DOWD (1/31/07): When she was little, Hillary Rodham would sit on a basement bench and pretend she was flying a spaceship to Mars. Her younger brother Hugh, perched behind, would sometimes beg for a chance to be captain.Snore, we wrote on our hard-copy paper. But then, anyone who has read this primal nutcase must have known what would come next. Just like that, Dowd explained What Was In Clintons Mind when she campaigned in Iowa last weekend:
No dice. ''She would always drive, and I would always have to sit in the back,'' he once told me.
DOWD: Finally, in Iowa, she was once more behind the wheel of her spaceship to Mars... [groan]When Hillary Clinton runs for president, this means she thinks that she is owed everything. Translation: What makes this bitch think she should be president? Yep! Dowd took us down a dusty old road as she watched Clinton campaign in Davenport.
She positively glistened as she talked about how ''I''—rather than the ''we'' of '92—would run the world.
Humbly, graciously, deftly, she offered Iowa the answer to that eternal question, What Is Hillary Owed?
What makes this bitch think she should be president? Its a question that doesnt come to Dowds mind when men stage their runs for the White House. Dowd doesnt say he thinks hes owed everything because a man runs for the White House. And no one does what Chris Matthews did in 1999, when Clinton announced that shed run for the Senate; no one harangues the candidates spokesman, over and over, about how ambitious the candidate is. But then, Dowd does today what Matthews did then; she expresses her hidebound cultural values. And because you need to understand the strange impulses driving some major pundits, we think we ought to say it again: As Matthews did in 1999, Dowd is expressing the throwback values of her familys Irish Catholic culture.
Lets state the obvious. Theres nothing wrong with being Irish Catholic. Indeed, we grew up (Boston) Irish Catholic ourselves. Our sainted mother was Irish Catholic. So was our grandmother, Ann Callahan; so were our four beloved aunts. [Sidebar: No one in our family had ever gone to college. But Ann Callahan told us, from Day One, that wed be going to Harvard, just like the Kennedys did. God bless the hearts of the Boston Irish who rejected No Irish need apply!] Of course, most of us raised Irish Catholic in the 50s and 60s somehow arranged to grow up and move on from the blinkered, throwback cultural instincts which have been the downside of that glorious culture. But uh-oh! Some others have plainly not moved on. And a large number of these people now seem to work as opinion leaders inside our mainstream press corps.
Yep! A surprising number—including Matthews and Dowd—now work as opinion leaders inside our millionaire press corps. Unfortunately, their mossback, blinkered social instincts have driven a great deal of our political discourse over the past fifteen years. From 1992 right up to this day, theyve insisted on sniffing the Clintons sheets, for example. Indeed, the Times current sheet-sniffer, a bright lad named Patrick Healy (what else?), is clowning again in this mornings Times. Where do they find these prime dimwits?
HEALY (1/31/07): Some of the nation's most enduring memories of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton—memories she would happily erase—were etched on television more than a decade ago: She didn't stay home and bake cookies in her marriage. She wasn't ''some little woman, standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette.'' The headband. The hairstyles.Theyre so fucking stupid it makes your bones hurt. (Needless to say, Dowd refers to Clintons hair-styles in todays column too. And to her off-key singing.) As mother might have said (if shed been Chris Rock): The Irish? Dear, I love the Irish. Its these g*dd*amn m*cks I cant stand!
On Saturday, one week into her presidential campaign, the threat of a new, unflattering image surfaced: MSNBC used a microphone to capture Mrs. Clinton singing the national anthem in Des Moines. Her voice was, shall we say, off key. The recording was quickly downloaded to YouTube, the video-sharing Web site, and the Drudge Report—no friend of Mrs. Clinton—was steering readers to watch it. (By Tuesday afternoon, more than 800,000 had.)
DOWD: John Wood, a self-described ''plainsman,'' Republican and machinery-and-tool salesman from Davenport, asked Hillary how she would handle the world's evil and bad men, provoking the slyly ambiguous retort: ''What in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?''Good God. (And all the angels and saints.) His question was reminiscent of Ali G's interview, Dowd said. Amazing, isnt it? Wood asks Clinton how shed handle the worlds worst men—and images flash inside Dowds head about the way women could get turned on by dictators. The worse you treat 'em, the more they want you, she remembers Ali G saying. Of course, Sascha Baron Cohen offered this as a joke—a joke about tortured throwbacks like Dowd! But today, Dowd wants us thinking about the way women get turned on by evil men. Thats what this nutcase wants voters thinking as they consider this candidacy.
He said afterward that he was more worried about her ability to face down villains, ''being a lady,'' but conceded, ''The woman did good today.''
(His question was reminiscent of Ali G's interview of Newt Gingrich, when the faux rapper asked whether a woman president would be turned on and manipulated by evil dictators, given that, with women, ''the worse you treat 'em, the more they want you.'')
MATTHEWS (1/30/07): Heres the Hillary line from this weekend in Iowa. It was a joke, an in-joke among some women. Let`s see what she meant.Matthews kept defining the joke as an in-joke among some women, a giggle among the girls [sic], although the room was full of both women and men. It was girl humor about girls and the trouble they all have with men, the clownish old mossback soon said. And then, he described the type of woman who would attend such a Dem Party gathering:
CLINTON (videotape): And what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?
MATTHEWS: Now, look at that laugh with all the teeth and all the giggle among the girls, and thats fine with me. I like people having fun.
MATTHEWS: By the way, the kind of women that show up at Democratic organizations are not the traditional woman who stays at home and doesnt go out and work. Theyre the women who go out and work, who get active in meetings who are very militant and gung-ho. And theyre the kind of people—theyre like Hillary. And shes appealing to that mentality.Isnt that remarkable? To Matthews, thats the mentality of the women to whom Clinton is appealing. Theyre very militant, Matthews said. In that way, theyre like Hillary.
BUCHANAN (1/30/07): Look, I thought that was a hilarious line by Hillary Clinton, repeating the question. It was about Osama. Bad, evil—how do I know how to deal with bad and evil men. She picked up on it, she came back with a hilarious line. It was very funny.Matthews, who was visibly annoyed, derided Buchanan as Mr. Defender of All Women. And dont you love it? Matthews, who once brought a crackpot onto the air to accuse both Clintons of being murderers, is now deeply, profoundly upset that Hillary is unfair to Bill! Again, Buchanan chided him about his obsession—about his foolish reasoning:
MATTHEWS: About who?
BUCHANAN: Its about Bill, of course.
MATTHEWS: Of course it was! Shes denying that! You don`t compare a guy who kills 3,000 people with somebody who had a little trouble with an intern.
BUCHANAN: Chris, I mean, why is the press all over her when she caught a very—
MATTHEWS: Because she won`t honestly admit what she does.
BUCHANAN: Why dont they just let it go? Its a joke! Why do they ask questions?
MATTHEWS: Well, she wont admit that was a joke about Bill.
BUCHANAN: Why do they press her about it?
MATTHEWS: Because, Mr. Defender of All Women, the problem is that she wont admit a candid joke.
MATTHEWS: Ill tell you one thing. I thought the joke was wrong, because as much as Ive been tough on Bill Clinton over the years, I dont think its fair to compare, to compare him to Osama bin Laden. Even as a joke it falls flat. Its a clinker. Its like never compare anybody to Hitler. Don`t compare somebody to Osama bin Laden.Lets all giggle together! Matthews undisguised, instinctive derision of women is simply astounding to see.
BUCHANAN: How can you call it a clinker when everybody in the room was laughing their head off?
MATTHEWS: Because it was girl humor about girls and the trouble they all have with men. And that could be her strategy, "We girls have had a lot of trouble with men, let`s face it. I`ve had to deal with Bill. Let`s face it. Lets all giggle together.
OREILLY (1/29/07): "Personal story" segment tonight. You have to feel sorry for Hillary Clinton. That's right—you have to feel sorry for the woman. Everything she does is analyzed. And often, she gets whacked in the head with it. Listen to this exchange after a question from an Iowa lady [sic]And on culturally throwback programs like Hardball! For the record, OReilly was quite fair to Gore in Campaign 2000. Matthews lied and name-called him to pieces.
CLINTON (videotape): And what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?
CLINTON (videotape): I thought I was funny! You know, you guys keep telling me lighten up, be funny. You know, I get a little funny. And now I'm being psychoanalyzed.?
O'REILLY: In addition, Ms. Clinton sang the national anthem off key. That was played all over the place. And the beat goes on. Joining us now from Boston is Democratic strategist and Fox News analyst Maryanne Marsh. I'm absolutely sincere when I say I feel sorry for Senator Clinton, because she's going to go through a horror that I don't think any other politician in the history of this country has ever gone through in the next two years...Every faux pas she makes is going to be just like that, front page on the tabs.
Buchanan, Fineman, Todd and OReilly all told Matthews to stick a sock in it. But Dowd is still typing away—and her tortured mind is a mess. These throwbacks are tortured by Clintons gender—and they plan to let the world know it. Hillary Clinton thinks shes owed everything! The thought leaps into their bizarre, throwback minds—and they cant wait to recite it.
TOMORROW: Mike Barnicle, one of Jack Welchs Lost Boys, defines the Dem Party for Imus!
Also coming: Women are almost too dumb to vote! More on the remarkable piece which headlined the Post Outlook section.