WILLIAMS (3/5/07): Well, you know, I mean, I think she—she picked up that speech pattern. I don't know that she did a great job with it. But this is a little bit like, you know, is she a Cubs fan or a Yankees fan? Depends where she's at. It really reminds me of David Geffen's critical comment about Hillary Clinton that she's over-scripted, over-produced.But then, everything on earth reminds these dumb boys of their cohorts most beloved primal scripts.
COX (3/6/07): Like my husband said, next thing you know, shes going to trot herself out as an Atlanta Braves fan. Like she was, you know, Cubs, and then Yankees, and now Braves. Shes actually, you know, an all-star fan.How powerful is the idiocracy? Even Coxs husband, Chris Lehmann, is willing to be trotted out as a fool! It all seemed so calculated, Cox said of Clinton—as she calculated what her host, a consummate dope, would like hearing.
WARNER (3/7/07): [W]hat I found particularly shocking in Coulter's comments was their studied juvenility, the sheer idiocy of their language. ''Faggot'' and ''total fag,'' like other political pearls of our time—such as ''bring it on'' and ''girlie men''—are just epoch-making in their stupidity. In fact, they sound like lines out of Mike Judge's 2006 film, ''Idiocracy,'' a political satire that I rented a few months ago and can't seem to get out of my mind.The very dynamic of Idiocracy is already present today, Warner says. Like us, Warner tags this on Coulter. But after that, she refuses to say who the other real idiots are.
In ''Idiocracy,'' a man the Pentagon has chosen for his perfectly average intelligence is sent into the future and finds the America of 500 years hence inhabited by people so grotesquely moronic that they can barely grunt utterances greater than ''Man, whatever!''
Those future Americans have, however, held on to a full arsenal of obscenities and repeatedly tell the hero, who speaks in full sentences, ''You talk like a fag.'' As the film plays out, it's the People vs. the Fag—the very dynamic that Coulter establishes when she connects to her audience via their inner 13-year-olds.
WARNER (continuing directly):All this led me this week to think of Frank Luntz, the hot political consultant and wordsmith who wrote the lyrics for the 1994 Republican revolution. In his new book, ''Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear,'' Luntz puts forth the argument that using the ''uplifting, ennobling tone'' of famed political scribes like Ted Sorenson and Peggy Noonan is not the best way to capture the attention of Americans today. Instead, to communicate with the people—the real people of ''small town, middle America''—and to speak straight to their hearts, minds and entrails, you've got to put ''yourself right into your listener's shoes.''The idiocracy is Frank Luntz! Readers, that has to be one of the most idiotic statement weve read in our natural lives.
In other words, think small. ''Use Small Words'' is Rule 1 of his strategy for successful communication. Rule 2: ''Use Short Sentences.
WARNER (continuing directly): Luntz has a doctorate from Oxford; Coulter has degrees from Cornell and the University of Michigan Law School. Conservatives generally like to run with the idea that liberals are elitists, living ''in a world of only Malibu and East Hampton,'' as Coulter's recent blog posting on the ''crock'' of global warming put it. But isn't there something elitist, if not wrong, I wondered aloud to Luntz, about condescending to—or coddling or enabling—the imagined verbal limitations of the less-educated ''other''?Coulters comment was reprehensible, Luntz said. I hate it every time she speaks. But so what? For some reason, Warner wants you to think of Luntz when you start listing idiots other than Coulter. After all, f*g is a three-letter word. And Luntz recommends short words and sentences!
Luntz did not much appreciate the question.
''It's not condescending—it's pandering,'' he said of Coulter's most recent performance. "Everything about the book says what she did was not just wrong but reprehensible. Those aren't words that work. She broke every rule.''
''God, I really hate it every time she speaks,'' he fumed. And, he added, if I were to even think of mentioning him in the same breath as her, ''I will really, seriously raise hell.''
WARNER (continuing directly): At a Conservative Women's Network lunch at the Heritage Foundation last week, a question was raised, over dessert, about how conservative women should deal, ''as women,'' if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination for president. The guest speaker, Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer in Washington, hemmed and hawed, shared some thoughts about Wellesley College and Barbara Bush, blushed, then concluded, ''We'll let the redneck guys who just aren't ready to vote for a female commander in chief take care of the woman thing.''According to Warner, Cleta Mitchell—and the right-wing noise machine—plan to mount sexist attacks against Clinton. Well skip past Mitchell—we dont trust Warners reporting—but thats surely true about many loud-mouth pseudo-conservatives from that Republican machine. But Warner forgets to note a more salient fact; on Tuesday morning, her own newspaper, the New York Times, published a baldly sexist attack against Clinton on page one, above the fold. Why, in Mike Leibovichs ludicrous telling, the castrating bitch even made a misused male aide hold her purse while she spoke to some women! You could hardly imagine a more clownish attack of the type that Warner describes. But because it appeared on page one of the Times, the Judith Warners will never discuss it. When it comes to their own, its: Dont see, dont tell. The Judith Warners will always blame it on them. The sexist attacks are being launched by that tribe. The idiocracy is them—over there.
Sounds like a plan. Sounds to me, too, as if the Republican noise machine may just have a monkey wrench in its machinery.
STILL RIDING WITH COULTER: We were pleased to see Atrios refer in this post to the basic Coulter/Dowd storyline. And were very grateful that Glenn Greenwald and Digby linked to our Monday post on this subject. Heres why: Its very important for liberals, progressives and Democrats to come to understand these facts:
Chris Matthews is just a slightly more presentable version of red-faced ranter William Donohue.As we said Monday, Dowd and Coulter have been delivering the same basic message for years. But Coulter delivers it to the real crackpots; she gets it to a political underclass, which the GOP has learned to address through her type. Dowd sends the same basic message to readers of the New York Times, who may not even understand that a message is being sent. After all, this is their darling Dowd. Their wonderful Pulitzer winner.
Maureen Dowd is just a slightly more presentable version of crackpot hater Ann Coulter.
JERVEY (6/99): Even as a young reporter Dowd had an eye for telling detail and nuance...We were on deadline, Kovach explains. Mondale and Ferraro had just been nominated...As the candidates stood on the platform, Maureen jumped up and grabbed me and said, Look! Look! There is the story. Mondale doesnt know whether to hug his wife or Ferraro. He doesnt know what to do. She saw that signaled a new era, with women playing a whole new role in politics and men not quite knowing what to do. That keen observation...crystallized for Kovach just how clairvoyant a reporter she was.Even then, Dowd was all about trivial aspects of gender—and Kovach thought that showed her rare genius. There is the story, Dowd cried out—as she noted a point of sheer trivia.
At THE HOWLER, were very eager to see the day when Dems and progressives understand that. We Dems and progressives have to go after Dowd at least as much as we go after Coulter. We have to explain Maureen Dowd to the public. Were very glad that Greenwald and Digby are trying to help liberals see that.
No, it wasnt the right-wing noise machine which sent George W. Bush to the White House. It was the mainstream press corps—people like Dowd! Judith Warner doesnt want you to know that. Her kind will never tell you.
POSTSCRIPT—DUMBEST EVER: This must be the dumbest post weve ever read on the web.