This Scepter’d District

Despite the fact that Brits set the place on fire during the War of 1812, Washington, D.C., has always harbored a soft spot for things English. Previously, the more virulent strains of Anglophilia were confined largely to the Georgetown social set and the diplomatic corps. Now, Brit-mania is spreading to the mainstream. For the first time in American history, we have a British-style sex scandal in the White House. Many people in Washington–including Chatterbox, who will admit only to mild Anglophilia–are favorably disposed to a British-style parliamentary solution, e.g., that Clinton resign. (Chatterbox won’t belabor this point because he’s written an article about it in the current issue of the New Republic.) Most recently, the newly founded British School in Washington has started educating the grade-school children of “transient British workers in the area and long-stay British families,” according to head teacher Leslie Stagg. Ms. Stagg informed Chatterbox that she was “astonished by the interest from Washington American families.” Americans constitute fully 35 percent of the school’s current enrollment, as compared to the 40 percent that is British (the remainder being assorted other nationalities). Chatterbox is not astonished, but he is alarmed. If this mania spreads to the rest of the country, the impact on oral hygiene alone could be devastating.

Timothy Noah