Maureen’s Hypocrisy-Fest


Just have to write a word or two about the hypocrisy of Maureen Dowd’s column today.

Generally I avoid writing posts that critique other journalists and columnists. We have enough malcontents disparaging us already–cranks of the left- or right-wing variety who like to unload their personal frustrations in that most courageous of ways: impersonal attack on no less noble a battlefield than cyberspace.

But I had to laugh at Dowd’s column today, in which she takes to task prominent women Republicans, including many who are up for election November 2 as “mean girls.”

Yes, Maureen Dowd is accusing other women of being vicious and snarky. That’s kind of like Osama bin Laden preaching to Americans about the importance of demonstrating humane values. (Come to think of it, I think he tried that a few times).

The women the Dowdstress takes to task include Sharon Angle, who is running for Senate in Las Vegas, newbie Christine O’Donell and of course, that ever-so-original target, Sarah Palin.

I know it’s tough to produce a new column every week. But personally I’m not sure when Dowd hit her lowest ebb: when she labeled one of our nation’s few female Governors “Caribou Barbie” or when she wrote a column trying to blame Michelle Obama for her husband’s failures by suggesting that if the country is to function properly, the President’s better half ought to stay home and “make her husband toast, or better yet a martini” instead of taking vacations.

The one thing many of Dowd’s columns, including the two mentioned, have in common, is their misogyny: in both cases, she blames the woman, using outmoded, demeaning cultural archetypes (“Barbie” in the case of Sarah Palin and, in the case of Michelle Obama, suggesting that her love and support for her husband are lacking because she travels with some frequency rather than being continually at his side like some kind of benign growth).

Today Dowd writes, “Whether they’re mistreating the help or belittling the President’s manhood, making snide comments about a rival’s hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men’s fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate.”

In reality, what has replaced Cool with Cold is the fact that despite a trillion dollars in spending, the economy still lags, and despite the President’s extravagant promises about hope and change, a rogue regime is on its way to attaining nuclear capability, and the terrorists of the world do not suddenly love us. But perhaps most of all, what happened to hope is that when hope is not based on a realistic assessment of problems and potential solutions, and not tempered with the knowledge that all gains will require sacrifice, hope turns into spite–or worse–very quickly. It has to do with promising people the moon when all you can really give them is government cheese.

“Making snide comments about a rival’s hair”? Horror! That’s a lot better than making lewd, disrespectful comments about a rival’s children, her marriage, her educational background (without addressing the facts, for instance, about why she attended five colleges), and launching such an all-out personal attack offensive she is driven from politics to protect her family, her finances, and her sanity.

Mean girls? I’m sure you’re not all bad Maureen, and you can turn a phrase, but really. Take a look at the woman in the mirror some time.

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