Ask the Relativist

By Williams, Patricia J. | The Nation, December 16, 2002 | Go to article overview

Ask the Relativist


Williams, Patricia J., The Nation


Dear Dr. Madlaw,

As a newly elected member of Congress, I am appalled at the high cost of living in Washington. What's a hard-working public servant to do?

Mr. Smith

Dear Mr. Smith,

There are entitlement programs designed to assist those in precisely your fix. Start by applying for a spousal subsidy plan--Mrs. Smith may be eligible for a variety of corporate lobbying jobs designed to help with those hefty household expenses. Some even offer free lunches for the whole family. In addition, many public-spirited pharmaceutical companies offer free insurance benefits guaranteeing comprehensive health and happiness to any subscribing member of Congress.

You can also look into the many government job-training programs where your children can earn loyalty badges, soft-money accounting skills and frequent flier miles. Indeed, the Administration of Federalized Family Relations was first instituted by the Quincy Adamses, then carried forward on a small scale by the Rockefellers, the Roosevelts and the Kennedys. Today, our great government has blossomed into one tight-knit, family-centric apprenticeship program. Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Elizabeth, for example, has a custom-made office in the State Department, which is headed by Colin Powell, whose own son, Michael, heads the Federal Communications Commission. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son Eugene, now a Labor Department solicitor, used to work for the same law firm that represented President George Bush the Second, not to be confused with President George Bush the First, during the election-year lawsuit that ended the aspirations of Senator Albert Gore the Younger, whose own father, Senator Albert Gore the Elder, was a contemporary of the late Senator Birch Bayh, father of current Senator Evan Bayh; just as Connecticut Senator Thomas Dodd was the father of Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, and Representative John Dingell the father of Representative John Dingell, whose party, by the way, is now headed by Senator Nancy Pelosi, whose father, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., was Mayor of Baltimore, and whose brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III, was also Mayor of Baltimore. Pelosi's daughter has filmed a documentary of George W. Bush.

All this is terribly confusing to the enemies of America. But red, white and true-blue-blooded patriots know that this intricate interconnection of public relations forms a delicate system of checks and balances. Missus Senator Dole is a nice balance to her husband, Mister Senator Dole. Los Angeles civil-rights activist Constance Rice serves as a vital check upon her cousin, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Dear Dr. Madlaw,

I would like a job in public service, but my children are wild. They steal all my photo ops as well as the sherry. …

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