The face of Washington activism

Anybody who doesn't see the disconnect between the super-rich and super-poor in Washington need only look as far as this story.

Some of the buildings in the Watergate hotel complex have been converted into cooperative apartments which range in price from $350,000 to $1.5 million. For those with not quite that much cash on hand, you can rent this one-bed-one-bath apartment, with a whopping 965 square feet, for $1,650 a month, not including parking.

Naturally, some developers are willing to renovate the hotel part and turn it, too, into another gold mine of co-op apartments. But the current co-op residents are fiercly opposed, launching a vocal campaign against the sale and redevelopment.

Opponents countered with a flier headed "THE CHOICE IS SIMPLE." It claimed that accepting the Monument deal would mean "accepting 155 new luxury hi-rise co-ops next door directly competing with our own apartments, depressing our market values, and turning us into the 'has-been' 'Old Watergate.' "
That is, they don't want their apartments to look old and busted compared to the new hotness of the redevelopment. So part of this is "Keeping up with the Joneses". (Muffy and I would just DIE if the apartment next door looked better than ours.) And. by opposing new residences, they can keep their property values at ridiculous levels, unaffordable by mere mortals. Of course, there are other factors for the opposition:

"If you take the hotel, it will make the place dormant," said William S. Diedrich a retired U.S. diplomat. "It's a decent place to go [and] have a $15 hamburger," he said of the bar lounge.
Leave it to a diplomat to get all whiny that he'll no longer be able to get his $15 hamburger. I'm trying to recall if I've ever eaten a hamburger that expensive, and unless any were laced with angel dust and I didn't notice, I don't think so get these SPIDERS OFF MEEE!!!

Of couse, the group in favor of renovation is no more logical:

One, in favor of the sale and written by William Wolf, listed the names and phone numbers of the "six antidemocratic and recalcitrant Directors" who opposed the Monument proposal. "Call them and insist on democracy. This is America, under the rule of law. It is not Afghanistan, under the rule of the Taliban."
Yes, wait, let me make sure I read that right. Hold on. OK, I did. He really did just compare this pointless NIMBY squabble among the D.C. bourgeoisie to life under the Taliban. Just wanted to make sure before I killed myself. Thanks.

On April 12, people swarmed into the hotel's Monticello Room. An estimated 94 percent of the eligible members voted. The pro-Monument slate won by a slim majority.
This gets you motherfuckers out and voting? Deciding whether to turn the hotel across the way into apartments? Maybe if some of you directed some of that energy expended in saving your $15 hamburgers towards, I don't know, trying to secure representation in Congress for D.C., or maybe doing a little community service, or even, hey how about this, showing up to vote in polticial elections, D.C. would be a better place to live. Instead, we have a city where selfishness is the norm. It's a miserable... fucking... hellhole.

(NOTE: Nobody voted in Virginia today either, except me, apparently. Gotta love the American spirit.)

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