As a man of the Great Indoors, air conditioning has been my life-long friend, one whose reputation I will fight long and hard to protect. But it’s curious the partisan rancor it brings out in others: back in 1999, <a title=”Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online” href=”http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Zjc4YTg3YWE0NzFhOTU2YWQwNTdlMzc4NTNkMGI1YjE=”>Jonah Goldberg quipped that it’s responsible for Big Government:
In the 18th and 19th centuries a congressman wouldn’t be caught dead in Washington during July. Well, actually, they might be caught dead, because they wore all those clothes and were so fat that they might have died while trying to get out. The British Embassy, for example, moved the entire kit and caboodle to Maine every summer.
The idea is: Ban air conditioning in Washington and you would cut the “productivity” of the government by more than a third (say from late May to late September) and return the United States to the limited government the Founders intended. D.C. is still full of members of this school of thought.
In Salon, on the other side of the political spectrum, Edward (no relation) McClelland writes, “I blame A/C for the decline of the labor movement and for decimating the Midwest’s population. Mostly, I blame it for the election of George W. Bush.”
And speaking of propeller-driven machines, Mayor Bloomberg spins back from the ledge, slowly:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing off his suggestion to put windmills on city bridges and rooftops after newspapers mocked the idea with photo illustrations of turbines on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.
“There are aesthetic considerations,” Bloomberg said. “No. 2, I have absolutely no idea whether that makes any sense from a scientific, from a practical point of view.”
Imagine the howls of derision from the media if a Republican–or at least one who wasn’t temporarily one in name only solely for electoral expediency said that.