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Slate’s chief political correspondent John Dickerson had this pointed weekend observation: “Disturbing flea market dolls,” he tweeted.

When pressed, Dickerson, also a political analyst for CBS News, explained that he and his wife were in a favorite “antique” shop in Ruckersville, Va.

He wrote to FishbowlDC, “We usually find something we like there – an old book or a scale for the kitchen – but it’s also a mix between a museum visit and a reporting trip. It’s like someone shot the middle class of the last 40 years through a strainer and the stuff that remains is on the shelves – glasses from fast food chains, house coats, racing car sets with missing pieces and faded Kenny Rogers albums. Winding through all those little rooms can be transporting but also depressing – the sullen paintings of freshman art students, unused dancing shoes and fad books by dead authors holding up broken dressers bought on layaway plans.

“I was looking for some little things I could bring the kids and found myself alone in a dusty closet sized shrine with those little dolls. All that determined smiling stamped on their faces was just creepy.”