Quin, this kind of petty score-settling is all too common in Washington. The first time I met you, I might have shared the story of how, on the day I arrived in D.C., I got some advice from a reporter named Michael Rust, who’d been in town long enough to learn the ropes. Rust told me, “Welcome to Washington, a town where people advance” — and here, he made a hand gesture as if climbing a ladder — “on the knives stuck in the backs of their former friends.”
Well, I laughed then, but after a few years — and more than a few knives in my back — it started to hurt when I laughed. What I slowly learned is that most disputes among conservatives, though they may appear on the surface to be ideological in origin, are in fact usually fueled by personal grudges and career ambitions.