Cockburn’s invite to the Met Gala must have gotten lost in the mail — so instead he spent Monday night in Washington at the 2021 Bradley Prizes.

Well-heeled guests sauntered into the National Building Museum, a rare building in downtown DC that has yet to be ceded to the homeless, or worse, the federal government.

The night’s honorees were Federalist senior editor and Fox News mainstay Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Roger R. Ream, chairman of The Fund for American Studies, and the author Amity Schales. The Bradley Foundation is a Milwaukee-based conservative foundation that, according to its website, ‘envisions a nation invigorated by the principles and institutions that uphold our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Past winners include The Spectator’s Roger Kimball, Heather Mac Donald and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Panic set in almost immediately as Cockburn’s eyes flicked around the room upon entry. Attendees were clasping only water bottles — there wasn’t a Champagne flute, a whisky tumbler, heck, even a tallboy in sight. Cockburn was quietly informed that beverages would be served after the ceremony.

Cockburn took his seat and listened to addresses from the award winners. He perked up for Mollie Hemingway, who donned a shimmering gold dress that wouldn’t have been out of place up at the Met, and whose speech scorched Republican leadership for ‘insincere opposition’ and challenged them for ‘negotiating terms of surrender’ in the forever-culture war with the left.

Leading lights of the Trump administration were in attendance: former attorney general Bill Barr and former chief of staff Mark Meadows, both of whom made swift exits as Miles Stiebel’s all-military big band struck up a medley of World War Two-era songs, and Dr Sebastian Gorka, who was spotted wolfing down short rib tacos at the subsequent reception.

Mayor Bowser would have felt very welcome at the soirée that followed: barely a face mask in sight as handshakes were exchanged and the Prosecco poured freely. Cockburn mixed drinks far more than anyone should on a Monday and flung himself into the fray. Gorka was right about the tacos, they were tremendous. And they say DC is dead!