A TALE TOLD TO A PUNDIT! Matt Dowd tells a sad, silly tale—and Rutenberg types every word // link // print // previous // next //
MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2007
BUMMED BY OBAMA: David Broder rarely makes sense these days—except in the reliable way he pounds away at Big Major Dems. Try to believe the nonsensical claim he offered at the start of yesterdays column:
BRODER (4/1/07): [T]he political equivalent of the Hot Stove League—the off-season chatter of die-hard fans—is going full force. On the Republican side, the unsettled picture allows for one "new star" after another—first Mitt Romney, then Rudy Giuliani, now Fred Thompson—to emerge as a real threat to Sen. John McCain, who keeps piling up endorsements from across the GOP spectrum and deepening an organization that already looks formidable.Say what? The Democrats dominate in almost every poll on 2008 prospects? Broders statement is blatantly wrong; you can check the most recent head-to-head match-ups by just clicking here. Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, Broder savaged the New York Times for reporting the results of a poll—a poll which showed that Republican voters were gloomy about their partys chances. But so what? Through his current act of blatant deception, Broder moves directly from his pandering review of those new [GOP] stars to his latest unbalanced attack on a Dem. This time, the Dean is disturbed by the floundering conduct of the deeply-disturbing Obama.
The Dean recites the current group wisdom: Obama hasnt offered enough specifics. But can you spot the hole in his recitation? We highlight it for you here:
BRODER (continuing directly): The freshman senator from Illinois has had the most dramatic rise of any politician in the past six months, thanks to a best-selling book and to the crowd-pulling appearances he has made on his coast-to-coast campaign travels.Whats wrong—misleading—about that highlighted statement? Broder forgot to mention an obvious fact; Edwards is the only Dem candidate who has formulated a health-care plan. Obama doesnt have such a plan yet—but neither does anyone else! But so what? Broder nails Obama for the lack of a plan—then compares him unfavorably with Clinton and Biden, who havent formulated their health-care plans either! And wed have to say that we started a bit as the Dean trashed Obamas presentation at the Building and Construction Trades event. Go ahead—emit mordant chuckles:
BRODER: Obama never varied from a conversational monotone and, unlike Biden, expressed no gratitude to labor for past support and barely mentioned the issues of minimum-wage legislation, prevailing wage guarantees and bills to strengthen union bargaining rights that had made up the bulk of the other candidates' speeches.Broder can tell that Obama sucked because one delegate said so! Meanwhile, Broder scores Obama for failing to express gratitude to labor and for failing to tailor his speech to labor issues. LOL! We remember the million-and-one times Big Major Dems have been criticized for pandering to The Groups when they do engage in such conduct. Indeed, if Broder had wanted to go after Biden or Clinton this day, that might well have been the road taken.
How was Obamas speech this day? We dont have the slightest idea. (In Las Vegas, Edwards and Clinton were better.) But as usual, Broder had his thumb on the scale as he made a bum of Obama—and his description of all those new stars in the GOP is just flat-out laughable. Formidable McCain is in a free-fall—and Giuliani is spiraling downward as ol Mars-is-warming, Fred Thompson, heats up for the race. And by the way: None of them have a health care plan either! Indeed, when McCain presented his health plan in 12/99, it was such a god-awful mess that he had to take it down the next day!
Boder is a tired old man—and hes writing now as if he were older. But then, these slackers simply luvvv their scripts! Tomorrow well show you the silly thing Jeff Greenfield said when he took his turn with Obama.
TOMORROW: On Imus, Obama gets Gored.
A TALE TOLD TO A PUNDIT: Pity poor Matthew Dowd! (No relation.) Various things kept coming up to keep him from speaking his mind!
According to Jim Rutenbergs laughable profile on the front page of Sundays Times, the former Bush honcho became so disillusioned with the war in Iraq that he considered joining street demonstrations against it. But darn it! His affection for Bush kept him sidelined! And not only that; Dowd wrote an op-ed piece last spring titled Kerry Was Right. But wouldnt you know it! He forgot to submit it! And not only that; the only candidate who appeals to Dowd is Barack Obama, because of what Mr. Dowd called his message of unity. But darn it! Dowd will probably be off doing high-minded charity work during2008! And not only that: Were supposed to feel sorry for Dowd because of his recent divorce; because of the death of one of his children; and because his oldest son in about to ship off to Iraq—although its not clear what any of that has to do with the claim that the soft-spoken and somewhat melancholy man has rethought the silly mistakes that led him to work for George Bush.
Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Dowd has seen the errors of his ways—and Rutenberg is there to swallow the bull-sh*t! Indeed, just consider the most puzzling part of this tale—the explanation of how Matt Dowd came to work for George Bush in the first place. Thats what opens Rutenbergs profile—a profile which is, in effect, a front-page job search advertisement for Dowd. Heres the puzzling tale were told about the way Dowd became a top Bushie:
RUTENBERG (4/1/07): In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush's early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal.Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Dowd was disappointed by Clinton—and now hes disappointed with Bush! But readers, does the first part of that story make sense, even with the all-purpose excuse that Bill Clinton made the poor guy do it? At one point, Rutenberg specifically reports Dowds claim that he decided to become a Republican in 1999"—the same year he became a top-ranking Bush aide! In short, were supposed to believe the following: Were supposed to believe that Dowd had been a top Democratic strategist for years. And omigod! In 1999, he became a Republican—and a top Bush honcho at the same time! Since Bushs (effective) campaign was built on hard loyalty, does that story, while pretty, make actual sense? No, it doesnt—something is missing. But so what? Rutenberg is prepared to believe every piece of Dowds sad, heart-rending tale.
Whats the actual story behind Dowds party switch? Its hard to provide real reporting on that; in 1999, Dowd still wasnt a big enough player to merit profiles in Texas newspapers. But another party-switchin Bush honcho, Mark McKinnon, already was—and its easy to see, from the real-time reporting, what was actually going on when McKinnon switched from Dem to Rep in the mid-to-late 1990s. Duh! As the Texas Dem Party died on the vine, good hustlers knew it was time to switch—especially with a brand-name Texas governor leading Republican polls for the White House. Result? High-minded consultants like McKinnon and Dowd switched sides, offering silly sob stories about their high motives as they made the career-making move. Today, Dowd is offering these same sad stories—as he tries to disembark from the ship which has gone on the rocks.
How absurd was Rutenbergs front-page profile? Read this post by Digby to explore one key part of Dowds current nonsense. But make no mistake: For the past fifteen years, it has been the job of scribes like Rutenberg to believe every scrap of bullsh*t handed them by Republican hustlers like Dowd. Dowd was boo-hoo-hooing this week—and Rutenberg typed every word of his story. The result was bad for Bush; good for Dowd, and bad for clear-headed journalism
Did Dowd really write that column? Think about marching? Is he really drawn to Obama? We dont have the slightest idea. But we think you might want to see the high-minded tales that were told the last time this guy switched sides. Rutenberg typed up a bowdlerized tale. Read Digby—then read us tomorrow.
TOMORROW: The power of the silly sob story: How Mark McKinnon switched sides.