The New York Times columnist Roger Cohen was visiting the town of Peculiar, Missouri to find out what’s happening in Middle Amurka.
In Peculiar (motto “Where the ‘Odds’ are with you”), Democrats are rare. Cass County, where it’s located, voted 61.6 percent Bush.
There’s not a lot to Peculiar, a smattering of low-slung buildings off Highway 71 in western Missouri. At a general store, I asked about the name and a woman told me: “When they incorporated the town, they tried a few names, but those already existed, and somebody wrote back saying we should try something more ‘peculiar.’ And, son, we did.”
Cohen didn’t have a lot of deep thoughts, but that may be because he’s suffering from a new disease that is epidemic these days- Palinitis:
Back when he was vice president, Dan Quayle noted that: “People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”
He was right, as the Germans know, even if his own impact was limited by the fact the president he was understudying for stayed alive.
Quayle’s words came back to me because, like a lot of Americans, I’ve come down with Palinitis: the acute fear that Sarah Palin might get into one of those “sensitive positions.”
Obviously, I’m not thinking very deeply today either.