The Breakfast Table

Splatter Effect

4:36 a.m. Tuesday–New York City–Waiting for Hurricane Bonnie:

Dear Erik,

Because I represent writers who work all night, I find I can get them in a weakened condition at this hour and they take criticism more readily. That’s why I’m up.

Maybe today we can find something to be snarky about so M. Kinsley won’t fire us until Friday.

Regarding “enemies, friends and self-destruction” among the Clintonistas and Democrats (not always the same animal): I don’t think side-stepping is exactly the maneuver that is called for here. It looks like only a flat-out run will keep most on your side from getting totally blobbed with green slime. Perhaps Gore should buy a condo in Hawaii and simply refuse to come home. We would like that.

At the moment I am awaiting the soft plop of the papers out on the landing. One of the singular joys of living the middle of NYC is this thing called “home delivery.” There is nothing in the world that for the right price can’t be delivered to your apartment–except perhaps that VRWC bible–the Weekly Standard. Somehow Bill Kristol can’t find a distributor who can lick an address label. I asked for a copy at our local Barnes & Noble only to have a 12-year-old clerk tell me they cancelled it because they only sold one copy in a month. Then he handed me a copy of the Nation. I tried to explain but he walked away.

A check of the Internet while I wait shows the Brit papers absolutely hosing Bill Clinton. The London Times simply states, “He is finished.” The Telegraph states the same. The Mirror advances Matt Drudge’s “cigar” story with such head-spinning new (and dubious) detail that as the mother of two grown sons I simply won’t report.

I notice a clear liberal habit in your morning routine: shaving and listening to NPR. We in the VRWC listen to Imus. He’s on reruns this week and useless. Back in ‘92 Bill Clinton charmed him by singing Blue Suede Shoes. Now he hates him and says the most vulgar and delicious things about the Prez.

I just heard the papers plop. Be back when I’ve digested them.

6:30 a.m.

The Times front page is Monica-free this morning. So is the Washington Post. Mark Helprin weighs in again op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. I hear trumpets when he writes of course, but find him a tad too flowery to follow. He’s quite good today with his “My dear Mr. President” letter that warns Bill Clinton that the natural flow of truth is a force of nature. Again, on this side of the Atlantic–the “R” word. “What will you do? I will tell you, sir (when you yourself realize that you have betrayed your family, your party, and your country). You will resign.”

Wendy Wasserstein–one of the New York feminist elite if there ever was one–slimes all over Hillary for not standing up and being counted in the matter, or her cheatin’-hearted husband, in a Times op-ed. I get a bit weary with single professional feminists who criticize married women when a marriage gets in trouble. No fan of Hillary’s, ever, I still feel that marriage is not for sissies and unless a feminist has tried it at least once and lived with the compromises that have to be made she should butt out.

Why do I sense a reluctance on your part to discuss the sex scandal? Not to bait you, of course, but tell me if I’m wrong. Which is more interesting–Monica or the retrofitting of that god-damn bridge? Okay, okay, what is retrofitting? Why does a bridge need it? What is it going to do the traffic? Who cares? Come on, make Michael happy–you know he loves a good fight. (Or a sucker punch, which ever the case may be.) Come on–he’s going to fire us if we don’t jump ugly.

Put ‘em up.