The Corner

Doses of Mail

1) You may remember what Harry Reid said about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) at a fundraiser: “We in the Senate refer to Senator Gillibrand as the ‘hottest member.’” I cite this in Impromptus today, adding an observation: “Frankly, I thought that was discourteous toward Senators Boxer, Landrieu, Mikulski, and other members of the upper chamber. But I obviously lack the savoir-faire that makes you Majority Leader of the United States Senate.”

Inquiring minds want to know: What if a Republican congressional leader had said something like that? (A male one, they mean.) Would he not be branded the worst sexist pig in the world? Would he not be on the cover of Time magazine week after week until he was out of office? Wouldn’t the likes of Boxer and Mikulski be filled with indignation?

The world tires of Republican whining about double standards: “If Reagan had said or done that . . .” “If Quayle had said or done that . . .” “If W. had said or done that . . .” “If Palin had said or done that . . .” Yet it’s all true.

I don’t mind the double standards all that much — fact of life, like mould. I just want the other side to acknowledge it. To say, “Yeah, we have these double standards, but it’s our world, we make the rules, and what’re you gonna do about it, chumps?” That would make me happy (-er).

2) Also in Impromptus, I note that Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, and Robert Gates have joined to form a consulting firm: RiceHadleyGates. Very modern naming style. “What if Kissinger Associates had been founded this year,” I ask, “instead of 30 years ago? Would the firm be called KissAss?”

Readers are coming up with their own names, for various long-established entities. Can you think of National Review as NatRev, let’s say? (None too pretty, IMO.)

3) At the end of my column, I quote Reagan on the total unsexiness of today’s movies (or of movies back during his presidency — I’m not sure much has changed since). He said, “You know what was sexy?” (I’m paraphrasing.) “A couple vanishes into a hotel room. Seconds later, a hand reaches out to place a sign on the door handle: ‘Do Not Disturb.’ It left something to the imagination.”

A reader writes,

You and Reagan have brought to mind one of the steamiest kisses I ever witnessed in the movies — one that went unseen. The chemistry had built to explosive levels aboard the ship in An Affair to Remember when Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr disappeared behind a staircase. All you could see was their feet as they embraced. And the camera faded. Makes my palms sweat just typing it.

There’s a movie fan! (And a discerning one.) (But would Harry Reid deem it “hot”?)

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