Saturday, July 12, 2008

No, Not Here, Too
I was reminded of what Hugo Chavez said when he followed George Bush to the speaker’s rostrum at the UN. “The devil was here yesterday. It still smells from sulphur.”
Ask conservative Republicans to name a lush island with great beaches dominated by the extreme left. Chances are those few who know a bit of geography will come up with one of two answers--Cuba or Martha’s Vineyard.
It’s hard to imagine cold reactionaries warming up to either isle. I just can’t picture, say, the Cheneys cuddling like love birds at a corner table while enjoying perfect Daiquaris at La Bodeguita del Medio in Old Havana. Nor can I see the likes of chubby little Karl Rove with his beach pail and shovel building sand dungeons in Chilmark. But strange things do happen.
The faint odor of sulphur I whiffed on a recent weekend in my summer town of West Tisbury, smack in the middle of the People’s Republic of Martha’s Vineyard, had me wondering about its provenance. Then a neighbor, who’s in the know when it comes to Vineyardish, told me that indeed Karl Rove was on the island.
On Saturday, Rove helped to sort the mail at Alley’s General Store (apparently feeling no compunction to consult the FISA court). He dropped by the Strawberry Festival at the First Congregational Church. And he stall shopped the collectivist in concept but rapacious in reality Saturday vegetable market across from our house. Reliable sources had it that Rove was the weekend guest of his attorney, Robert Luskin, a nominal Democrat with a list of quirks and clients that put him somewhere on the colorful quotient between James Woods as The Shark and Denny Crane in Boston Legal.
Also on the Island last weekend was William Cohen, former Maine Republican Senator and Defense Secretary in the Clinton administration. He and his wife gave me and mine that big politician smile as we were leaving and they were entering the airport cafe on Sunday morning.
The reality is that Martha’s Vineyard is not really that liberal. In fact, it’s increasingly stuffed with highly juiced zillionaires for whom the difference between rented Republicans and docile Democrats is slighter than that among their chardonnays.
Anyway, the sulphurous fumes had passed by Sunday, blown away by wet gray clouds that kept us from the beach.