The brains behind the outlaw website ilovekarlrove.com offers advice for wives of the soon to be indicted.
Y’all can keep your hard-teated Hollywood pretty boys—the Brads, the Matts, the various Culkins. One might make for tasty arm candy while you’re strutting the red carpet at this month’s Mauve Ribbons for Uvula Disease gala benefit, but it’s even money that Angelina Jolie’s newest adoptee is gonna be calling him “Daddy” before your evening’s Brazilian gets a chance to stubble up.
Nope—a sensible li’l filly prefers herself a big ol’ solid slab of GOP politico prime rib. He may be sporting a fish-belly “Capitol Hill tan” or not have gotten around to shedding the Junior Senator 15, but after a day of wrangling bills and roping torts, your average family values bronco is just bucking for a roquefort steak at the Foggy Bottom Prime Rib and a sweaty bout of git-along-little-doggie until it’s time to watch Sean Hannity. Your red-state Romeo may like it well-done on the Senate floor, but it’s raw back at the split-level, and there ain’t no Paris Hiltons slinking in to poach him in the dead of night.
Problem is, a special prosecutor probably will.
Sad but true, the Beltway good ole boys are being cuffed, stuffed, and indicted at a NASCARian pace, and we, their devoted pit crew, can do little but Vaseline our teeth and wave to the cameras as if we were still Miss Omaha Pit Beef 1988.
It just cracks my fragile heart to imagine what Mrs. DeLay is going through at home, her once-full toolbox now without its hefty Hammer. Sure, he’s been released from the state’s hospitality pending trial for campaign money-laundering, but freedom has its price. Ten thousand dollars bail is still a Texas-size chunk of change, even if you’re, oh, say, a former Senate majority leader’s wife and daughter who have reportedly earned half a million dollars working for a political organization somewhat (ahem) close to home.
And keep in mind all the long, hard, prison-widowed nights in front of the Home Shopping Network that are looming overhead, all Damoclesian. Hubby Tom might be snoozing comfily in the Barcalounger right now, but should justice’s hammer not swing his way come trial time, quite likely the hand gently cradling his family assets will not be his own, nor so very gentle. And that’s a heck of a load to expect one’s godly ex-cheer-squad wife to have to swallow!
Still, appearances must be kept up, pantsuits pressed, coifs Aqua-Netted, and mood-stabilizers popped. In this age of unnervingly instant access, every bloggerista with a cable modem and a camera phone thinks he’s Edward R. Gosh-Darned Murrow, and he’s sure to broadcast every last split acrylic end and stray courthouse-steps divorce threat for the schadenfreude of the whole lumpen cyberverse. Not to mention that with the advent of print-on-demand services like Cafepress, tomorrow evening’s medicinal toddy will likely be sipped from a mug emblazoned with this afternoon’s mug shot.
It’s surely enough to send a girl tumbling into the Valley of the Kitty Dukakis, but before you hoist that fistful of Vicodin, honey, know that you are not alone. As long as there has been an America to govern, there have been political wives with one supportive hand on their husbands’ shoulder and the other on speed dial to her divorce attorney.
Are you listening, Mrs. Frist? Seeing as majority leaders seem to be in the prosecutorial crosshairs at the moment, it would only make sense that you and Mrs. DeLay grab a corner table and a couple of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at the Capitol Hill Starbucks and start comparing notes. Heck, pull up a chair for Scooter Libby’s spouse Harriet Grant and get scheming!
How ’bout a joint Dr. Phil appearance? Perhaps a wink-wink guest cameo on Desperate Housewives, or an airbrushed Us Weekly “Forgiveness” cover? Middle-American hausfraus eat that crap up with an ice cream scoop. And while you’re at it, don’t go all Scroogey with your prescriber’s after-hours digits. Though your congressional cutie might have to undergo the full-cavity plunder at some point post-prosecution, mama sure don’t need to go through this one stone-cold unmedicated.
Y’all might also want to check the possibility of preemptively calling bunkmate dibs should sentences coincide. ’Cause even if your boys aren’t pally enough to share adjoining squash lockers at the Hill gym, tender nether quarters are likelier to come home unsullied without a ruffian cellmate sent to the pokey for one of those common-people crimes, like shoplifting or music piracy. Savages, I tell you. Savages!
Why, you ask, are my sympathies for this cause so very raw and pungent? No, my passion for my particular political animal has not been endorsed by holy matrimony (or the Secret Service), and for that reason (the Secret Service one), I dare not (and I have the restraining order to prove it) speak his name. But I can tell you this much: It rhymes with Burd Tlossom, and I love him like Dennis Hastert loves Two-for-One Half-Smoke Night at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street.
For lo these many years, I’ve watched silently and sweatily from the shadows as Burd’s party penetration deepened and, in the face of adversity, he kept working the polls and working the pols until his base solidified and everything came together for him—for all of us—in a mighty gush of democracy. He may look hard and crusty as melba toast while he’s working, but I assure you he’s Pillsbury soft and luscious once he kicks off his cordovan Florsheims.
At least, so far as I’m allowed to see from the hedges.
Damned if I’m going to let my man be thrust headlong into the penal system without a solid slathering of loving protection. So I say this loud, and I say this proud: I’ll be waiting for you on the outside, Burd. I’ll be waiting.
Virginia Wade is the public face of www.ilovekarlrove.com. Her true identity is known only to the Secret Service and to New York webmistress Kat Kinsman.