COULDN'T we at least get a slide show of her vacation pictures first?
I don't generally patronize online copyright-violators, but when MoDo returned to my tossed-over-the-fence-when-the-neighbor-finishes-it Sunday Times I ran to the internets, typed "Maureen Dowd" in the Times search field, and learned she'd returned on Wednesday and written (A) a piece on Barack Obama that promised to be every bit as fatuous as (B)'s examination of the Presidential campaign of Fred Dalton Thompson, and I clicked around until I found it.
So it was that I learned that (A) Obama is young and inexperienced and smooth jazz smooth while (B) Thompson plays a tough guy, is considered by some to be lazy, and sounds exactly like George W. Bush. Which....excuse me, but MAUREEN, COULD YOU POSSIBLY STOP CALLING THE PRESIDENT "W." ? The public moved beyond this I'm Jes' A Texas Rancher crap years ago, and even a mocking "Dubya", still seen on occasion and apparently not permitted by The Gray Lady's style book, now cruelly mocks the user, as the subject has moved on to infamies so vast and unexpected (generally) that the 2000 election now seems like it belongs on his juvenile record. I'm as sorry about this as anyone, but the days when we could have a hearty chuckle over his being misunderestimated, or his not having interviewed you, are now separated from us by a smoking stinkpile bigger than the Twin Towers.
I mean, you'd imagine that viewed through the lens of the intervening years all the Al Gore-wears-earthtones business Dowd went on and on and on and on about would have proven at least partly self-correcting. But then the quagmire and wasted lives that followed the 2000 mistake wasn't enough to keep her from making up that Kerry NASCAR quote or calling John Edwards a shampoo model. Why should a few thousand more lives lost to no purpose make her or her editors question whether our politics should be covered the way the noctural gambols of our celebrity party girls are?
Make no mistake--I'm all for snark, even in the Op-Ed pages, but at the service of something. Dowd just throws stale popcorn at teevee "reality" programs when a contestant she doesn't like is talking. It could be improved if she were, I dunno, funny, but a much better idea would be for her to take being informed out for a test drive:
He allows Hillary to present herself as having the experience to be president just because she was married to one. He should be making the opposite case, that Hillary — go ahead, use her name, she won’t bite you, or even if she does, you’ll get over it — knew from nothing about the system.
In the White House, she botched health care and bungled dealing with special prosecutors — remember that talent she had for losing critical files? And in the Senate, she played it safe and became a Democratic Senator Pothole while helping W. launch his disaster in Iraq.
Okay, so we forgot to add "seeking professional help for that misogynistic streak" above. Hillary Clinton has been elected US Senator twice, which equals Fred Thompson's qualifications, exceeds John Edwards' and Mitt Romney's one term as a governor. And, by anyone's electoral math, Giuliani's two terms as a mayor, which alone among major candidates, would be an electoral c.v. of unprecedented slimness.
I'm going to gamble here and suggest that even Ms Dowd knows that the Clinton health care program was defeated by massive cash infusions from Big Pharma and Big Insurance, not Ms Clinton's Feminazi pantsuits. I'll wager Dowd couldn't get 5 out of 10 correct on a standard Whitewater quiz, explain Travelgate, or tell us what files it was that went missing. I'll drop a dime that she could tell us what those files said once they were found, or at least whose side they corroborated. I'll let my winnings ride on a claim that she can't identify the five major federal investigations of Whitewater, and I'd love to parlay that with an insistence that she knows damn well what criminally leaky Special Prosecutor hinted that indictments of Hillary were just around the corner as well as how many actually were. Except nobody'd take that one.
Iraq? Sure, no question. Senator Clinton was on the wrong side, in which she joins Edwards, Dodd, Biden, the previous Democratic nominee, and the entire Republican side, who remain more or less enthusiastic about the whole thing.
(Incidentally--sticking with such wrongheaded decisions makes Republican front-runners "tough guys", provided they do not use blow-driers, like Mitt. )
Which I do not offer as an excuse. But if we're gonna have a hanging let's hang everybody who deserves it, in order of culpability, or enthusiasm, or eagerness to continue. And let's try to remember to save a little torchlight so's we can burn down the Times building on our way home.
God knows you're not going to find a Please Donate button on this website for any candidate who voted for the war. But then neither am I particularly impressed by someone who (cagily) criticized the war effort but displays the following grasp of the issues:
Can we please get someone in charge who will stop whining that Osama is hiding in “harsh terrain,” hunt him down and blast him forward to the Stone Age?
Forward to the Stone Age! Hardy-har-har, it's still as funny as the first two thousand times I heard it. How's this: let's make "hunting down Osama" a project for your next month off, eh Mo? Take Brooks and Friedman with you, and pick up Judy Miller on your way to Kennedy. We'll try to survive without y'all.