The Washington Free Beacon’s Dirty Dozen Rules For Thriving In D.C.

Don't just aim to survive the swamp, thrive in it

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February 20, 2023

On Friday, POLITICO, a Beltway gossip blog located many, many floors below the Washington Free Beacon, released a list of its 28 "Rules for Surviving in D.C." The compendium includes such gems as "Say ‘Nice to see you’—even if it is your first time seeing the person," and "Be subtle about asking what someone does for a living."

These rules may be helpful for the head-cases who take life advice from Virginia-based political gossip blogs. But we know our readers aren't content just to "survive" in D.C.—they want to thrive. Plus, we can’t let our downstairs neighbors print the definitive D.C. lifestyle guide. After all, they’re based in Virginia, and we have "Washington" in our name.

Here are the Washington Free Beacon’s dirty dozen tips on how to thrive in Washington, D.C.


If you need to get into an exclusive event, tell people you have a daytime show on MSNBC

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No one actually watches the network, so as long as you have hipster glasses and appear sufficiently condescending, there’s a chance you’ll be let in. This tactic also works with important-sounding titles that don’t actually exist, like "Director of Strategic Competition Leveraging at SKDK" or "Secretary of Transportation."


Instead of ‘Nice to meet you,’ greet people with 'Have we slept together?'

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Nothing screams "Washington rookie" like introducing yourself to someone you’ve already met. To avoid this potentially career-ending faux pas, opt for the more intimate, "Have we slept together?" If you haven’t, pull up directions to the nearest Red Roof Inn and offer to pay for the Lyft.


If you encounter a female lawmaker, ask what her husband does to fund their lifestyle

It’s an old cliche that the most-asked question in Washington is "so, what do you do?" Women in particular are tired of hearing this query, particularly because whatever they do, they do it for on average 18 percent less than men.

Shake things up at your next cocktail party by asking female lawmakers, lobbyists—or, more likely, PR flaks—to tell you what their spouse does to support their attacks on the glass ceiling. This will show you care about more than work.


No matter where you live, tell people you live in Washington

There’s a reason the White House is smack in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and not nestled off the side of Lee Highway. No one wants to invite commuters to smoke-filled back rooms, so if you find yourself living outside the corridors of power, just lie. This will make you seem important and rich and not at all like a loser.

The further away from D.C. you live, the bigger your lie should be. So, people who live in Rosslyn should say they live over the bridge in Georgetown, and people who live in Maryland should say they share a secret Dupont Circle apartment with Doug Emhoff.


If you have a security clearance, stow away as many top secret files as you can.

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Come on, everyone’s doing it! Classified documents are great, and have so many purposes. You can stack them on your desk to make yourself look important or use them as a makeshift lampshade. Worst case scenario, your kids can trade them with their Nigerian friends for meth money. Plus, there’s no chance you’ll go to jail, so what’s the risk?


Assume all journalists are opportunistic shills who want to exploit you for personal gain and never divulge personal information to them.

Unless you’re talking to a Washington Free Beacon journalist, in which case, please send trade secrets, stock tips, and videos of your illicit affairs to


Find yourself a woman in her prime

Contrary to what disgraced, middle-aged "news" anchor Don Lemon claimed, women over 50 are not past their prime. Older women are just as intelligent, lively, and sexy as their younger counterparts—and much more willing to pick up the tab at dinner. Bonus points if you nab an octogenarian hottie who goes to bed by 7:30 p.m., giving you plenty of time to play video games.


Never ask Brian Stelter about Tucson, Arizona.


Just trust us.


Become a Democrat.

Once you go blue, they’ll never get you! If you’re a Democrat, you can get away with killing interns, harassing women, wearing black face, insider trading, and more. Weather scandal after scandal while partying with celebrities, and serve at the highest reaches of government until dementia takes over. Just make sure you never ask about Hillary’s emails.


Stop trying to date AOC.

She’s just not that into you, and she’s technically taken by a schlubby ginger bro—albeit one who the congresswoman wouldn’t let propose until he could "convince [her], after all this time, why [she] should" marry him. Landing AOC would mean dealing with that kind of drama, and paying off tons of parking tickets. Instead, try dating Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I., Ariz.). She is single, as far as we know—and her sexuality, like her politics, is flexible.


Don’t overdo it on sympathy if you run into someone who’s just lost an election.

Well, this one is on POLITICO's list too, and they hit the nail on the head. Losers don't want your sympathy, because sympathy only makes them feel more like losers. So, if you run into someone who recently lost a high-profile election—say, for governor—treat them with respect and send their table a bottle of something fancy. It doesn't matter how many stories you ran about them being a corrupt, depraved, everything-that's-wrong-with-politics criminal. They will respect you for it.


Be Mindful When Encountering Vagrants.

Crime and homelessness are on the rise in our nation’s capital, so be on your guard as you walk down the streets. But, if you come across a doddering lunatic speaking gibberish, don’t make any assumptions. They might be the president of the United States, or his crackhead son.