The loneliness of the Gail Collins reader: We heard the unmistakable whimpering shortly after 5 this morning.
Someone banged on a door from within—from within the padded chamber to which we assign our readers of Gail Collins columns.
“The horror, the horror,” we heard a voice cry. That’s when we knew it: Collins must be discussing the debt limit crisis.
Even we couldn’t begin to imagine the way Collins chose to discuss it. After we opened the door and a young analyst wildly rushed past, we discovered what he had been reading.
What he’d been forced to endure.
We’ll start with the part about Collins’ husband because it suggests human suffering, concerning which we should all develop a bit more sensitivity. According to Collins, her husband has “serious issues:”
COLLINS (10/10/13): The I.R.S. would probably be the last to return. That would be very tough on people who have serious issues they need to resolve. For instance, my husband, Dan, recently received a notice from the agency announcing that he was dead. Apparently this is a fairly common error, but Dan wants to be bureaucratically resurrected, and there’s nobody on the other end of the phone to talk to.As soon as we saw the words “Ted Yoho,” a horrible thought came to mind. “That can’t be it,” we horribly said.
Really, it’s all personal. In fact, a good way to think about the current standoff is that it’s a war between people who just want to have the government back and the people who want a new version of government with the priorities of Representative Ted Yoho of Florida.
Sure enough, though. It was:
COLLINS (continuing directly): I am using Ted Yoho because he’s a voluble figure in the caucus of right-wing hard-liners in the House who caused the shutdown in the first place. Also in part because I really enjoy writing “Ted Yoho.” Also because he has also been one of the leading lights in the new crisis over whether to let the country go smashing though the debt ceiling.Even we had never dreamed that Collins would stoop to that! For that reason, we hadn’t assigned a chaperone—a suicide captain, a spotter.
Late in August, Collins played the “I just like writing the name Butch Otter” card for the seventh time. For the seventh time, she worked Otter into a column so she could kill time like this:
COLLINS (8/31/13): Idaho's other Republican senator, Jim Risch, is up for re-election next year and Ferguson says he is confident there will be a candidate running against him, as well as an extremely strong nominee opposing Gov. Butch Otter. That is not really to the point of our current subject, but I always enjoy writing “Gov. Butch Otter.”For all seven Otter sightings, click this. Warning! In a fiendish turn of events, Collins has found another name she can serially mock because it just sounds so hilarious!
(On October 3, Collins played the Otter card again. To convince yourself, just click here.)
The IRS figured Dan Collins was dead! As we soothed our analyst, we mordantly said, “In fairness, though. Can you blame them?”
In the main point of her column: In the main point of this morning’s column, Collins doesn’t seem to think the congressional gym should be open.