Village People

I was chatting with Greg Sargent of the Plum Line and he used the phrase “the village” with me. I’d heard it before, but had no idea what he was talking about. Well, just so happens that Greg has done a post about “the village” and what it means.

And as a resident of this village for 25 years, I’ll have to think about this one :-)

UPDATE: Digby weighs in on this post, with a post of her own referring to this post. Anyone else feeling a self-referential overload?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • threadmonitor

    Am I John? LOL You exaggerate your importance as well as your pithiness.

    I wish you well in finding a more suitable blog.

    So long, Mike.

  • Mike Spindell

    Dear Threadmonitor or is It John,
    This was begun by calling me an asshole and it ends that way. By this article and by this latest response I can see that John is truly a member in good standing of the “village” and I bet he likes David Broder too. Sad pseudo progressives, unaware of their own blindspots.
    Too wit Americablog. I write this doubting you have the balls to let it remain. Your speed is more believing in your anonymous sources and serving as a courtier of the village establishment.
    Bye

  • threadmonitor

    Mike, we welcome different points of view, but your on-going assholery is getting quite tiresome. If your want to keep commenting privileges, try adding to the conversations with more than attacks and insults or find another place to write them.

  • Mike Spindell

    It seems impossible to me that you have just heard the term the “village,” as Digby wrote its been around since the Clinton era. your living there and not knowing the word, or its significance goes a long way in explaining why you quote so many hidden sourced news stories as fact. That’s what “villagers” do.

  • jacbi

    hmmmm… why do the faces of tweety, todd and milbank immediately pop into my brain?

  • smallhandff

    Andy Sullivan is, & always was, a “Villager”. He might like to portray himself as a rogue, indy dude but at the present time, he’s a “closet villager”.

  • smallhandff

    “The Villagers” own DC. Everyone else, like John, just lives & pays taxes there.

  • debojg

    I could not have said it any better than this. I have for a while thought of this group as the court of Marie Antoinette, chasing irrelevant stories, not doing their research, stenographers, and lazy. Could there be any better example than baloon boy.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I just saw that, thanks.

  • T
  • example

    Nah, harry reid just put out some fake leaks about how he was standing up to the whitehouse on the public option to earn cred with the base.

  • News Nag

    I’m certain “The Village” is meant to rightly skewer and accurately characterize the Permanent Elite of news media millionaires and other self-regarding precious punditry that comprises (in their minds) the Royal Court of the Pompous Imperial Kingdom of the White House. No one they disapprove of may be spared from their snotty wrath, and heaven help a President who meets with their snide disapproval (cough, cough, any Democratic President, cough). They are the Establishment Elite, the Royal Courtiers, who came to their very impressive positions throughout the Glory Days of Republican Proouncements and Powermongering, and they cower at the thought that their precious positions and imagined power might be usurped by unworthy aspirants such as DFH bloggers and DFH liberals. The inside joke is that they are news media liberals, when they are actually the most conventional toadies, cowardly entourage to ever kowtow to almighty social power. They even supported the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans because they didn’t dare rock the Bush-Cheney boat, and sniveled their way into a faux pivot away from the Bush White House to a now “neutral” stance now that a Democrat is in the White House. How’d that “neutrality” work out during the Teabag Parties?! Too bad The Villagers were born too late for the French Revolution. They would have blended in quite nicely in line behind Antoinette. That would’ve been some cake on their faces.

  • justadood

    I’m not even gay, but I also see this photo when I read about the ‘Villagers’…. It helps me keep DC (politicians and the political scene) in perspective.

  • Butch1

    I learn something new every day.

  • nicho

    Yeah — but the fact of the matter is that the overlords consider themselves as the true Washingtonians and see the born and bred folks as outsiders.

  • vkobaya

    Only village I’ve heard of were Hillary’s “It takes a village,” and Village People. Thought it might be one of those. Or maybe village idiot.

  • Debojg

    I saw that movie when I was a kid. It scared me so much that I had nightmares for years and still get a sick feeling thinking about those blank eyes!

  • shell

    “The real praise belongs to the PEOPLE who have fought for this the whole way”

    AMEN! Without the PEOPLE, there would be nothing.

  • Debojg

    Yeah I was confused too. But I also got email from former supporters sending a petition to say we are his base and we want the public option and pressuring him. I think his Achilles is pragmatism, and so we have to pull him back to his promises AND fight for bigger change than just a win (ie trigger). But the one thing I notice is that the press is sort of confused about where this new momentum is coming from re the option. As days go by I get more and more requests to volunteer to make calls, etc. and as I call I find more and more people are knowledgeable and supportive towards reform. All this comes from Obama supporters. At the same time the press listens to the villagers and is confused as to where the momentum is coming from. In the end it is about us. Change comes TO Washington, because we demand it! I look forward to getting this out of Congress so we can move on to energy and DADT and that stupid DOMA. I only wish Coretta Scott King were here to help us. She got the scapegoating.

  • woodka

    I tohught it was after the villagers in “The Prisoner”…

  • KarenMrsLloydRichards

    DC: Village of the Damned.

  • timncguy

    I f this is true, then why the hell would the whoute house have leaked over the weekend the fact that they didn’t support Reid’s “opt out” public option nad still preferred Olympia Snowe’s “trigger”.

    It seems rather at cross purposes to have your support group call 300,000 people and at the same time put info into the press that is exactly the opposite.

  • Debojg

    Interesting. Thanks for the legal input. I don’t know about all that. I will say that I have been phonebanking with Organizing for America which is an outgrowth of the campaign, the script is obviously approved before hand. Last Tuesday we make 800 calls people in NY to call congress about the public option. So in spite of the idea that Obama did nothing, he did get his supporters to call over 300,000 people. That isn’t nothing. You are right, change comes from us. I was talking to some Clinton activists from the 90’s and they said that O is quietly working with this change re DADT coming from the military, so when it happens it will be with their full support. So I don’t dispute your take, but I believe there is tactical stuff going on that we may not see. I live for the day DOMA and DADT are overturned.

  • timncguy

    Oh please. Your mistake is in believing that because something good may have happened in today’s announcement by Harry Reid and that Obama is currently the preisdent of the US that the two are somehow related.

    Obama and the whote house had nothing to do with getting a public oprion into the senate bill. They were actively working against it and supporting the “trigger” for Olympia Snowe up through this week-end. Or, do you just dismiss those reports out of hand?

    Harry Reid deserves “some” praise for his announcement today. But, Obama??? No way.

    The real praise belongs to the PEOPLE who have fought for this the whole way and the progressive senators who held their ground and let it be known in the past few days that without a public option the white house MIGHT get the vote of Olympia Snowe, but they would possibly lose the support of Russ Feingold, Berniw Sanders, Roland Burris, Jay Rockefeller. So, the trigger would gain them Olympia Snowe and lose them the war.

    As to your reference to DADT. Again the president deserves no praise in tha area either. He could suspend dismissals under DADT with a stop loss order RIGHT NOW. And he could do this while congress CONTINUES to work on a final repeal of the DADT law. There is nothing illegal about this. It wouldn’t be like a Bush signing statement. It would not be overriding the will or power of congress. The DADT law was enacted with a provision included in it that authorizes the president in a time of was (Iraq, Afghanistan) to issue a stop loss order to suspend DADT. This is part of the DADT law. This very provision has been used in the past. But, Obama refuses to do so.

    He claims it is te responsibility of congress to “repeal” DADT. And he is right about “repeal”. But, it is te responsibility of the president to “suspend” DADT via stop loss order.

    And, honestly, if he really believes it is the responsibility of congress to handle this, then why did the white house force Rep Alcee Hasings to withdraw his ammendment in congress to deal with DADT? And, why, when Majority Leader Reid wrote to the white house asking for direction on how to handle DADT in the senate, did the white house not bother to respond?

    Obama’s actions on DADT have been disgraceful when you compare his actions to his rhetoric in the campaign and to LGBT dinner audiences.

  • debojg

    Ok I understand. I was just thinking that it doesn’t matter who the president is, the villagers feign outrage. Now that I actually love the President I am more sensitive to the fact that even on one of my favorite blogs (Americablog), the president never does anything right. All weekend there were complaints re his selling out the public option. Before that it was DADT. Before that DOMA. He is never allowed the time he needs. Never allowed the benefit of a doubt. Because he is simply not to be trusted. And when he does something right he is never praised. I have readjusted my take of the words written here accordingly now that I realize you are a villager and hard wired to complaint.

  • timncguy

    Oh great. Now how am I supposed to know which version of “villagers” someone actually means when I se a phrase like

    “don’t piss off the villagers!”

    Villagers used to refer to the throng of locals (villagers) in Frankenstein who stormed the castle with torches and pitchforks intending to take care of their problem with the local “smartass” by themselves.

    I could easily see using this version of the term “villagers” for what a lot of progressives would like to do if we don’t end up getting real functioning health care reform that brings down costs.So, I would suggest using the term “Versailles” for the entrenched Washingtonian elites as was suggested in the linked article and letting the term villagers revert back to its previous definition for pissed off everyday local people ready to things into their own hands to get the results they want.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Exactly

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    But Dc people aren’t insulated – not everyone, and not totally. I live in a neighborhood where I don’t even feel safe walking alone after ten at night. That’s real world. Worrying about my mortgage, my salary being cut in half by the economic crisis. That’s real world. Having blue cross cut off my prescriptions last year, worrying whether they’re going to pay for my eye surgery. It’s no different for people in this town, unless they’re filthy rich, maybe.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LOL it must have been Joe who used it recently. I told Greg Sargent, you know, someone else used that term today! It must have been Joe!

  • Õ¿Õ

    Someone in the comments section wrote that it should be referred to as “The Palace.” “People revolt against a palace and not against a village.”

  • JustMe

    I prefer Somerby’s ‘Versailles on the Potomac.’ It better captures the sense of putrid corruption.

    Having been here since the early 70s, and having at one time been a original plankholder at CNN, the current craven sanctimony of the Villagers makes me gag.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes, I remember. There will always be some people who don’t have a sense of humor :-)

    But seriously, I think people do a disservice to a lot of people in DC when they pull the “dc people suck” crap. Some do. Some don’t. My friends are all pretty cool people who are very committed to doing good things via politics. And their expertise helps us win our battles. Not everyone here is an idiot. Many are, but many aren’t, And there’s no replacement for good inside the beltway experience, in terms of knowing how to work this town. If anything, that’s why Joe and I get so upset with our president, among others, sometimes – because we KNOW how this town works, we know what the president’s job actually is, what other presidents and politicians have done in the past, so we know when you’re being fed a bunch of bs by someone telling you “gosh, it’s not our job to do that!” Having the inside the beltway experience gives you insight that actually helps make the system here work better – again, if you’re a good person to start with.

  • shell

    For what it’s worth, I don’t see “The Villagers” as everyone who lives in DC. No, just the elite, like Sally. Seems to me that for every Villager, there are a million non-Villagers living in DC and environs.

  • Malcolm

    These are not Washingtonians, who are people born and raised in Washington. They are overlords, and real Washingtonians have no truck with them. Never did and never will.

  • Malcolm

    PS “Villager” is dumb, too. Everyone who belongs in Washington knows that the “Village” is Chevy Chase Village.

  • Malcolm

    As a native Washingtonian, born when GW Hospital was about where the Women’s Museum is now, I deeply resent use of “Villager” to refer to those who come here from away to exercise power over the natives. “Overlords” would be a much more accurate name for them. “S___s” would be equally accurate but less polite. They’ve taken over what was, once segregation ended, a pretty nice town.

  • Õ¿Õ

    I hate this thread. Gives me the willies thinking about them. Maybe it’s a Halloween thread.

  • FunMe

    Maybe it should be called “THE DC BUBBLE”

  • FunMe

    YMCA … oh my, I don’t reeeeeeeeealy want to know what really happens in DC’s “village”.LOL

  • shell

    Ah, John is kidding. He knows what The Village is.Then again — remember when you posed with some right-winger (I forget who) and your readers got very upset? There you go. Most bloggers (from sane parts of the country) don’t find the humor in yucking it up with right-wingers, who would (and do!) kill our grandmas.To most of us, what we feel is real — it doesn’t take a break for a cocktail party.

  • Indigo

    A villager who doesn’t know he’s a villager? Oh, puhleez! That’s way over-cute. Joe’s been talking about it for long time. Are you villagers so deep into EscapeLife blogging that you don’t talk to each other IRWT [in real world time]?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    lol I know, I feel like I’m witnessing the birth of a word. Well, okay, maybe it’s high school graduation.

  • victory

    You don’t know what the “Village” is?

    ….and you call yourself a blogger.

    For shame.

  • 1howieinseattle1
  • 1howieinseattle1

    “I’ll have to think about this one :-)”
    What is there to “think about?”

  • nicho

    Makes perfect sense to me. DC is perhaps the most incestuous place in the country that doesn’t have “Hollow” in it’s name. People can change jobs five times and stay in the same carpool. As we’ve seen in the past, Washington detests outsiders and will punish them brutally for intruding.

    As someone else remarked, the Republicans and the Democrats may fight like cats and dogs, but they all come running when they hear the can opener. All of these people who are now fighting tooth and nail over health care — and selling us downriver in the process — will be dipping into the same shrimp dip and singing carols at the same posh holiday parties.

  • bob915

    kinda sounds like a 70’s horror flick…..those reader pets are great: Keep ‘em comin’

  • Adrian

    It’s all rather amusing when you’re totally insulated from the real world.

  • RSR

    wow, really? I tend to most associate with the media who live and work in the DC region and seem to worry more about ‘protocol’ than policy, but it sure does extend to their cocktail-party circuit. It’s the media that’s the conduit, so I lay the ‘fault’ as it were at their feet.

  • http://tofubo.blogspot.com tofubo

    he used the phrase “the village” with me. I’d heard it before, but had no idea what he was talking abouthate to break it to you, but the villiage includes cnn (and msnbc and the nro and press the meat and the weekly standard and the new republic and time and and the kaplan test prep daily and on and on) and many of the people on it and other shows, and includes most of it’s hosts and guests (this blog is not in that village tho)

  • KarenMrsLloydRichards

    And it “takes a village” to fuck up a great country.

    The “only gay in the village”: Joe Solomonese.

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