Ed Driscoll

The Eschaton Can Wait

Speaking of Hollywood, Warren Beatty’s stalking of Gov. Schwarzenegger in the run-up to last week’s botched special election makes it almost too easy for Mark Steyn in his latest column:

I don’t want to run for governor,” [Beatty] said the other day, making it sound like he’s interested in the role but he won’t audition. He’s certainly in the right party: The Democrats have already taken on most of the characteristics of a bad Hollywood project — no ideas, script full of ancient cliches, but if you can get the right star to commit to it we just might make this thing fly. And, though he’s never run for office before, Beatty has the crucial ingredient: name recognition. All over California, women are going: “Warren Beatty? Oh, yeah, right, now I remember. That guy I had sex with in the late ’60s.”

The ”will Warren run?” story crops up every other election cycle. Last time it was back in 2000, when Al Gore was felt by some (about 300 million or so) to lack charisma and there was talk of Beatty throwing his hat into the presidential ring. He wanted to run because he believed American politics was turning into a plutocracy in which the highest office in the land was put up for sale to a handful of privileged sons of wealthy men, like Al Gore and George W. Bush.

Beatty, by contrast, has come up the hard way, working his way through the long, hard daily grind of Natalie Wood, Leslie Caron, Brigitte Bardot, Cher, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton, Isabelle Adjani . . . He can sympathize with the underclass: He knows how it feels to hit rock bottom — apparently, it was Madonna’s in ”Dick Tracy.” He understands what it’s like to try to make ends meet. Crucially for California, he’s sensitive to the needs of immigrants: He appreciates the difficulties European art-house actresses have in finding bankable Hollywood stars prepared to go to bed with them.

In 2003, you’ll recall, the Los Angeles Times assigned a special team to look into Arnold’s sexual background. If they do Warren in the same way, it’ll be the biggest hiring bonanza in U.S. journalism for a century. Usually, when his magnificent track record of famous conquests is brought up, Beatty indignantly points out that he’s had sex with a lot of very obscure women, too. This is true. He has dallied not just with Natalie Wood, but also with her less celebrated sister, Lana Wood.

Lana, who played Plenty O’Toole in the James Bond film ”Diamonds Are Forever,” subsequently fell on hard times and found herself with little money and no work. Warren was touched by her predicament and considerately invited her to share his bed. As Miss Wood wrote in her memoirs: “Whatever his motives were, he gave me shelter and my self-esteem back — and for that I was grateful.”

Whether this hands-on approach to tackling the problems of the unemployed can be applied statewide is doubtful. No governor can have sex with every struggling woman in California, though, of course, Beatty does have the advantage of an impressive head start.

Do I even have to say, read the rest?