Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Unbearable Shrillness of Maureen Dowd, Cont'd

From today's column:

"They're fragile and frazzled, depressed and self-doubting.

Trapped in their blue bell jar, drowning in unfulfilled dreams, Democrats are the "Desperate Housewives" of politics.

The image of Republicans as the Daddy party and Democrats as the Mommy party came roaring back in 2004, with a chesty President Bush and Dick Cheney prevailing by making the case that they could protect America from vicious terrorists and uxorious gays better than the Brahmin they painted as a sissy. In politics, as on TV, political correctness is out and retro is in. Hillary's bid to be president suddenly appears more wobbly, and the class of new senators looks like a throwback - with half a dozen white male conservative Republicans front and center. "

This passage is everything...well much anyways...that is wrong with the NY Times most overrated opinion columnist (yes, even more useless than Brooks). The problems:

1. Prose: It is clumsy and too cute to the point of silliness. The cheap attempt at trying to be literary ("trapped in their blue bell jar") is flat and lacking in puissance. The reference to Dems being like "Desperate Houswives" is an awkward and incomprehensible attempt to infuse her analysis with hip pop culture references. Yawn. When she referred to Bush being chesty, I forcefully defended him in my mind: his tits are just fine for a guy. What the hell is Dowd talking about? I ask this a lot when I read her nonsense.

2. Structure: As usual, Dowd bravely advancing worthless analysis after the fact that only she and fellow fatuous and snooty upper class Washington insider types find insightful. Who knows, she may have pushed her butch party vs. bitch party tripe in pre-election columns, but they were clearly not memorable pieces. In any event, the male vs. female, mommy vs. daddy dialectic is unsophisticated and adds nothing to the public discourse about the 2004 election. This gendered theory of how the Republicans is absurdly simplistic and fails to recognize the cultural and homeland securities issues -- and how they were actually framed -- that probably tipped many undecideds towards Bush. It is the type of intellectual masturbation that seems clever after your second martini in the salon of a Georgetown mansion, but useless when cast in the harsh light of a sober, realistic and intelligent analysis.

Joseph K hopes and prays that one day he picks up the New York Times and sees that they gave all of Dowd's space to Bob Herbert.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worse than Safire and Brooks? You're out of your mind. That said, her writing is nihilistic gobbly-gook.

4:43 PM  

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