AND THE COMMON WOMAN CHIMES IN. Paul and Ezra have both written on David Brooks' most recent truckstop column, and I noticed with great interest the headlines of their posts: "Conservatives and the Common Man" and "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men."

Brooks tells us that a masculine man doesn't worry about the rich but about all those other men who are not masculine enough, the manipulators.

But what about the women? Where is the common woman in Brooks's column? Where is the common woman in most of these discussions about class and income and politics? She is hiding in the stories, sure, as a part of the family that the common man must defend and feed. Or as a part of divorce, as in Brooks's anecdote. But she is not interviewed as a myth-in-the-making. Perhaps Brooks should next stop at a hairdressing salon in a poor area.

I'm sure that you felt a little odd reading that phrase " common woman." It has quite different connotations than the superficially similar phrase "common man." That, in itself, is worth some thought in political writing.

--J. Goodrich