October 29, 2007

Thought For The Day

Okay, that does it. My friend & I, so help me gods, are going to finally make it out for Ethiopian food, as we've been planning for at least three weeks now, by Saturday, November 10th. Fun was certainly had over the weekend; that stood on its own, unimpeded by a lack of Injera with Gomen Wot. But I'm talking about goals, here, people.

On another note, when politics is your whole life, it's hard for it not to become personal. I don't mean in terms of how much you care about issues, or how hard you take it when your side loses. By personal, I mean that it becomes about who you're friends with among the group of people with whom you spend the most time. That operates at every observable level, and happens in a lot of time intensive professions. If it isn't possible to have what could be termed a work-life balance, for sanity's sake, you have to make a life with what you've got within the system. It's obvious, or should be. It's also inherently distorting in ways that no sort of lobbying or campaign finance reform efforts I ever heard of could hope to address.

To take a narrow example that points no fingers elsewhere, it's not without a self-observable effect on my own attitudes that I've tended to get along really well with most of the Clinton campaign associates I've met. (I suppose it's safer to divert misunderstanding in advance by saying that I just picked the campaign with which I've had the most recent contact, nothing reflective of other campaigns' staffs.) They're cool people. I don't have to wonder whether or not it would be fun to have a beer with them after work.

I want politics to be about the issues, and about what's the best thing to do. But if I were looking to work with a campaign, and a set of coworkers with whom to spend 80 hours a week, how well I got along with those people would be of no small consequence to my immediate quality of life. If I knew any quantity of them in advance, it's not hard to see the good attitudes I had towards those staffers extending positively to their candidate. If I'd had a bad personal experience with them, or with the candidate, I'm sure the same would apply and color my analysis of what are objectively more germane issues.

And that's a long, rambling way of explaining this: You don't drink the Kool-Aid. The Kool-Aid drinks you.

Posted by natasha at October 29, 2007 01:54 AM | Random Mumblings | Technorati links |

You'll have to tell us which one you hit, when you finally score an Ethio-meal.

My buds and I used to favour the Red Sea, but then switched to Meskerem, across the street, at some point, and I'm not sure why. More recently, on visits to the Old Place, I've taken to a small and less-crowded restaurant whose name escapes me now. If you walk up 18th from D-Circle, it's the first Ethiopian restaurant on the left as you enter Adams Morgan.

But, you know, I'd be interested in a recent review of Red Sea, after these years of absence. They used to have a kick-ass lentil salad (with fresh chili peppers) that went awfully well with a dish of kitfo.

Posted by: Barry Leiba at October 30, 2007 07:09 AM