Give and Take

Gunnison, You Cut Me to the Quick

Me? Careerist? I'll show you careerist!

Gunnison old friend, what on earth do you mean by this comment:

Methinks Tomasky is increasingly calibrating his output more with an eye to his career prospects in the beltway punditocracy than to the truth. A pity, that.

Then pumpkinface, another old friend, has a go at me, but alas I've become well accustomed to her brickbats:

But that is exactly why I find Tomasky's work so fascinating. There are a lot of disengenuous potholes where substance evaporates beneath the surface of things. And if you don't use him as a primary source for anything relevant, you learn a lot indirectly. But, I admit, there is only so much about this insufferably surly and silly bubble that enthusiastically casts its political judgement on our world that I really want to know. Still, I think Tomasky does his best to try to be one of the good guys.

Sigh. Oh well. Thanks for that last sentence, I guess.

But Gunnison: what is it about my writing that makes you think I'm thinking of my career prospects? Believe me, if I were concerned about my career prospects, I'd be writing every day about how Obama needs to show leadership and both sides are to blame and entitlements are crushing America under the jackboot of the state. That's how you get ahead in this town!

And you sure don't write paragraphs like the last one in my previous post. A Washington careerist must advance the fiction that we are wise and sensitive people who may make well-intentioned errors every now and again, like invading Iraq, but we are good people here in Washington, and we learn from our errors.

To the extent that my Beast writing is different from my Guardian writing, I'd say it's a question of audience. I certainly have more of an inside-the-Beltway audience here at the Beast, so I probably write a bit more with the knowledge that maybe, maybe, maybe the occasional senator or White House staffer is actually reading me, so I'll plead guilty to that. But that isn't careerism: That's trying to use the platform I'm so fortunate to have to influence events in whatever small way I can. But I sure haven't tailored my views.