I don't know whether White House social secretary Desirée Rogers is to blame for the gate crashers at the White House dinner, nor do I particularly care.
This defense by Michael Scherer of TIME makes me want to gag, though:
There is an unwritten rule in Washington: If you want to last, don't stand out. Those who do—think Tom DeLay with his cigars, Jack Abramoff with his restaurant—tend to get clipped before too long. Some call it the “tall poppy syndrome,” probably owing to an anecdote, recorded by Aristotle, of Periander's advice to Thrasybulus: “Always put out of the way the citizens who overtop the rest.” I know of a lobbyist in town who talks about his “big-you, little-me” strategy for success. The smaller you make yourself, in other words, the more power you can acquire.
So we are left with a city of influential clerks, quiet, bland and bespectacled by breeding and training, riding the subway in ill-fitting suits, nicked shoes or the occasional short strands of pearls. Lips flutter, hearts palpitate and breathless emails are exchanged whenever someone attempts to upset this careful order, which is, in a way, what has been happening since the arrival of Desirée Rogers, the glamourus (sic) Obama family confidant who holds the title of White House Social Secretary.
If Scherer wants to paint Rogers an innocent victim of Washington gossip, maybe he should liken her to people who were actually innocent. Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff didn't get run out of Washington because they were flashy. They went down for conspicuous crimes--but that's just another way of saying they were stupid criminals.
To read the post, you'd think Rogers is being railroaded by the mean Washington establishment because she's such a Big Star. " Scherer is of the opinion that the beltway meanies have been gunning for Rogers from the outset. "But Rogers remained, in a more subdued way, a poppy above the pack, and her detractors did not go away so much as they positioned themselves for the next pounce," he writes. (Above the pack? Shouldn't that be above the patch?)
In fact, a pretty serious blunder happened on her watch. Maybe it wasn't her fault. Or maybe it was a forgivable rookie mistake. I'm sure the investigation will shed light on these issues.
Still, it's a bit much to get indignant when the White House Social Secretary takes some heat after a couple of two-bit reality TV wannabes crash the administration's first state dinner.