Top 10 Letters
Giants, toasters, Bobos, crooked senators, and more.
11:00 PM, Oct 27, 2002
Everyone around here has been to Paris and embarrassed by their choice of footwear there at least once. So the men may do Dansko clogs or the little elf slip-on sneakers, but no Birkenstocks. And make no mistake--while their wives are tooling around Mill Valley in the ubiquitous Acura SUV, self-consciously shaping their lives and abodes to resemble a Provencal fantasy, their men are working hard and scared to keep them happy. (The wives, now moms, are all former attorneys and advertising executives who are now home running the local public schools and ferociously competing with one another on everything from their children's school performance to the wholesomeness of his birthday cake to the size of their jeans.) The $2 million dollar house does not make them rich. It makes them scared to lose it. You see, Marinites are hardly laid back. Truth is, everyone here pretends to be laid back, but this is as hard-driving and competitive a place as you can imagine. It's like Manhattan without the minorities and the skyscrapers.
The fierce battle for beauty and "quality of life" that fuels Marinites is responsible for the budding conservatism here. People may pretend to be appalled by Bush's bad vocabulary and his drive to war, but secretly, they're glad he's in place.
The dot-con years left a mess here. Bobo unemployment is a growing problem. Economic worries are colliding with kid worries which are colliding with war worries. Scratch below the surface of the tanned back of any middle-aged mountain biker, and you will find a conservative waiting to happen.
Ask him if he really believes abortion is just when he fondly recalls the sonograms of his now pubescent children. Ask him if he really believes premarital sex is harmless as he gazes with fatherly pride and terror at his daughter, the teenage vixen. Ask him just how keen he is on having his taxes pay for sweeping social programs that don't work. Ask him this as he's stepping over the homeless people littering the streets of San Francisco on his way to a job that will likely not exist in six months, unless capital spending on technology improves significantly.
Republican virtue starts to make sense. (By the way, I'll be at the World Series tonight rooting for those Giants.)
Jonathan V. Last notes that the Democrats aren't fielding a candidate in the Virginia Senate race (Stop the Insanity). Why is it important to have a choice in New Jersey, but offer NO candidate in Virginia?
Actually, the failure of Schumer and Clinton to endorse the Help America Vote Act can be put in two words--Rudy Giuliani (Katherine Mangu-Ward, Holding Out on Reform). They are both scared of his post-September 11 popularity and know that they will need ever vote they can get (legally or otherwise) if they are to have any chance to beat him should he choose to run for either or their Senate seats.
New York, like Maryland and California, needs to look very carefully at the ethics of the two people it has sent to the U.S. Senate. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton have spent the past two years forging heretofore untravelled paths of disgrace, by shamelessly endorsing propositions that had previously been considered intolerable. Instead, they credit themselves with being on the cutting edge of 21st century politics.
The senior Senator from New York suggests that judicial appointments for the Federal bench be screened based on their political reliability. And as Congress attempts to update the bankruptcy code, Schumer adds language to the bill that prohibits the discharge in bankruptcy of civil judgements brought against individuals for their non-violent protests of abortion clinics.
Then there's Hillary. As Senator, she defended her own husband's improper pardons of political friends and contributors by questioning the motives of those who inquired. And who could forget her performance after September 11? She rolled her eyes in a joint session of Congress when George W. Bush rallied America after its heart was broken.
And now, both senators, in an effort to appease leftist contributors and oppose the removal of their party's most effective tool for winning close elections, have put themselves on record as the only two members of the United States Senate who disagree with sensible election reform.