everything in terms of political one-upmanship. You also know that if they ever have to decide between being on a cable program and your dinner party, it’s no contest.
Capitol Hill hasn't become the laughing stock of the nation because of its partisanship. It's become the laughing stock of the nation because the Republicans have spent the last seven years diagnosing brain injuries from the floor of the senate, molesting high school boys, stealing the country blind and starting wars for no good reason (all of which the Republicans seemed to "get done" very handily.) In the eight years before that they spent the entire time obsessing about phony scandals and semen stains. If we don't laugh we'll never stop crying about what they've done to our country.
Interestingly, the one group that is conspicuously left out of the article are the political media. But then they didn't need to be included, did they? Mrs Russert speaks for them. And I think it's pretty clear that they agree wholeheartedly with the rest of the feline howlers.