Michael Crowley

Gay GOP misery.
October 23, 2006

In the bars and clubs frequented by Washington's gay men, a new character has recently cropped up: the hammered gay Republican. Until recently, says one gay Republican lobbyist, his counterparts on the Hill "had reached a point where you come to your work, you do a good job, you don't cause problems for your boss, and you go home." But then along came the Mark Foley scandal, with its rightwing anti-gay moralizing, liberal snickers about closeted hypocrisy, and a merciless wave of Internet gossip and "outings." The lobbyist says he assumes every gay Republican staffer is "terrified right now."

Washington Diarist
September 25, 2006

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Ned Lamont's sudden rise to national fame and glory is not what it says about the antiwar movement, or the liberal blogosphere, or even Joe Lieberman, but what it says about the American preppy. Consider for a moment what an incredibly unlikely hero Lamont is for the antiwar, antiestablishment, anti-Bush left. A millionaire scion of the old J.P. Morgan aristocracy. A Greenwich native and, until politics beckoned, an elite country club member. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, where a library bears his family name.

GOPtopia
September 11, 2006

Surry Hill. So reads a plaque at the end of the long, winding private road that leads to the crown jewel of McLean, Virginia: the 18,000-square-foot mansion that Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers and his wife Edwina call home. To get there from Washington, you drive across the Potomac River and along a parkway that, in the summer, is canopied by lush green trees. Shortly before the guarded entrance to the CIA, you turn off McLean's main road and then down a private lane, passing through brick gate posts adorned with black lanterns and into a grand cul-de-sac. A massive brick Colonial with majestic

Growing Pains
September 04, 2006

FOR ALL INTENTS and purposes, the only national political story on August 8 was Ned Lamont's defeat of Joe Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary. But all that Nedrenaline obscured another anti-incumbent surprise the very same night. In Michigan's Seventh District, Republican Representative Joe Schwarz was knocked off by a conservative primary challenger. It was an ominous sign of the national mood for sweaty-palmed Washington Republicans. But it was also significant for another reason: The Club for Growth had finally scalped its first incumbent.

Jack in the Box
June 26, 2006

A moderate Democratic representative is on the phone, relating a thought he had a few days earlier about his party's prospects for winning back the House in November. "Things look really good," he had mused to himself. "You've got to wonder how we're gonna screw it up." As if on cue, House Democrats--who had been coasting on GOP scandal and disunity--turned against one another. Last Friday, Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha picked a leadership fight over the central issue that splits his party: Iraq.

Jack in the Box
June 26, 2006

A moderate Democratic representative is on the phone, relating a thought he had a few days earlier about his party's prospects for winning back the House in November. "Things look really good," he had mused to himself. "You've got to wonder how we're gonna screw it up."As if on cue, House Democrats--who had been coasting on GOP scandal and disunity--turned against one another. Last Friday, Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha picked a leadership fight over the central issue that splits his party: Iraq.

Barton Fink
May 22, 2006

Everyone agrees that gas prices present a crisis. And, in Washington, a crisis demands action. Typically that means a Kabuki theater performance, in which nothing substantive is done but the bad guys--in this case, oil executives--are hauled before congressional committees, made to take oaths, and berated by congressmen desperate for TV airplay back home.The job of directing this season's ritual show trial has fallen to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton.

Candidacy pays.
May 15, 2006

The 2008 presidential campaign is officially underway. On April 18, Mike Gravel, a two-term Democratic senator from Alaska who retired 25 years ago, became the first contender to formally declare his candidacy. Gravel's odds of winning the presidency, much less the Democratic nomination, are almost certainly nil. Yet his announcement won the kind of publicity that most politically irrelevant 75-year-olds can only dream of. Fifty people turned up for his news conference at the Washington Press Club, including reporters for The Washington Post and the Associated Press.

Washington Diarist
April 24, 2006

Augustin de la Pena is one of America's foremost authorities on boredom. A Stanford-educated psychophysiologist working at a sleep-disorders center in South Texas, de la Pena has just finished a nearly 1,000-page treatise on the subject, complete with hundreds of references and five appendices. The book took him 20 years to write. The only problem is that he can't find a publisher. "I don't know if anybody'll be interested, because boredom is such a hard sell," he says.These are tough times for boredom. Television stalks us everywhere, from SUV back seats to elevators.

Jurassic President
March 20, 2006

She took a sip of red wine, then set the glass down on the bedside table. Unceremoniously, she pulled her top over her head and dropped her skirt. She was wearing nothing beneath. Still in her high heels, she walked toward him....

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