Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quote of the Year

Sally Quinn's essay blaming the fall of bipartisanship on the lack of DC dinner parties (with a healthy dose of damn kids these days) is being roundly mocked by just about anyone. But Jon Chait takes the cake when he digs up a gem of what Quinn considered to be the good old days:
Washington writer Sally Quinn told of a 1950s reception where: “My mother and I headed for the buffet table. As we were reaching for the shrimp, both of us jumped and let out a shriek. Senator Strom Thurmond, grinning from ear to ear, had one hand on my behind and the other on my mother’s. As I recall, we were both quite flattered, and thought it terribly funny and wicked of Ol’ Strom.”

To which Chait sums up:
Once Washington was a happy place where a girl and her mother could be groped simultaneously in good fun by a white supremacist. Sadly, it has all been ruined by Kim Kardashian and Ezra Klein.



PG said...

I think Quinn's essay was poorly written and thus lending itself to misinterpretation, but a charitable reading is that she thinks the social life of Washington, which was once based on intangibles like power and influence, has been degraded by the dominance of money in politics.

But geez, does that Google Books excerpt remind one of what a disgusting person Strom Thurmond was. Sexual harassment can be sort of perversely flattering for some women, especially of an older generation, but not when it's so utterly indiscriminate. I'm surprised Thurmond never accidentally groped a long-haired dude.

David Schraub said...

My high school social studies teacher was once on an elevator alone with Strom while working on the Hill. He looked her over and said "you know, you're a mighty fine piece of woman."

I think she was creeped out but also had that "I just partook in the long beltway tradition of being creeped on by Strom Thurmond!" feeling.