James Lileks once again reminds us that he’s not planning to run for the Senate in ’06, no matter who drafts him, and lists numerous reasons why. The last item–about having to live in Washington–certainly sold me:
If I could work from home here in Minneapolis and send out a lifelike robot to do my public appearances, that would be fine. Especially if the robot concluded news conferences by vaporizing a few impertinent reporters and walking through a stone wall before flying off; people like that sort of thing in a senator. I daresay 100 fearsome robot senators could make short work of North Korea, and the worldwide sales of licensed action figures would fund a dozen campaign cycles.
Barring that, no. I lived in D.C. in the ’90s, and they were not happy years. Police helicopters, 24/7 car alarms, hopeless local government and that general big-city / East-Coast go-to-hell attitude toward you, the citizen taxpayer. And it’s not even a real East Coast city. It’s a training-wheels version for people who hope to move to Boston and really drain the joy out of other people’s lives. Senators do not have to encounter the city’s myriad problems, of course; they get chauffeured to the job, and they work in this imaginary world of marble and crisply saluting guards and innumerable oil paintings of men in britches shaking hands. It’s a wonderful theme park. It’s the only one in the country where the clowns think they’re the management.
Who was it who said that air conditioning is what really gave America big government? At least prior to the 20th century, politicians in D.C. had good reason to get out of town for a third of the year.