Don’t Let the Well Run Dry

One of my favorite small moments occurred at a breakfast meeting at Washington’s Tune Inn in about 2005, when I was breaking bread with a brilliant progressive blogger (who will remain nameless) and discussing this or that political subject. I made a casual reference to the “K Street Project,” and was amazed to find that my very smart friend did not know what I was talking about. I briefly explained the Project, and its corrupt purpose as a means to Republican domination of DC-based lobbying and fundraising. But the most helpful thing I did was to direct my friend to Nick Confessore’s exhaustive piece on the Project in the July/August issue of the Washington Monthly, “Welcome to the Machine.”

If this article–or for that matter, the Washington Monthly–did not exist, maybe I would have eventually come to understand the K Street Project, and the distinctively Rovian focus of the Bush-era GOP on the nexus of money, politics and policy, which if anything has become more intense since then. But it would have taken much longer, and who has all that much extra time?

Ever since I can remember, the Monthly has been the kind of publication that regularly produces seminal articles like Confessore’s on subjects that transcend the moment or their immediate context. I’d like to say if the Monthly did not exist, it would have to be invented, but the truth is, if it didn’t exist, we’d all just miss a lot. You can do your part to make sure we don’t by making a donation here. That will also help ensure Political Animal will stick around as your reliable water-cooler for discussion of the day’s political news. As the old Byrds’ song goes: “You Don’t Miss Your Water Til the Well Runs Dry.”

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.