Toupée, roué, okay

Peter Orszag was once notable for wearing the worst toupée in public life. When he appeared onstage with Barack Obama for the announcement of his appointment as director of the Office of the Management and Budget, it looked like a squirrel was sitting on his head. Or like he was wearing a coonskin cap with the tail cut off. Orszag celebrated his new job by trading in the old rug for something less conspicuous. Last week, however, Orszag achieved notoriety of another kind.
There was a time when a man who fathered a child out of wedlock might have felt some compunction to marry the woman. That time has obviously passed. Orszag was already the divorced father of two when he fathered a child out of wedlock with another woman while in a “committed relationship” with her. Orszag promptly shed the “commitment.” He appears to have shed the commitment in favor of what the New York Post describes as a “hot new fiance.”
There was a time when a man who jilted the woman bearing his child for another woman would be scorned as a cad and a scoundrel. Those days have obviously passed too, though the New York Post showed something of the old attitude in reporting on Orszag’s exploits. The Post reported that Orszag’s former girlfriend “was three months pregnant when Orszag kicked her to the curb.”
Has such conduct become something to joke about? It is at the New York Times, which yesterday had great fun with the story in “If Peter Orszag is so smart, what will he do now?”
JOHN adds: A site called Panzramic comes up with a picture of the rug. Wow. Is that a toupee, or a beret?


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