I’ve used the "beltway" as a reference point many times in this rant fest but I’m not sure people outside the Washington area really understand what that term means. So, as public service, I’ll explain the magic powers of THE Beltway.

Many large cities have a road that encircles the metropolitan area called a beltway. However, the Washington Beltway is different. It is the demarcation line between good and evil. If you are "inside the Beltway", you must be one of those nasty lobbyists or bureaucrats whose sole purpose is to suck down as much of the taxpayer’s money as they can while returning as few services as possible. If you are "outside the Beltway" you must be one of those honest, hard working taxpayers who toil until sometime in May just to feed the evil "inside the Beltway" leeches.

Of course, the members of Congress and other high elected officials are exceptions: they are both inside and outside. They’re inside when they want money from the lobbyists, looking for an invite to the next swanky party or trying to impress a big donor with their connections. They are outside, however, whenever they’re running for office and are trying to convince the voters that they aren’t responsible for the "mess in Washington" – it must be all those nasty evil "inside the Beltway" types.

So, the next time the reference is used by a reporter, politician or expert talking head you’ll understand – inside the Beltway: evil; outside the Beltway: good. Which am I? Well, I live outside the Beltway (only by about 1/2 a mile) so I must be good. But I work inside the Beltway (only by about 1/2 a mile) so I must be evil. But I don’t work for the federal government or a lobbyist so I could be good. But I do work for local government so that might be bad.

I knew there must be a reason why I’m schizophrenic. :-)