Inside the Washington Political Class

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In the New York Times Magazine last week, Mark Leibovich profiled Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic super-moneyman known as “The Macker”:

The Washington Political Class, as it’s called by those in the media who are often a part of it, represents a vast and self-perpetuating network of friendships and expedient associations that transcend even the fiercest ideological differences. Membership in the class is the paramount commonality between the various tribes — the journalists, the Democrats, the Republicans, the superlawyers, superlobbyists, superstaffers, fund-raisers, David Gergens, Donna Braziles and Karl Roves. They argue on television and often go into business with their on-air combatants. They can be paid tens of thousands of dollars to do their left-right Kabuki thing in front of big organizations. The Macker did this with Rove a while back — a luncheon speech at the Exxon Mobil headquarters in Texas. He has a few joint events planned with Barbour for the fall. He has also done partisan duets at a combined 50 grand a pop with “my great friend, Eddie Gillespie,” a Barbour protégé and former R.N.C. chairman whom McAuliffe bonded with in the greenroom between their many on-air donnybrooks over the last decade. “I have a love-hate relationship with Terry,” Gillespie joked in one of their public debates. “I love Terry. And I hate myself for it.”

I missed this when it came out, but a friend brought it to my attention today. “Reading this is like reading The Valachi Papers,” he says. Click the link and decide for yourself.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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