Friday, August 26, 2005

Wonks In Love

Just one day after I briefly name-checked Morton Kondracke in a two degrees of separation context in my post about Jules Witcover, I read in the Washington Post that Morton is getting married for the second time. His first wife died after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. Morton wrote a memoir, Saving Millie, which became a CBS movie starring Bruce Greenwood and Madeline Stowe.

His new fiancĂ© is the age appropriate and rather beautiful Marguerite Sallee, who is CEO of Colin Powell’s pet charity, America’s Promise. The story of the two lovebirds seems to be Sleeping in Seattle sappy. Mort even popped the question in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (the Eiffel Tower having been tainted forever by Tom and Katie). I wish these two a lot of happiness and it further proves my maxim that love comes in all shapes, colors, sizes, flavors, and ages.

A lot of people now know Morton from The Beltway Boys, which was him and Fred Barnes trying to take their McLaughlin Schtick™ on the road, which I don’t blame them for. Mor-TON in particular seemed to be the biggest victim of Monsignor John’s rather petty schoolyard bullying. Not that Freddy the Beetle faired much better. Or the staff members that filed sexual harassment charges against the roundtable leader.

In indulging my nostalgia (read random Googling®) about the salad days of The McLaughlin Group, I found that the Jump The Shark snarks share my opinion about TMG going into sharp decline after Jack Germond left. I also blame the Dana Carvey Saturday Night Live skits that somehow triggered Johnny to start chewing the scenery even more fervently in a bad life-imitates-art parody.

There also seems to be a lot of uncalled for animosity toward the last remaining panel member from that era, Eleanor Clift. I’m not sure whether the venom is purely partisan reactions to her reliably liberal lip-service (especially during the depths of the Clinton impeachment) or the usual double standard that makes men strongly opinionated pundits and women shrill ideological harpies. For the comic lovers in my audience, check out Candorville for the latest salvo in trying to unseat that hypocrisy.

A shout-out to Wonkette for having a link to the WaPo article. The starving gerbils running the WaPo search engine forgot that they ran a Names & Faces column on August 25, briefly causing me to doubt my own sanity for new and different reasons.

Finally, with Mort at 66 and Maggy (may I call you Maggie?) at 59, they are quaintly close in age for anything resembling a second marriage power couple hook-up. Yes, I’m looking at you Alan and Andrea (the math is left to the student for homework). For the peanut gallery, what is the youngest appropriate age for a man in his mid-60’s to woo?

Update (5/09/06): According to The Reliable Source, Mort and Andrea got married on May 6, 2006. Scroll down about three items for a very nice picture of the newlyweds.

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xtessa said...

hi! here via michele's meet and greet!

i see on your sidebar that you went to Asia... well, i'm Asian (a Filipina) now living in Hong Kong.;) it's always fascinating to travel.

nice meeting you!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

To answer the question posed at my site: The lady would have to be nubile, that's all.

(Ah, I'm just kidding. My chasing days are over. But for other guys, I don't like seeing them take young chickies out of circulation when there are so many nice, older -- and wiser -- women around.)

Thumper said...

A guy in his 60s...hmmm...depends what kind of shape hes in. My sister was in her early 40s when she married a guy in his early 60s, and they've been quite happy. I think it'd be creepy if she'd been younger, tho...

Here via Michele's today! :)

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Here via michele's have a great weekend :)

R.A. Slater said...

Here from Michele's! :) My dad was like 17 years older than my mom. It was......interesting...growing up!

Julie said...

Hello! I am visiting from Michele's site. I enjoyed browsing through your blog!


yellojkt said...

Wonks are geeks that specialize in politics. Wonkette is a very snarky major blog that specialize in DC and politics.

buffi said...

I've got to stop doing Michele's meet & greet so late. I want to read more of your site, because it seems great, but my brain is so tired, I can't make sense. I will bookmark you & come back when I am more conscious.

kenju said...

The youngest age for a man in his mid-60's to woo is 50.

Michele sent me!

Now: what would be the youngest man I could woo - assuming my husband is gone?

Suzanne said...

Hello! I'm here via Michele's meet-and-greet!

Anonymous said...

I never knew the story about Mort's wife Millie until the movie appeared, even after watching the Beltway Boys for years. Good for him; Maggie seems a right nice match indeed.

Appropriate age for a mid-60ish man to woo? I say age scarcely counts in matters of the heart. But that's just me.

Hello from Michele! Loving your site.

Anonymous said...

McLaughlin called Fred the "Beadle", not the "Beetle".

Mike said...

Hello! Michelle sent me.

Olyal said...

Found you through Michele. Thought I'd say g'day. :o)

Anonymous said...

At twenty, I started dating a man eight years my senior; we’ve been together happily for 4.5 years, married for three. Not exactly a huge age difference, but it was a big deal at the beginning of our relationship.

The age/romance thing is complicated. Firstly, there is no denying that trophyism and gold digging get thrown into the mix. There is, conversely, a rather compelling love knows no boundaries argument to be made.

My opinion tends to fall somewhere between those two, though I wouldn’t presume to select an appropriateness algorithm. My definition of a non exploitative relationship is that both parties should have equal power.

To my mind, the reason widely age divergent pairings are creepy is that age is frequently a manifestation of power. Sometimes it’s not, though, and sometimes other things are. A therapist dating a patient, someone becoming sexually entangled with their boss; these give me the same icky feelings a twenty something with a fifty something might engender.