The Harpy Redux: The Art of Slime and Speculation
"Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to." — Peggy Noonan, Maureen Dowd's spiritual advisor
The Harpy stared at the bottles lined up in front of her like a glass menagerie. They were cold comfort, to be sure, but they were the only company she had now that she'd driven away everyone else in her life: The men, with her shrewishness and backstabbing; the women, with her Queen-Bee-ism and backstabbing.
She looked at the bottles, and then she looked at her face in the mirror — in her near-complete lack of self-awareness, she blamed her advancing age and not her nasty untrustworthiness for her lonely state.
And then she looked at her computer keyboard.
A smile twisted its way onto The Harpy's lips, thinned by decades of bitterness. She knew just the thing to make her feel better.
John Edwards was handsome, a self-made rich man, and by all accounts kind, decent, intelligent and a good father. The sort of man The Harpy would have wanted to father her own children, which would never happen now.
So of course she had to see if she could destroy him.
Taking a page from the GOP's history of slime tricks, she decided on a variant of the old "Clinton got a $200 haircut!" fake scandal of 1993, and applied it to John Edwards, who had recently got a $400 haircut, as being evidence of something — well, what, she couldn't exactly say flat-out without giving away her agenda.
Never mind that Laura Bush paid $700 — nearly twice as much — for a haircut in 2005.
Never mind that she, a self-professed femininst and independent woman, was undermining feminism by a) implying that not looking like an utter slob somehow made John Edwards feminine and b) implying as a corrollary that being 'feminine' was to be despised in both men and women.
None of that would stand in The Harpy's need to fill the void in her heart with the bleeding, gasping kill of yet another victim.
She typed away merrily, inserting the talking points so kindly supplied her by the Republicans, and hit "send" in a rush of exhilaration.
The exhilaration lasted about fifteen seconds. And the void was still there.