As Washington says good bye to now Former Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius, I wonder, is Washington just impossible? Who leaves this town without scars? Having been here for so long, I have met hundreds of politicians on both sides of the aisle and I have yet to meet one who did not come here with the goal of making it better for Americans. Everyone comes with big dreams, big ideas, genuinely wanting to help…but so many (all?) leave here discouraged and just wanting to ‘take a shower’ because the place can make you feel dirty. I imagine some sit in the passenger section at Reagan airport waiting for that exit flight wondering, ‘what was that all about? that was crazy!’ Or maybe, ‘what was I thinking when I thought it was a good idea?’
And those who don’t leave here can be so immersed in the culture, the fight, that they have forgotten that original feeling of inspiration and desire that drove them here in the first place.
For some it is an accidental moral corruption – it is no longer about fixing problems, making things better, but engaging in the most petty fights with political opponents. It is simply about winning. And yes, I know, everyone has the moral corruption justified so that it seems so right — ‘trying to save the republic’ or ‘ the war on women’ or ‘the 1%’ or ‘bad ideas dragging us down or we can’t afford and will destroy the nation’ etc. Everyone has a reason to justify his or her reason for not working together on solutions and for blaming someone else. Why is our enemy not our problem but each other? Weird, isn’t it?
There is something fundamentally wrong with a city that is all about taking sides, and not solving problems when everyone genuinely came here to solve problems.