DOWD (3/3/07): As I sit across from Barack Obama in his Senate office, I feel like Ingrid Bergman in ''The Bells of St. Mary's,'' when she plays a nun who teaches a schoolboy who's being bullied how to box.Its no surprise to see that the nuns are still haunting Maureen Dowds dreams. But note the instant description of Obama. Lets say it again: In the past few weeks, Dowd has described Obama as legally blonde; as Scarlett OHara; as Obambi, as a Dreamboy, and now as a schoolboy. But as weve noted, Dowd persistently mocks Dem males as a race of big girlie-men. They feel pretty—and theyre the Breck Girl. Now, Obama is constantly some sort of boy—or an iconic white woman.
DOWD (continuing directly—pgh 2): I'm just not certain, having watched the fresh-faced senator shy away from fighting with the feral Hillary over her Hollywood turf, that he understands that a campaign is inherently a conflict.Big Dem women are feral! Indeed, when we get to paragraph 4 through 6, Dowd spells it out just as clear as a belle at a ball. Added warning! When Dowd refers to Obama as Barry, its one more snide diminution:
DOWD (paragraph 4-6): After David Geffen made critical comments about Hillary, she seized the chance to play Godzilla stomping on Obambi.Leave aside the persistent infantilism involved in images like Godzilla and Bambi. Here, Dowd states her endless—and vacuous—theme. Big Dem males (like Barry) are girls. And big Dem women are men.
As a woman, she clearly feels she must be aggressive in showing she can ''deck'' opponents, as she put it—whether it's Saddam with her war resolution vote or Senator Obama when he encroaches on areas that she and Bill had presumed were wrapped up, like Hollywood and now the black vote.
If Hillary is in touch with her masculine side, Barry is in touch with his feminine side.
DOWD (paragraph 3): The Democrats lost the last two excruciatingly close elections because Al Gore and John Kerry did not fight fiercely and cleverly enough.Of course! It cant be said often enough! Right in paragraph 3, Dowd re-schools us. It was all Gores (and Kerrys) fault!
So lets see: Dowd invented the punishing Love Story bull-roar. She lied about the Naomi Wolf business—savaging Gore every step of the way. She devoted six separate columns to the punishing image of crazy Gore holding conversations with his bald spot. And, of course, she invented that laughable Kerry quotation—the quote that Kerry never actually spoke. But always, Dowd returns to that key part of the script—what happened to them was all their own fault! Those Dems are just such big girlie-men! They didnt fight fiercely enough!
Dowd is one of the dumbest figures in a pitiful age of celebrity journalism. If youve ever heard her trademark simpering on TV, youve heard the soul of our modern press elite. But increasingly, her simpering style defines the state of American political journalism. Question: Just how long do Democrats plan to put up with this absolute nonsense?
WIKIDOWDIA: Inanity, thy name is Maureen Dowd! Could American discourse possibly get dumber? Al and John and Barry wont fight. But when Hillary offers a small peep of protest, thats it! Shes denounced as a thug!
Yes, its hard to get dumber than Dowd. In a saner era, the Times would cart her off to a high-class home and pay the bills for some much-needed treatment. But then, the empty souls of people like Dowd have always worked their will among us, thwarting progress and worming their way into the highest regions of power. We thought of that story again last week—when we read Wikipedias entry on Marie Antoinette.
If you read the full entry, perhaps youll be struck by the way French politics of the era was driven by invented tales—invented tales spread by pamphleteers. (Insert talk show hosts and columnists like Dowd, and you have a portrait of our own era.) But then, we also read the following passage—this time, about Antoinette herself. Omigod! Who wouldnt think of Dowd, simpering queen of belle lettrists?
WIKIPEDIA: Fulfilling Marie Antoinette's determination to avoid boredom, conversation in her circle shied away from the mundane or intellectual. According to Madame Campan, one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting, "The newest songs from the Comédie, the most timely joke or pun or quip, the bon mot of the day, the latest and choicest titbit of scandal or gossip—these comprised the sole topics of conversation in the intimate group about the queen; discussion on a serious plane was banished from her court."Who wouldnt think of our own inane Dowd when reading that portrait of Antoinette? After all, Dowds circle of friends is exclusive too; it includes an array of the jugglers and clowns who have done so much to degrade our discourse (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/23/07). And Dowds court is determined to help their queen avoid the boredom which presses out from her soul. Once again, we recommend Gay Jerveys portrait of Dowds social conscience, as presented long ago in Brills Content:
The queen's circle of friends was very exclusive...
JERVEY (6/99): "Maureen is very talented," observes Joe Klein of The New Yorker. "But she is ground zero of what the press has come to be about in the nineties...I remember having a discussion with her in which I said, 'Maureen, why don't you go out and report about something significant, go out and see poor people, do something real?' And she said, 'You mean I should write about welfare reform?'"Let them eat Ring-Dings, Dowd told Klein. Heaven forbid that this fatuous loser should actually report about something significant. Heaven forbid that our top Antoinette should care about real peoples lives.
DOWD (3/3/07): When the Tiger Woods of politics goes to a civil rights commemoration in Selma, Ala., this weekend—just as the story breaks that his white ancestors had slaves—he will compete for attention with Hillary and the man billed as the first black president. How does he feel about the Clintons double-teaming him?Hiss! Spit! Hiss-spit! Mee-ow! Dowd, broken loser of silly cultural wars, has always written like a throwback survivor of mid-century womens pages. And so—Hiss! Hiss-spit! Meow!—she couldnt wait to alert her readers to this latest bit of biographical inanity. More on this topic tomorrow.
Talking about the woman he described at the Beverly Hills fund-raiser as smarter, better-looking and meaner then he is, he grins: ''My wife's pretty tough.''
THE ROLE THAT IS PLAYED BY ANN COULTER: Gore and Edwards are big girlie-men! Dowd delivers this message to the New York Times crowd—and Coulter sends the message to losers.
Example: On Sunday mornings Washington Journal, C-SPAN devoted its first forty-five minutes to a discussion of Coulters remark. And a string of Coulter-defenders called in to explain away her conduct. This gave us a chance to understand the role Coulter plays in our world. (Eventually, the clip will be posted here.)
The explanations offered by Coulters fans simply beggar description. About 35 minutes in, a broken soul from Vermont topped things off; he explained that his dictionary has two definitions of f*aggot, and until someone asks Coulter which one she meant, its unfair to criticize her comment. (And yes, he actually quoted the definition in which a faggot is a bundle of sticks.) Host Steve Scully isnt allowed to comment, but he questioned the caller as to which definition he thought Coulter had meant. But the caller kept explaining away Coulters comment. There was no sign, of any kind, that his call was some sort of a put-on
These calls help us grasp a key point—one thats almost never discussed. Many voters are breath-takingly stupid, and their tribalism will take them to the ends of the earth. These are the people the GOP has learned to address and marshal through Coulter (and through others like her). Speaking in her famous direct way, she tells these people that Dem males are just big girlie-men (f*ggots). Speaking in more mellifluous tones, Dowd sends this message to others.
Repeat: Dowd and Coulter have the same message. They just send it to two different groups.
But if you listen to this full segment, you will note that most of the callers are somewhat less stupid than this utterly hapless Vermonter. Most of Coulters defenders say something like this: Since Coulter was speaking in a comedic context, her statement was really A-OK. But then, this has been a controlling RNC narrative at least since the spring of 1999. At that time, the factually bogus attacks on Gore were explicitly defended as examples of humor. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, they explained. Were just enjoying some good solid satire.
This is why we find it so maddening (but so typical) when Keith Olbermann endlessly refers to the comedian Rush Limbaugh on Countdown. Plainly, Olbermann thinks hes delivering a zinger, but this is the explanation the other side favors! Whenever Limbaugh gets into a factual jam, he says, But Im just an entertainer! Since Olbermann wastes his afternoons talking sports, he apparently hasnt yet heard.
She said it in a comedic context! The RNC has pimped this narrative since the first days of the War Against Gore. If you listen to Sundays C-SPAN tape, you can hear Coulters army spouting it NOW. Or you can just dial up Mr. O and hear us recite their tales for them.