Politics is a rough game, which is why people who aspire to positions of political power should be regarded with the most cynical brand of suspicion there is. Anyone who would subject his or her family to the rigors a national political campaign is either dangerously self-involved or irritatingly self-righteous, which is why we should probably institute some sort anarcho-syndicalist commune in which we all take turns acting as a sort of executive officer of the week. At least, such a scheme might help ease Sarah Paley's anxiety at her husband Bob Kerrey's upcoming U.S. Senate bid, a trial of marital support and patience that she wrote about in a satirical Vogue piece, "The (Not So) Good Wife."
Paley, who writes about leaving New York later this summer to go support her husband in Nebraska, — a land, apparently, littered with deer carcasses and anti-abortion signs — has angered some Nebraskans by seemingly deriding their fair corn-husking state. The New York Daily News reports that Paley's characterization of Nebraska has upset some of her husband's constituency with passages in which she describes how she greeted news of her husband's Senate campaign with "hysteria, tantrums, [and]sulking," and jokes about fabricating a sex-scandal to keep her and her 10-year-old son from having to leave Manhattan for a state that she describes as socially regressive.
Incensed Nebraskans wrote letters to the Omaha World Herald, including one supposing that Paley "apparently believes we all wear pantsuits, spout anti-abortion slogans and carry guns." The Lincoln Journal Star's Cindy Lange-Kubrick, however, was more sensitive to Paley's misgivings, writing, "Paley's essay probably didn't do much for the Kerrey campaign, but as a woman who admires a woman who holds on to her own last name, I say, bully for her."
One can hardly blame Paley for not getting super-excited over her husband's impending political deathmatch with Republican state legislator Deb Fischer, and there's no reason why she should just keep her pen still if she has the platform and wherewithal to lament the rigors of a senatorial election. Besides, Paley's article isn't all snarky and glib, like this passage, which seems like an honest reflection about her own ability to cope with Kerrey's candidacy:
As the campaign progresses, I wonder if I will be a liability. How will I stump? I do not own a pantsuit, pearls or an American flag lapel pin. When I take myself, and our son, out of the equation I get genuinely excited about Bob's candidacy. He loves Nebraska and truly cares about the state of the country and the world.
Obviously, though, politics is no fun, which is precisely why Alexis de Tocqueville was onto something when he said, in so many words, that representative government is for crazy people.