THE GREY LADYS OWN BRITNEY SPEARS! Obama is a Hollywood starlet, the Times unwell columnist says: // link // print // previous // next //
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2008
TOMORROW: Back to Harold Meyersons leadership—and on to this piece by John Judis.
THE GREY LADYS OWN BRITNEY SPEARS: Maureen Dowd is emotionally and morally ill, a point she makes clear once again in todays sad column.
Lets start, once again, with her sick, endless need to feminize Barack Obama.
Not that theres anything new about this. It has now been almost nine years since Dowd told the world that Al Gore is so feminized...hes practically lactating. (That was June 16, 1999—the day of Gores formal announcement.) It has been almost five years since she helped dub John Edwards the Breck Girl. (June 8, 2003. After that, she called him the Breck Girl in five other columns.) It has been almost a year since she wrote a column headlined, Obama, Legally Blonde? (February 14, 2007. One week later, he was Scarlett OHara.) And of course, she has kicked the stuffing out of endless Dem wives, for the nastiest, stupidest reasons you could conjure. In Dowds world, Major Dem Men are constantly girls—and Major Dem Women are most often men. Michelle Obama is a she-bitch, of course, a key point Dowd first made just last year.
So its no surprise—to see Dowd back on the Bambi beat as she writes about Obama. In todays column, she describes Obambi as a diffident debutante, then turns to this standard inanity:
The fourth word which comes to mind is moronic. But note this: For unknown reasons, that Hollywood starlets paragraph has been dropped from Dowds column on-line; its also AWOL on Nexis. (It stares at us from our hard-copy Times.) Who knows? Even the Times may have finally noticed a fact: Maureen Dowd is a gender-nut crackpot.
Even worse, Dowd is relentlessly dumb—although this hardly makes her stand out among the Times op-ed columnists.
A bit of context about todays column: Times columnists arent allowed to make endorsements. For that reason, Dowd cant publish a column which says, Vote against Hillary/Vote against Hillary, over and over for eight hundred words. She has to pretend that shes framing an argument—although name-calling is often involved. This morning, she starts off like this:
As always, Clinton is paranoid and pathological. Indeed, Hillary Clinton is so paranoid that she has come to believe that she alone can stand up to Republicans. But how about a bit of parallel construction? Is Barack Obama so paranoid now that he has come to believe that he alone can produce needed change? A question like that wont appear in a column which replaces Vote against Hillary. Instead, we get claims about paranoia and pathology—and, of course, we get world-class mind-reading, as in the last of these paragraphs:
As always, Bill is paranoid too. And Dowd knows what drove his fairy tale comment—as any great novelist would. (By the rules, it cant be fury at the press corps, which he specifically expressed.) And, as any great novelist would, Dowd is ready to mind-read millions of average voters. She just knows why they vote as they do—as any great novelist would:
See that? By the rules, Tuesdays voting cant simply show that roughly half of Democratic voters prefer Clinton to Obama. (Often reluctantly, because they like both.) By the rules of this stupid column, there has to be some other reason when millions vote for the b*tch.
Maureen Dowd knows what that reason is—as any great novelist would. Maureen Dowd knows why you vote. She knows the very shape of your lives.
In summary, Maureen Dowd is morally sick—shes just unwell—about those vexing gender issues. Her sickness has been apparent for years. In that respect, shes much like the Times own Britney Spears; shes someone who needs intervention. But even worse than her moral sickness is her constant, world-class dumbness. If humans civilization continues to develop, future generations will look back on such work with unease, as we look back on medieval medicine. What might it say about us, they will ask, that our ancestors reasoned that way?
FOR CLARITYS SAKE: For claritys sake, lets say it again: In todays hard-copy New York Times, Dowd compares Obama (sorry—Obambi) to a Hollywood starlet. But that paragraph has been disappeared on-line, and its been disappeared from Nexis. Its hard to avoid a possible thought: At long last, someone at the Times may have noticed the fact that their scribe is unwell.
MUCH THE SAME REACTION: In fairness, we had much the same reaction to Bob Herberts Tuesday column, in which he wasnt allowed to write Vote for Obama for eight hundred words.
Jesus Christ, this page is a mess! Herberts logic meanders about, shifting gears from one paragraph to the next. And as New York Times columnists constantly do, he speaks for the motives and views of millions on the basis of—basically, nothing. Our analysts laughed—until they cried—when they reached this comical groaner:
A handful of interviews cant tell you what young people think, the scribe says. And then, he tells you what young people think—failing to offer any source for the well-scripted fact he offer.
Herberts piece is a typical mess—a jumbled and wildly illogical hodge-podge which seems to carry an obvious sub-text. (Unlike their racially compromised elders, young people cant wait to vote for Obama.) But then, the Times op-ed page is a daily mess—an embarrassing reminder of our reptilian origins. Future generations will shift in their seats when forced to look at this pages work. What might this endless mess say about us, they will uncomfortably wonder.
HERBERTS ILLOGIC: According to Herbert, many Democratic realists have a fear about nominating Obama: Their contention is that the country has come a long, long way, but that it is not yet ready to cross the finish line by installing a black man in the White House. No, he doesnt quote anyone who has actually said this; they will only say this in private, he suggests. But might we pose an obvious question? If Democratic voters really believe that white racist voters would defeat Obama next fall, why wouldnt they want to consider that problem as they decide on their primary vote?
(Note: Herbert presents no evidence that Democratic voters actually think that. And he doesnt say how many Democratic voters might hold this view. For the record, that isnt our view of Obamas chances—although we are concerned that he could be Dukakised, as another fine person once was. We have different but equal concerns about Clintons chances in the fall. The press corps hates her, and shes trailing sixteen years of demonization.)
Guess what? If we thought Obama couldnt win in the fall, we might vote against him too! But rather than evaluate this supposed concern, Herbert ends up typing feel-good piffle. His column ends with a rejoinder which fails to address the original concern:
Awwww! If youre the tenth caller, you win a warm puppy! Soon, though, the meandering pundit is typing this about those wonderful kids:
But wait a minute! If white racist voters might defeat Obama, shouldnt these great young kids be concerned with such factors as Mr. Obama's race or perceived electability? And shouldnt Bob Herbert, at some point, try to decide if this really could happen? In a rational world, you might think that—but this is the world of the Times op-ed page. Herbert, like Dowd, is pretending to reason, because he cant type, Vote Obama.
Obvious question: Why are the kids in a better place than their elders about race—if their elders are simply worried about a bad thing which might really happen?
Herberts piece is a jumbled, illogical mess; no big surprise there, of course. But it makes us feel very good at the end—and it drives a fairly clear, nasty message.