Reporter Thomas Fuller filed from Bangkok on Saturday on the durability of superstition in modern Thailand, "When the Spirits Talk, As They Frequently Do, Thais Are Eager to Listen - Traditional Beliefs Fit Into Modern World." Late in the piece, however, he worked in a musty jab at a Republican personality.
West and East, many people enjoy a good ghost story or a peek at their horoscope now and again. What sets apart Thailand and other countries in Asia is the prevalence of fortune telling and other supernatural-related activities at the highest levels of government (Nancy Reagan's astrologer notwithstanding).
A 1988 book by former Reagan chief of staff Don Regan revealed that Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer about her husband's schedule. But Fuller skipped a more recent and more relevant example: Former First Lady Hillary Clinton communing with the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt, as recounted in a 1996 book by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. If one must use an American political anecdote, that one would better serve a story that opens with a description of "spirit houses" devoted to "protective ghosts."