Monday, June 14, 2004

The Sunday Funnies

I ate breakfast with friends at Room 12 yesterday and picked up my Sunday Sun-Times on the way home. I had the entire day off so I could read at my leisure. The Sun Times tries to have a balanced editorial page, but yesterday between Betsy Hart's "Confessions of an adolescent 'Reaganette' from Illinois" and Mark Steyn's tribute to the Gipper, I had to double-check the masthead to make sure I didn't buy the Tribune by mistake. The media is now breathing in the vapor trails of what Wonkette has coined "Gipperporn": 24/7 coverage by the media on the funeral of Ronald Reagan.

I was holding out hope that Reagan's casket would be welded shut, cremated, padlocked, flown to a salt lick and buried, and placed under armed guard in the hope that he doesn't rise from the dead.

Hart's op-ed piece, in particular, was a laugh riot. Here are some of my favorite bits from the essay:

"Other girls were hanging posters of Leif Garrett in their rooms, and I was hanging posters of Reagan."

Wow! Just. Wow!!

"OK, I knew I was a little weird."

Just a little? I mean, it isn't weird like the footnotes of Mein Kampf that a teenaged Ann Coulter used to paper her walls. But it points to signs of a father figure complex, at least.

"I was part of a small coterie of high school girls (whose parents were involved in the campaign) who would meet Reagan's campaign plane around (Illinois.) I only did it a few times."

And I only put it in a little. We all make mistakes.

"Still, I got to wear a sash and have my picture taken and everything. Talk about 'cool.'"

OMG! Did you ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance, too?

"Flash-forward again, another eight years."

...eight years of chocolate malts and handjobs on her Greg Marmalade-looking steady...

This time I was working in the Reagan White House press office... I was low girl on the totem pole."

Betsy Hart was the prototype for "Washingtonienne?"

"Since it was around the time of his birthday, we gave him a gift from our office, and we all signed a birthday card. I wrote something like, 'Mr. President, I've been working for you since I was 12 years old..."

in violation of child labor laws...

"and it's a privilege to be working for you in the White House."

Betsy Hart was the prototype for Monica Lewinsky? I mean, a simple "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" couldn't properly convey the sentiments. Here was a then 25-year-old woman fresh out of college with an obvious crush on a nearly eighty-year-old man, who also happened to be the most powerful man in the world at that time. I can imagine the fantasies she was having: "Oh, Mr. President!! Fill me with your Great Communicator." Which at that point probably resembled a grape leaf appetizer at a Greek restaurant.

It was like reading a David Sedaris essay. It was that funny (well, not as funny as the picture of Nancy Reagan wearing her Harry Caray glasses and not raising her head toward the sun lest her retinas get fried from the super strong prescription.) Or maybe I'm not as numbed by all the coverage of the funeral. Sometimes it's a blessing to not have cable.

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