In case any of you ugly ducklings out there stare at the impossibly adorable and feisty Elisabeth Hasselbeck, The View panel's hawkish contributor, and see in her an unattainably shrill ideal, fear not. She too was once a gawky pre-adolescent, smiling past the sadness through a wall of orthodontic appliances and tragically outmoded frames purchased at the short-lived Sally Jesse Raphael Optical Centers (Your Glasses—and Some Tough Love—in About An Hour!™).

When even the relatively safe haven of the Hot Topics table fails to shelter you from the pointed barbs and open-mouthed guffaws of your daytime sisterhood, we can only imagine what life in the schoolyard was like. It's early-life emotional duress such as that which provides the ideal conditions for the seeds of extreme neo-conservatism to sprout, like a cancer, in the farthest recesses of one's deeply damaged super-ego.