Correspondence

The Year of the Italian Nonwoman

It was late October, and my old friend was very depressed: "I'm not interested in any of these guys," he said of all the presidential candidates. "I'm only interested in one thing in this election." His voice grew warmer: "The reelection of 'Senator Pothole.'"

Senator Alfonse D'Amato, the only Republican victorious in a statewide election in New York in many years, is indeed affectionately known as "Senator Pothole." He is "the fixer," the last of the old-time pols, to whom ideology takes a distant back seat to fixing every little problem, including potholes, for his constituents. Not only his supporters, but all constituents. Democrat and Republican alike. Indeed, he is the only fixer, since his senatorial colleague. Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan, opcrates on such a lofty plane of cerebration that no one would think of taking pothole problems to him. Since Al helps evervone, no one can fault him for also fixing problems for his supporters. ("I should discriminate against someone just because he supported me?") True to form, Al appears at the functions or parades or dinners of every significant interest group. Aware of the importance of the Jewish vote, D'Amato claimed to be the best friend Israel ever had and won the implicit support of the powerful AIPAC lobby in the election.

Despite his broad support, however, everyone knew that Al...

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