Sunday, February 24, 2008

Maureen Dowd is Bread at a Seder (JM)

¿Quién Es Less Macho?

Why is the title of this article half in Spanish, half in English?



If this is truly the Decline and Fall of the Clinton Empire, it is marked by one freaky stroke of bad luck and one striking historical irony.

How likely is it that a woman who finally unfetters herself from one superstar then finds herself eclipsed by another?

I mean, somewhat likely? A bit unlikely, but not spectacularly so? A rather unremarkable amount of likelihood given that we are discussing three different presidential candidates?

And when historians trace how her inevitability dissolved, they will surely note this paradox: The first serious female candidate for president was rejected by voters drawn to the more feminine management style of her male rival.

No, no serious historian will ever write about this because, hopefully, by the time people are writing histories of this election no serious intellectual will think in bizarre, anachronistic terms about gender roles in society. Oh what? They don’t even really do this now? I see.

The bullying and bellicosity of the Bush administration have left many Americans exhausted and yearning for a more nurturing and inclusive style.

Sixteen years of politicians in Washington clashing in epic if not always essential battle through culture wars, the right-wing war against the Clintons, the war-without-end on terror, and the war-with-no-end-in-sight in Iraq have spawned a desire for peace and pragmatism.

Yes, how feminine. Because I am a man and you have offended me I shall now launch weapons at you. But because you are a woman, and inherently understand peace and pragmatism, you will wish super duper hard and all the bombs I drop on you will turn in to flowers and moderately priced, fashionable furniture from the Pottery Barn.

Hillary was so busy trying to prove she could be one of the boys — getting on the Armed Services Committee, voting to let W. go to war in Iraq, strong-arming supporters and donors, and trying to out-macho Obama — that she only belatedly realized that many Democratic and independent voters, especially women, were eager to move from hard-power locker-room tactics to a soft-power sewing circle approach.

Let’s examine the evidence you have presented for this awesomely compelling theory Maureen… Okay, the closest we get is the phrase “especially women”, which is not especially persuasive, given that women have been Clinton’s strongest supporters throughout the entire campaign. Yes, America is less bellicose than in the past, but it’s like you’re trying hammer a very small square peg in to a giant, gaping round hole. Also what the hell are “hard-power locker-room tactics?” Maybe I am asking this wrong… maybe I should take more of a “sewing circle” approach.

Less towel-snapping and more towel color coordinating, less steroids and more sensitivity.

Dear New York Times,

Have you been reading yourself lately? Sometimes it’s fine, but sometimes there is reason for worry. You see you have a writer, her name is Maureen Dowd. Her perspective on gender is roughly akin to Rudyard Kipling’s on race. Also she is a super terrible writer. For instance, she will write any joke that comes to her mind, even if it’s not at all funny and makes very little sense given the context of her columns. Speaking of context, her columns are usually nothing more than the virtually equivalent of a crazy homeless lady yelling at the garbage can near her for being too loud. So here’s my question: Is Maureen terminally ill? Is the column something you’ve arranged for her through the Make-a-Wish Foundation? If so, I apologize and I understand. But if not, it’s just kind of curious more than anything else.

Your pal,


Business schools have begun teaching the value of a less autocratic leadership style, with an emphasis on behavior women excel at: reading emotions and social interactions, making eye contact and expressing empathy.

Yes, distinctly feminine. When I talk to people I stare at the ground and mumble. When I see that someone who upset or crying, I hit them.

At the University of Texas on Thursday morning, Obama proved that he was not a cowboy in overdrive like W. when he demurred at throwing a spiral because his pass might not be as good as the Longhorn stars’.

Let’s say someone wanted to prove Barack Obama wasn’t a cowboy in overdrive. I am not sure why someone would feel like doing that, but sure let’s take on this fascinating intellectual exercise. What’s the first question we should ask? Hmm… how about: Did he demure at throwing a spiral because his pass might not be as good as the Longhorn stars’? Check. Alright, our work here is done, let’s pack it in and call it a day. What? You’re not compelled?! Why this is fantastic evidence!

Let’s just pretend the sheer frivolity of this argument is kind of unimportant. By this logic Jimmy Carter is a “cowboy in overdrive” because he threw the opening pitch of a baseball game once, despite the fact that he just was not as good as Nolan Ryan. Also, doesn’t it seem like an explicitly “cowboy in overdrive” thing to do, refusing participate in an activity unless you are as good as a professional? But then who knows, I am just a man, I cannot understand these complex concepts, like feelings and emotions.

After so many years when W. and Cheney stomped on the world and the world glared back, many Americans would like to see their government focus more on those staples of female fiction: relationships and conversation.

Staples of female fiction? Yep, male fiction has absolutely no relationships and conversation in it. I just read Ian McEwan’s new book, Sex and Bombs, it was awesome, not one conversation just nonstop erotica and violence.

At first in Austin, Hillary did not channel Jane Austen. She tried once more to cast Obama as a weak sister on his willingness to talk to Raúl Castro.

You’ve heard it here first. Jane Austen: soft on the Commies. Also, very punny Maureen!

Obama tapped into his inner chick and turned the other cheek. To cheers, he said, “I think that it’s important for us, in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step.”

Look, if we’re really going to do this, let’s do this. Who is more likely to stop talking to a friend from like 50 years ago because of a disagreement? If we are going to gender stereotypes, doesn’t it seem way more likely to come from a woman?

Hillary tried to rough up Obama on copying his pal’s language even as she copied her husband’s line from 1992: “The hits that I took in this election are nothing compared to the hits that the people in this state and this country are taking every day of their lives under this administration.”

It wasn’t a precise copy; moreover it was just a line as opposed to an entire section of a speech.

While Obama looked at her warily, even fearfully, Hillary suddenly switched to her feminine side. Getting New Hampshire misty, she said she was “absolutely honored” to be there with him and that “whatever happens, we’re going to be fine.” (Her campaign defended the originality of the John Edwardsian sentiment, saying it had even been expressed by the likes of Lindsay Lohan). The press hailed the moment as heartfelt, but it was simply Hillary’s calculated attempt to woo women and protect her future in the party — by seeming more collegial. She’s furious that the Chicago kid got in the picture.

Seriously Maureen, you are just an ass. This paragraph pisses me off, it absolutely a breech of any sense of journalistic responsibility. To broadly assert that the moment wasn’t heartfelt, that Hillary is nothing more than calculating manipulator with nothing more than your gut as evidence is reprehensible. You have one of the widest platforms to generate discussion and educate people and instead you use it to do this crap.

Her “My sister, my daughter” flip from muscular to tremulous left everyone confused. Many characterized her emulation of empathy as elegiac and submissive.

Please stop speaking for me. Do what you will; it is obvious that I have no control over your ability to continue being gainfully employed. However, do not make statement about “everyone”, especially when they are poorly written. You’re like an eleventh grade girl who’s trying to show everyone that she knows her SAT words real well.

But she dispelled that Friday morning when she told Evan Smith, the editor of Texas Monthly, that she will push for Florida and Michigan delegates to be seated, despite her promise. Not for herself, mind you, but for them. “It’s in large measure because both the voters and the elected officials in Michigan and Florida feel so strongly about this,” she said.

I also feel strongly about this. Do I think that Hillary doesn’t have any political interest going on here? Of course not. But I hate how the media (see Maureen Dowd) has turned Hillary in to this calculating Cylon, only interest in what she can gain. Regardless of how you feel about Florida and Michigan you cannot possible believe that this is a black and white issue. Over two million people are being disenfranchised. It is a worthwhile debate that it is perfectly reasonable on which to have a position.

Among her other cascading woes, it turns out that Hillary is not able to manage her political family’s money. Like a prudent housekeeper, Obama spent the cash he raised — including from his continuing relationships with small donors — far more shrewdly, on ads rather than on himself.

We’ve actually talked about this before, you use the word cascading in cascadingly silly ways. Like a prudent housekeeper?! You know, some people go to place like Merrill Lynch to invest their money, but if you really want to know the secret to sound financial investment: housekeepers. Prudent housekeepers: the Goldman Sachs of household help investment vehicles.

Hillaryland spent like a hedge fund manager in a flat-screen TV store. Her campaign attempted to show omnipotence by lavishing a fortune on the take-no-prisoners strategists Howard Wolfson and Mark Penn, and on having the best of everything from the set decoration at events to Four Seasons rooms. In January alone, they spent $11,000 on pizza, $1,200 on Dunkin’ Donuts and $95,384 at a Des Moines Hy-Vee grocery store for get-out-the-vote sandwich platters.

My buddy Rick is a hedge fund manager. He owns 4253262362569435 flat screen TVs. It’s insane, they just sit in this giant room. Sometimes he tries to dive in to them like Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin, but this often results in injury. Also flat-screen TV store? The hell?

Also the examples Maureen cites here are ridiculous. I mean GOTV sandwich platters seem like a legitimate campaign expense. The cost of Mark Penn is a legitimate criticism, given how little he has managed to do for the campaign, but otherwise this is a bit silly. Also citing numbers in isolation, without comparing them to other numbers is meaningless.

But total domination in the snack arena does not cut the mustard.

I actually sat and stared at this sentence for ten minutes. I was mesmerized by the banality. It’s like a magic eye picture, but no matter how long you look you’re not going to see anything deeper.

1 comment:

Homersexual said...

Come on, you really think that her moment was genuine? She's just always so phony.