WE IRISH! Matthews and Dowd keep trashing women. Wed call it a family tradition: // link // print // previous // next //
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2007
WE IRISH: In October 2002, Hillary Clinton cast a very bad vote. (So did John Kerry. So did John Edwards.) Maureen Dowd briefly discusses that vote late in her column in todays Times. But Dowd doesnt have much time for her actual substance, because she has blathered so much early on. Heres the way our most inane columnist started this new, inane column:
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:
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.
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.
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!
But the Healys and Seelyes and Connollys and Kellys have been crawling all over our political culture, chasing Bill Clintons troubling blow-jobs—and Hillary Clintons troubling gender. In Iowa this weekend, a man asked Clinton what equipped her to stand up to the worlds worst men—a man who possibly didnt quite know he was speaking to one of our toughest survivors. Indeed, Clinton has stood up to many evil or bad men over the years—including an ugly man named Matthews, who even dragged out Gennifer Flowers for the umpteenth time to spend a half hour on TV accusing Hillary Clinton of murders (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/19/07). No, Sundays question to Clinton didnt quite make sense; shes been dealing with very bad men for years. But good lord! Here are the bells this question set off inside Dowds bizarre, tortured mind:
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.
Why do we finally raise the question of Irish Catholic culture? Because voters may need a bit of context when they consider the puzzling punditry being directed at Clinton. We Irish! For fifteen years, weve played a disproportionate role in the crackpot wars against Clinton/Gore/Clinton, and our hidebound instincts have flared up again in the days since Clinton announced. But because our members are so well-placed (and because theyre so determined), their instincts may acquire an air of common sense—an air they dont deserve. When Dowd and Matthews and Barnicle (well named) bray and complain about Clintons gender, voters should understand what theyre seeing; theyre seeing the backwash of the cultural conservatism which has been the unattractive side of our otherwise glorious Irish Catholic culture. Dowd has often written about her various crackpot family members, including her nutty conservative brothers. But lets face it. The most damaged person in the Dowd family is clearly the pundit herself.
To Dowd, when a woman dares to run for president, she is somehow saying: I am owed everything. And Dowd invites us to remember the way these woman just luvv their mistreatment. But then, as weve already said: Some of us kids grew up and moved on. And some of us write for the mossback Times, whose culture you should carefully consider.
KEEP JOKE ALIVE: Poor Matthews! He struggled and strained on last nights Hardball, desperately trying to Keep Joke Alive. He wasted two segments on the pointless topic of Hillarys joke—and to him, it was, of course, all about the girls and their stupid girl humor. Here he was, introducing the pointless, tired, dumb topic:
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:
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.
But then, Matthews is like something from a bad dream; hes a tormented Tailgunner Joe, decades later. To him, Clinton is Dukakis in a dress. She sometimes reminds him of a strip-teaser. Shes an uppity woman—and, of course, shes very militant. He offers degrading, gender-based insults as easily as other folk breathe. Before such constructions start to seem to make sense, we thought you might want to consider where such constructions come from.
MATTHEWS ABANDONED: Heres the good news: Among pundits, only the total crackpots, like Dowd and Matthews, seem drawn to this latest nonsense. Last night, a string of pundits politely told Matthews that he should maybe just put a sock in it. First, Pat Buchanan betrayed the clan. Clinton had been hilarious, he said to Matthews. Whats your problem, he tactfully asked, tactfully citing the press:
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: 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.
In his second segment on this topic, Howard Fineman and Chuck Todd also chided Matthews focus. Indeed, how alone are Matthews and Dowd at this point? Here was Mr. O, Monday night, speaking up for Clinton:
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.
Did we mention the fact that he once brought a nut on the air to accuse both Clintons of murders?
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.