Nominal ally of the left Steve Clemons attended a Maureen Dowd inauguration-related party, blogged about it in a starstruck fashion, and got an earful from his commenters. He tepidly defends her and actually believes she isn't the embodiment of everything wrong with mainstream press writing (shallow, gossipy, biased against candidates with any semblance of progressive principles). He says in 2000 he wasn't interested in candidate Gore, either, which means he was for Bush since that was the other choice. He defends his practice of attending luminary-studded* galas as moving the liberal agenda forward through networking, or something.
*In addition to David Geffen, Larry King, Rahm Emanuel, George Lucas, Ron Howard, Larry David, and Tom Hanks, Clemons reports that:
Others at the Dowd gala were California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Anne Gust, Andrew Sullivan and Aaron Tone, Alan Greenspan, Helene Cooper, Chris Wallace, Alison Silver, Al Kamen, Janice O'Connell, Aspen Institute President and historiographer Walter Isaacson, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, New Yorker writer and torture policy chronicler Jane Mayer, Bob Woodward, Arianna Huffington, Tammy Haddad; Politico's Ben Smith, Carol Lee, Jonathan Martin, and Mike Allen; Chris Matthews, Margaret Carlson, 'Results the Gym' owner Doug Jefferies, Adam Clymer, Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper, Tom Brokaw, Michael Hirsh, John Harwood, Jane Hamsher, Atlantic Monthly editor James Bennet and his brother Michael Bennet (who is the newly appointed Senator from Colorado succeeding Ken Salazar), David Sanger, Diane Von Furstenberg, David Shuster and Julianna Goldman.
While these Villagers (Digby's term for the permanent caste of DC insiders including media, lobbyists, "consultants"), Hollywood types, and pro bloggers partied, it was reported that the state of NY ran out of money for unemployment insurance claims and had to borrow money from the federal government.
Hat tip The Daily Howler, which noted another appallingly chummy guest list of press people and people they cover at an McCain's birthday party for himself in 2004.
Update: In a reversal of the Frankenstein story, one can imagine the Villagers one day being chased by a howling mob with torches and pitchforks. Party while you can, gang.
Update 2: More Howler on Clemons.