Commentary Magazine

Article Preview

Arrogant Capital, by Kevin Phillips

- Abstract

The voters are angry—and so is Kevin Phillips. In this, his most recent political tract on the misguided course of American politics, Phillips marches us through a tour of Washington’s corroded institutions and corrupt dealings, huffing and puffing all the way.

Arrogant Capital sports the enraged populist tone familiar to readers of Phillips’s two previous books, Boiling Point and The Politics of Rich and Poor. Page after page, Phillips describes the current political landscape in a headache-inducing barrage of overheated rhetoric. Thus, Washington is an “interest-group fortress” resembling other “overbearing, overstuffed seats of power” run by a “powerful elite.” Everywhere there are “parasites,” “power-brokers,” “courtiers,” and “opinion-molding networks.” On Capitol Hill, “gunslingers, card sharks, and faro-dealers” engage in a kind of back-scratching that amounts to “Potomac incest.” American political power is controlled by a “guardian class” who have turned the capital into a city of “cliques, relationships, clubs, coalitions, lunch groups, networks, and cabals.”

About the Author

Daniel Casse is a senior director of the White House Writers Group, a Washington, D.C. communications firm.