Alcohol, Politics, and Washington


Tess Kovach

Tess Kovach lives in Hartford, Connecticut.

Related Post Roulette

20 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Wow, a real writer. It shows.


    What does a “government relations professional” do, if I might ask?Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    A boozy night of log rolling is precisely how I imagine a lot of policies get accomplished. And mostly, it’s suited the country well enough.

    A trend to a more sober, inhibited, and wart culture seems to at least coincide with a decline in comity, polarization and refusal to compromise, and diminishEd ability to get the work of politics done.

    Raise a glass with your adversary and make some small talk. More important than it seems.Report

  3. Avatar Art Deco says:

    This person’s writing about what you might call ‘official Washington’. With those in their household, that segment might constitute 2% or 3% of the population of the metropolis. Another 20% or so would be ensconced in the households of the general run of federal employees. Most people in Washington are employed in economic sectors you find just about anywhere, with one qualification: the metropolis has very little manufacturing. Were the federal government to decamp to St. Louis, you’d still have a metropolitan glob there with the population of Seattle or Minneapolis.Report

    • Avatar InMD says:

      This seems about right. Official Washington is off the map and culturally inaccessible for most of us who live in the metro area.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    I always wondered if people wanted to throttle Bryan when he was Secretary of State because he served grape juice rather than wine at diplomatic parties and state dinners.Report

  5. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    The Hawk & Dove! I was never in politics, of course, but I drank there frequently in the, gulp, 1990s with a friend who lived nearby. It’s still how I imagine politics being carried out in the capital. I also remember it was lucky he lived nearby because the Metro stops running so painfully early!Report

  6. Avatar Jon Rowe says:

    This post seems incomplete without a mention of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.Report

  7. Avatar James K says:

    A very interesting piece Tess. While Wellington has its own political bars (The Backbencher with its puppets of politicians past and present may be the most famous), I think the drink that powers my nation’s capital is coffee rather than booze.Report

  8. Avatar Damon says:

    This was interesting, but I’d really really like an investigative report on the role of prostitutes on the influence of policy. Since politicians take money, gifts and favors, it’s certain they take “women” who are hired as well, either on the own or by some “friends”. And maybe add in whether or not if they are used as blackmail/extortion or what not. I’m sure it happens.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      What, do you really want to hear about the cathouse that’s actually in use as an intelligence operation? (Name the Country of Origin…).
      The DC Madam had tons of blackmail on nearly everyone in her little black book. Very canny, very intelligent lady.

      Understand that blackmail starts at the beginning of politicians’ political lives, and that it’s very hard to avoid (Bernie managed, but… Bernie. Also, he’s practically the definition for “not influential”)… your donors have a “party” and you’re asked to attend. When you show up, the party has more illegal drugs and hookers than you were expecting. Get a few photos, and the blackmail’s set up and done.

      Prostitutes aren’t influential, most of the time — because the politicians are into weird fucking creepy shit that isn’t remotely legal (and often quite unsafe to boot). I’m pretty sure part of it is “how totally wrong is it??” — as if it’s somehow hot to smear someone else’s baby’s shit over your bottom.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Name the Country of Origin…

        The Confederate States of America?Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        “What, do you really want to hear about the cathouse that’s actually in use as an intelligence operation?”

        Yes I do. I wouldn’t be surprised that it’s being done, but might by the country. Perhaps there are several that engage in this? Like I say, I assume this is all over the place in DC. We do it they do it..we all do it….Report

  9. Avatar Maribou says:

    I enjoyed this so much that I’ve read it three times now. Would love to read more!Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This was a fun post! Thanks!Report

  11. Avatar Holly Whitman says:

    Great post, Tess!Report

  12. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    Personal experience tells me this is also the case at public policy graduate programs. In fact the drinking got to the point where, however fun it was, I had to stop for my own personal health.

    …I miss it, truth be told, but it was definitely a wake up call to have some really seasoned drinkers tell me I have a problem, as well.Report