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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My word of the day is from @BradThor's latest: contumelious

Brad Thor's latest is Code of Conduct, and this, in particular, jumped out at me:
"Country class” had replaced “fly-over country” as the new contumelious term used to describe the great unwashed living outside D.C. or the nation’s other Megalopoli.
It's part of this excellent description of senior Federal bureaucrats' view of the rest of the country:
He knew a thing or two about power, small truths that others often failed to realize. Heads of agencies and their immediate underlings would come and go, subject to election cycles and political approval. The same was true of politicians. Their influence was only worth so much.
The truly powerful were those deepest inside the government. Like the Wizard of Oz, they were the ones behind the curtain. They were the ones who knew which ropes to pull. Their hands were on the very levers of power.
They could not only raise or lower the sets but also brighten or dim the house lights. They weren’t just inside the machine as middle managers, they were the machine. They knew the game. They knew the system. They had been masters of it for years.
Theirs was a modern Rome, Rome on the Potomac—an empire in miniature—a land in and unto itself.
New Rome knew no economic vicissitudes. There were no vacant storefronts, no depressed housing prices, or reductions in take-home pay.
Taxes, fees, fines, and lines of credit that stretched to the stars and back made sure that the treasury was awash in coin. Things in New Rome were positively booming. The future was bright indeed.
That didn’t mean, though, that the empire was secure. As its fortunes grew, it seemed to come under a more regular and more prolonged assault by the country class.
“Country class” had replaced “fly-over country” as the new contumelious term used to describe the great unwashed living outside D.C. or the nation’s other Megalopoli.
Through social media, a handful of sympathetic news organizations, and grassroots activism, the country class waged incessant guerrilla warfare, demanding that the New Rome be put on a diet and scaled dramatically back.
As far as the New Romans were concerned, it was an odd, stupid little war waged by odd, stupid little people. They were most definitely in the minority. All of the polling showed it. Instead of shoving their faces full of McDonald’s drive-thru and watching reality TV like the rest of the country-class Hobbits, they were strangely obsessed with what was happening in Washington and how things should be changed.
If they were so eager to dictate how it should be done in Washington, why were they sitting on their asses in Tennessee and Texas, Idaho and Indiana? Why weren’t they trundling their fat little children onto buses and coming to D.C. to help lend a hand? The answer was simple—because it was beyond them.
They had no idea how government worked, much less how important government workers were to its continued function. Without Federal employees, it all stopped—all of it. Fees at National Parks didn’t get collected, school lunch regulations didn’t get enforced, borders were left unprotected, and that was only the beginning. The inmates wanted to run the asylum. There was no way that could ever be allowed to happen.
Anything that grows is, by definition, alive. Washington, D.C. was no exception.
As a living organism, the Federal Government’s number one job was self-preservation. Any threat to its existence had to be dealt with.
When the country class came with its pathetic rhetorical torches and meddling electoral pitchforks, New Rome was ready.
It fought back with tools no one had ever seen coming. New Rome weaponized its own Federal agencies. The Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms—they all swatted away each and every attack.
The country class could storm the battlements over and over. They didn’t stand a chance. Not only could you not fight City Hall, you couldn’t survive a fight with the Federal Government. New Rome could take every single thing you have and put you in prison. It wasn’t even a fair fight. (It wasn’t supposed to be.)

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