Long-time readers of Lotus - if there are any - will likely not be surprised to hear that I had a somewhat different take on the Alan Simpson kerfuffle, that the thing I reacted to was not what most were talking about.
A number of commenters seemed to be most upset that he used the word "tits" in writing to a woman as if that was something so totally over the line as to beggar the imagination. Well, frankly, BFD. The term may be crude, but it's hardly worth a lot of media and blog gasping and I simply can't imagine that Ashley Carson of OWL, recipient of the email in question, got the vapors when she read it. (On the other hand, the "get honest work" crack, now that really was offensive - especially as compared to being a professional politician.)
Rather more important but rather less the object of comment was the bit about the country being like "a milk cow with 310 million tits!" We're all just "milking [the system] to the last degree," Simpson opines. Apparently, "geezers" are not the only ones among us who are "greedy." It's the entire population. Oh, except, of course, him and his rich cronies who of course reap no special tax benefits, oh no, that's of course different and those are of course completely justified. (Which is why any tax increases on the rich and superrich are off the table in any discussion of cutting the deficit.)
But the thing that got me, the thing about which I've seen little if any comment, is the overall attitude of his email. There was a palpable, an overwhelming, an utterly astonishing arrogance. His sense of his own personal importance, his own personal superiority to the "babblers" and the "lesser people" he has referred to elsewhere, was breath-taking. This is the person, this is the kind of person, who the powers-that-be think is best qualified to determine the future for the rest of us.
Alan Simpson is not on the President’s Fiscal Commission despite such attitudes, he's there because of such attitudes. And don't you forget it.
Footnote: After being knocked from pillar to post in blogs and the commercial press, Simpson wrote an apology to Carson. Carson, to her credit, said she was "very appreciative" of Simpson's apology, then immediately renewed her call for his firing from the commission. Good on her.