The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, February 21, 2005  

Peggy, Susan
Susan, Peggy

Gee whiz! Just a few hours after I switch the “Cause of the Month” from the National Parkinson Foundation to the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide, a reader writes to alert me to an apparent attempt by has-been politico Susan Estrich to ape -- and I mean that -- Peggy “Just Retards” Noonan.

Ms. Estrich, ever the victim of this, that, and the other thing (attacks real, slights imagined), recently sent several e-mails to Michael Kinsley, editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, complaining about this, that, and the other thing, one of which included this little delight:

[P]eople are beginning to think that your illness may have affected your brain, your judgment, and your ability to do this job.

“People,” Ms. Estrich says with self-righteous authority, despite naming not a single person, not even herself, who is “beginning to think,” or to adopt, the gruesome delusion that has gripped her meagre mind, though readers may fairly assume it is she who is casting this heinous -- and utterly groundless -- aspersion.

For those not aware, it is a fact that Mr. Kinsley has been afflicted with Parkinson’s disease.

And for the rest, it is clear that Ms. Estrich, while seemingly healthy, an appearance she no doubt values greatly as it places her upon an imaginary high ground, is one nasty little guttersnipe, a filthy piece of refuse we should collectively flush into the sewers of public discourse.

[Post-publication addendum: I eagerly await word that Ms. Estrich’s “co-signers” -- Linda Auerbach Allderdice, Iman Anabtawi, Carol Biondi, Wendy Button, Pamela B. Bryan, Linda Burstyn, Sue Cameron, Susan Dolgen, Ellen Carol DuBois, Andrea Duncan, Lenore K. French, Susan Harbert, Christina Harper, Danielle Ilan, Isabel E. Kaplan, Regina Lark, Suzanne Kayne, Abby J. Leibman, Carol Ann Leif, Christine A. Littleton, Karen Mack, Dinah Minot, Pamela Morton, Roxanne G. Neal, Winnifred White Neisser, Patricia Peyser, Katherine Reback, Nancy Daly Riordan, Dolores Robinson, Debbie Leilani Shon, Rosa Sierra, Maxine Sonnenberg, Katherine Spiller, Robin Swicord, Leigh Tobias, Susan Troy, Cathy Unger, Jane Ellison Usher, Hope Warschaw, Lynne Wasserman, Kedren Werner, and Peg Yorkin -- disavow and condemn their feckless leader’s disgusting remarks. Any of these women seeking to do so publicly may send a message to such effect to The Rittenhouse Review. I will gladly publish such correspondence as soon after receipt as possible.]

[Post-publication addendum (February 21): More Kevin Drum needling. In a February 19 post, “Kinsley vs. Estrich” (where there are some outstanding comments), Drum writes: “Michael Kinsley . . . suffers from Parkinson’s disease.” Actually, Kevin, it is more accurate to say one “has been afflicted with Parkinson’s disease” or one “is living with Parkinson’s disease.” This isn’t P.C. chatter; it’s reality.]

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