We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

The New Yorker recently suggested that the devil was seducing Washington officials for ridiculously small amounts of money. As evidence, the Talk of the Town piece cited departing Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, who compromised himself in exchange for skybox tickets, free travel, and some limo rides. Espy’s whole package was valued at a few thousand dollars, an amount the New Yorker referred to as “the price of a good suit.” Pardon? Maybe in Manhattan. Most American men pay a few hundred for a suit, drive their own cars, and are lucky if they can buy stadium tickets. It wasn’t the devil that tempted Espy, but a culture where inflated egos demand courtesy cars and $2,500 outfits are considered de rigueur; a culture apparently populated by snotty Big Apple journalists as well as self-important politicians.