Here are the truest words you'll ever hear on this or any Sunday news show, courtesy of Bob Schieffer at Face the Nation: Washington DC is just like high school.
Just think about this:
Distractions such as vanity and the mania for gossip and the short attention span that prevents focusing on problems even long enough to try to understand them.
Unbridled meanness toward those who are not part of your crowd. The cliquishness that requires group think - if you don't believe exactly what we believe you can't be part of our crowd. We're right, you're always wrong, and don't confuse us with facts.
An inability to act for fear it will cause a loss of popularity.
Oh, and did I miss old-fashioned jealousy and insecurity, which seems to be a factor no matter the issue.
For those of us who follow politics and reportage in Washington DC, there is no truer statement. You have the kewl kids and the outsiders, and those kewl kids make sure that the outsiders know that they'll never be welcome into the inner circles until they conform to the group. That's why liberal Barbara Boxer stumped for Republican kissyface Joe Lieberman, and the Democrats let him keep his caucus chairmanships despite his campaign support for Republican John McCain. It's why the Debbie Wasserman Schultz won the DNC Chair despite protecting her Republican colleagues in South Florida from having serious electoral challengers. It's why John McCain is on every Sunday show and nobody ever cares that Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Dana Milbank, Mark Halperin, Liz Cheney and Peggy Noonan are rarely correct in their assessments, but you rarely if ever find Rachel Maddow, Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich or Markos Moulitsas, who are correct more often than not. And don't even get me started on the fact you never see bloggers who have consistently been right, like Digby or our own Amato and Neiwert. We're not the kewl kids and being on the inside of the closed campus of DC High is more important that being informative, correct, analytical or in touch with reality.
That's why the cute jock can be called "courageous" and "brave" for putting together a report that gets an "F" from the rest of the country. And why lying about a sexual indiscretion (without actual sex) to the media is worse than lying to the same media about weapons of mass destruction or not coming clean to the same media about hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from a conflict of interest. The kewl kids decide what transgressions are acceptable and what are not, and it's strictly based on your position in the social hierarchy they rule.
So a rare moment of honesty comes out from this long time stalwart of the high school upper echelon. And then he flips right back into his role as decider of kewl, and casts out Anthony Weiner. Not only that, he declares that anyone still supporting Weiner (who has, as of this writing, not done anything illegal, not been charged with anything and certainly has not been found guilty of anything other than a serious lapse of judgment and sense) is threatening their standing in the high school hierarchy. Try as I might, I found nothing on Lexis Nexus where Bob Schieffer did anything similar to the Republicans when they gave David Vitter a standing ovation on the floor of Congress (the same floor from where he had made dates with prostitutes--an illegal activity--several times before).
I guess being consistent isn't as important as being "in" at DC High.