Maureen Dowd desperately needs help. It's apparent in almost every column she writes, yet the "therapy" of writing her deeply troubled columns obviously has not helped at all because she just repeats her symptoms.
Meanwhile, her insipid self-analysis gets inflicted on the world by occupying the valuable journalistic real estate of the New York Times Op-Ed page.
You don't have to be even an armchair shrink to figure out that Dowd longs for a big, strong guy to rescue her from whatever she needs to be rescued from. And yet, no Democrat ever seems to be "manly" enough for her. Despite her professed liberal positions, she feels compelled to demean and even emasculate Democrats, while admiring the (to her) "virile" qualities of Republicans with whom she disagrees. Thus, she subjects a succession of (to Dowd) less than "manly" Democrats -- Gore, Kerry and Obama -- to relentless ridicule. Disastrously (especially in 2000, when she was joined by the likes of Matthews and even Rich) she helps shape narratives that can defeat Democrats.
Her column in tomorrow's Times is a classic example of this -- juxtaposing Christie against President Obama. First, she "covers" Christie's town hall the other day, and wishfully concludes:
As long as there’s no smoking traffic cone, there’s always the possibility that Christie can muster enough of the old bonhomie and bombast to clamber back to a rarefied perch as a presidential front-runner.
Um, no, Maureen. Sorry. Your bully-hero is done, toast, 86.
But the "therapy" part of the column comes after this, when Dowd actually blames President Obama for the ascent of Christie, because:
The president has been so wan, he confused people into thinking that bluster was clarity. In a climate with no leadership, the bully looks like a man. If you’ve only been drinking water, Red Bull tastes like whiskey.
Obama’s ethereal insipidity made Christie’s meaty pugilism attractive; Obama’s insistence on the cerebral made voters long for the visceral, even the gracelessly visceral.
Now that is some crazy shit, right there. Steve M
shows how ridiculous this is by looking at poll numbers.
But it also classically elevates "style" (as defined by Dowd of course) over substance. Getting the ACA and Dodd-Frank passed, killing bin Laden, pushing the envelope on gay rights. They don't matter because Dowd finds a "cerebral" President not to her taste.
Please, Times. Can Dowd and run old Molly Ivins pieces.