SALON — I’M STANDING in the fitting area of Linda’s, an extravagant lingerie store in Murray Hill, New York. Purple-draped changing rooms loop around a plump, cream chaise longue, and on the walls hang sepia-toned photos of exceptionally sexy—and well-endowed—women. They aren’t the breakable, thigh-gapped girls you see on Victoria’s Secret posters; they’re plus-sized models with voluptuous bodies, their breasts bigger than DDs. Through an open door, I glimpse a stockroom filled with gleaming racks of bras in every size, style, and color imaginable. Peach, crimson, black, cream, dark blue, magenta; full cups, demi cups, balconettes; with wires and without. It’s a candy shop of bras, and I’m the fat kid. I’m in big boob heaven.
SALON — But the biggest casualty of the Great Recession and the generation of slow growth and political turmoil that followed was representative democracy. In the face of persistent high unemployment and slow growth, Congress consistently did too little, too late. The American people voted in first one party and then the other. Gradually they realized that their national legislature was no longer responding to popular needs or values, no matter which party was nominally in charge.
The thoroughly corrupt House of Representatives was populated by career politicians who responded to out-of-district corporate and financial industry contributions more than to the citizens of their districts. Thanks to the success of partisan majorities in state legislatures in drawing the lines of congressional districts to benefit members of their parties, an ever-growing majority of U.S. representatives enjoyed safe seats. The number of