THE IMBECILES UNCHANGING CLOTHES! She played the fool eight years agoand she plays the fool today: // link // print // previous // next //
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2008
The imbeciles unchanging clothes: Eight years ago this very week, Maureen Dowd was preparing her closing argument about the Bush-Gore White House campaign; she was preparing the Sunday column in which Gore would pose before a mirror and sweetly sing, I Feel Pretty. Imbecile thenand imbecile now! Today, Dowd posts her second straight column about Sarah Palins deeply troubling clothes. To read todays foolishness, just click here. For Sundays prime bull-roar, click this.
Wittily, Dowd presents todays column in the form of a screenplay. Heres the way it starts:
Unfortunately, no one in Hollywood is dumb enough to hire this idiot as a screenwriter. For that reason, she lingers at Manhattans Times, where the bosses are very dumband the screenplays they publish are dumber.
In the face of two warsand a financial meltdownDowd cant stop discussing pols clothes! They said 9/11 would change every thing. But when they said that, they all lied.
In our view, liberals and progressive are very foolish to take a brief ride on this imbecile trainto adopt the pleasing culture of trivia in this brief moment of liberal ascension. So youll recall how we got to this place, heres the way the Imbecile Dowd began that Sunday column, eight years ago. Yes, that was her actual headline. Please dont make the slightest mistake. People are dead thanks to Dowd:
The Spot, of course, was Gores bald spota star of at least six columns by Dowd during Clintons second term (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/21/07). Mocking Gore for his interest in issues, the imbecile once again summoned the Spot, letting it take a final bow. It was two days before your election.
Elsewhere, people like this get escorted to homes. At The Times, they get turned into stars.
In this last week before this years election, lets make sure we understand how we all got to this place:
In Washington, the 1990s was an age of ascendant conservative power. Pseudo-conservatives began to drive a stream of poisonous personality talesstarting with the Whitewater hoax, which debuted (where else?) in the New York Times. Pseudo-conservatives drove those talesand flunkies like Dowd, Rich and Herbert bought them. They talked about blow jobs; they talked about earth tones (and buttons/polo shirts/cowboy boots); they wrote ugly tales about Naomi Wolf. (She urged women to release their inner sluts, a nasty misogynist instantly purred, in November 1999.) They invented fake quotes and pretended folk said them. They made a star of a Spot.
Today, these hacks have reinvented themselves as Clinton/Gore admirers, although it took several a very long time. But if the future is like the past, they will use their idiot tools against your interests again. In our view, liberals and progressives are very dumb to delight in this vacants groups new entertainments. (So are centrists. So are Democrats, and most Republicans.) If the future is like the past, these Antoinettes will turn against you again.
Power will come and make its demands. And these consummate palace dwellers will buckle to power again. (Although theyll turn against Obama more slowly than against Clinton/Gore.)
Its true: Dowd has cleaned herself up this year. She no longer lies face down on the carpet, right in the middle of JFKs townhouse. (Hollywood would have rejected that screenplay. Too obvious.) She no longer trashes the she-bitch, Michelle Obama. She no longer calls Barack Obama six different species of the word boy. She has stopped mocking him as Scarlett OHara. She no longer calls him Legally Blonde.
But Dowd was an imbecile eight years agoand shes the worlds biggest fool today. If we let these folk use their idiot tools, we will end up where imbeciles take us.
In Sundays Boston Globe, Yvonne Abraham remembered The McCain I Knewthe man she met in 1999, riding around on a bus. But alas! Such love affairs often end badly. I came here to see John McCain on Wednesday, Abraham wrote this week. I barely recognized him.
Two days later, in the Los Angeles Times, Maeve Reston recalled a similar affair. But Restons piece held a bit more interest, because of one key thing she said. You see, Reston didnt meet the most wonderful guy until December 2007. When she did, she got some advice from a protective colleague:
Where in the world does this cohort come from? Even today, after all that weve been through, they still think its cute to refer to a White House candidate as the other man in my life.
At any rate, Reston was warned that it was important to be judicious with the material I used from McCain's bus rides to keep the conversations in context. Like you, were not quite sure what that means. Youre rightit isnt quite written in English. But quite possibly, Reston refers to a social compact observed on Saint McCains busa social compact which has been obliquely described at various times in the past.
We first discussed this matter in December 1999, when the press corps began to blab about the Special Rules it maintained for McCain. Theyve Just Met the Greatest Guy, our incomparable headline said (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/15/99). We quoted Nancy Gibbs, Times top political scribe, who had oddly admitted this:
Say what? Reporters sometimes decide to take McCain off the record? Let us quickly translate for you: Reporters were hiding the weird things Saint McCain said. He was the most wonderful guy!
Incredibly, Gibbs didnt flesh out what she meant. What sorts of statements had reporters agreed to take off the record? What sorts of weird things had McCain saidthings we werent allowed to hear? Oddly, Gibbs gave no examples, although one example emerged two days later. (Her piece was published on December 6.) On his bus, McCain had been referring to his former Vietnamese captors as g**ksand reporters had generally agreed not to report it. More details below.
(During this same period, these same journalists were inventing weird things Candidate Gore hadnt saidand they were pretending hed actually said them. The liberal world sat and stared into air. George Bush ended up in the White House.)
McCains use of g**ks was soon being ignored againuntil an Asian-American group complained in March 2000.
Whatever you think about the g**ks matter, various reporters have noted, in passing, the Special Rules that applied on that busthe Special Rules which protected McCain, under which the children agreed to hide the great mans unflattering conduct. Reporters would take him off the recordand reporters would hoot and hiss when other scribes tried to question him about serious issues. A rolling clown-show was underway. To judge from what Reston wrote this week, some variant of these Special Rules may have existed right though this election.
No, she didnt quite say it in Englishbut that may be what Reston meant. Another reporter protectively warned me that it was important to be judicious with the material I used from McCain's bus rides to keep the conversations in context? Like you, we arent sure what that means. But we could make a small guess.
McCains flights of candor: The g**ks issue blew up in December 1999 because of a piece by the Posts Howard Kurtz. Jacob Weisberg and Linda Douglass help us remember the rules of the road in that remarkable time:
Weisberg helped explain the Special Rules which were then in effect:
Al Gore said he discovered Love Canal! Theyd dreamed it up just one week before. (During this same week, they took turns pretending that Al Gore was the man who introduced us to Willie Horton. )
At any rate, those were the rules of the ageand Dowd, Rich and Herbert all kept their traps shut. Are you happy with how it turned out? Are you sure, when power turns, that they wont do the same thing again?
Tomorrow: Mother Jones, Mother Judd