OK, I admit it. When it comes to Maureen Dowd, I’m like a moth to a flame. I know that I have already written a diary about how ridiculous she is, but I am back for more. This time, I would like to try her (and The New York Times) in the court of public opinion, and if you all would be so kind as to indulge me, I believe that I will present a compelling case as to why we all need to start loudly denouncing her.
A couple of weeks ago, Maureen Dowd wrote a column, titled “Sweet on Caroline”, in which she stated that “Caroline Kennedy offered to use her magic capital to help take care of New York”. Now, Dowd admits that Caroline Kennedy has no real political experience, but responds by saying, “Thank God”. However, in a column that she wrote last summer about Sarah Palin, titled “A Vice in Go-Go Boots”, Dowd says in regard to Palin that, “Republicans don’t see Palin as an affirmative action, despite her thin resume and gaping absence of foreign policy knowledge”. Dowd also refers to Palin as an “under qualified babe”. Whoa, that’s quite a double standard you got going on there Maureen. Let’s compare Sarah Palin’s resume to Caroline Kennedy’s resume shall we? So, being mayor of Wasilla, head of the AK oil and gas commission, and the most popular governor in the country is something to look down your nose at, but raising money for the public schools (that you don’t even send your children to) is all of a sudden a qualification for the Senate? Oh, wait, I forgot. Caroline Kennedy doesn’t need any qualifications for the Senate because she KNOWS Maureen Dowd. I’m not kidding. In her column, “Sweet on Caroline”, Maureen Dowd specifically said, “I know Caroline Kennedy. She’s smart, cultivated, serious, and unpretentious.” Ooh, she’s “cultivated”–well why didn’t anyone tell me this before? If I had known Caroline Kennedy was “cultivated” then I wouldn’t have minded that she was completely unqualified to be a senator. (Seriously, what the heck does that mean “she’s cultivated”? Try going into a job interview, that you have no qualifications for, and telling them that you’re “cultivated” and see how far that gets you, but I digress.) Anyway, it’s really too bad that Caroline Kennedy couldn’t have put “Friend of Maureen Dowd” on her resume, because we all know that’s much more impressive than “Governor of Alaska”.
Now, overlooking Caroline Kennedy’s thin resume is not the only flagrant double standard on full display in “Sweet on Caroline”. In the column, Maureen Dowd fully acknowledges that Kennedy is inarticulate, but goes on to say that, “Hillary Clinton is a great talker, but never stood up to the Republican horror show.” However, several months ago in “Sarah’s Pompon Palaver”, Dowd’s entire column is literally mocking Sarah Palin’s “muddled syntax”, “homespun haikus”, and “frontier baroque”. In fact, Dowd even snidely mentions that they “speak in tongues” at Palin’s church and churlishly adds that, “Maybe that’s where she picked it up”. Well, why don’t we all take a listen to the video below of Caroline Kennedy’s interview with the AP? Gee, I wonder what Maureen Dowd would have to say about Sarah Palin if she sounded like this?
Let’s face it–Sarah Palin sounds like Margret Thatcher compared to Caroline Kennedy. Can any of you imagine Caroline Kennedy giving the speech that Sarah Palin gave at the Republican National Convention, or giving the debate performance against Joe Biden that Sarah Palin gave? I rest my case.
You know (sorry, I couldn’t resist), in “Sweet on Caroline”, Maureen Dowd referred to Caroline Kennedy as a “Harvard and Columbia law school grad”. However, in a column that she wrote last summer, titled “Clash of the Titans”, Dowd mentions that Palin changed schools six different times (Palin eventually graduated from The University of ID). So, I guess the moral of the story is that, according to Maureen Dowd and her ilk, it’s OK to say “you know” in a Manhattanite/Bostonian accent (especially if you went to Harvard), but you’re an idiot if you say “you betcha” in a flat-Fargo accent. Darn right!
Oh, and here is another staggering double standard brought to you courtesy of Maureen Dowd. In a column that she wrote last Sunday, titled “Which Governor is Wackier?”, Dowd blames “Clinton jealousy”, as well as David Patterson (she calls him a “goofball”), for Caroline Kennedy’s withdrawal from the race, instead of Kennedy’s personal problems and her dreadful performance in the above interview, which revealed her to be an unqualified neophyte who sounded as dumb as a box of rocks. Now, in that same column, Dowd said that Bill Clinton feels “entitled” and she also said that Hillary Clinton felt entitled in this column, “Deign or Reign”, that she wrote over a year ago. OK, I agree that the Clintons probably suffer from feelings of entitlement (as do most politicians), but Caroline Kennedy doesn’t?! Please, allow me to take a page out of our own EPU’s playbook and say–BWAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA….(OK, OK, I’m composed–I fell out of my chair laughing, but I’ve got it together now. I‘m alright, I‘m not hurt.) Oh, I forgot–she just wants to use her “magic capital”.
Anyway, I think that Michael Goodwin said it perfectly in his excellent column when he wrote that Caroline Kennedy “didn’t vote in half of the elections in the last 20 years” and that, “Her handlers and family enablers insist that she feels no entitlement to the Senate job, yet there is no other possible reason to give it to her. Her name is the sole reason she even dares go for it. Camelot must be Gaelic for chutzpah.” (I mean, even Paul Krugman admitted that Caroline Kennedy’s campaign for Clinton’s NY Senate seat reeked of elitism.)
Come to think of it, in “Which Governor is Wackier?”, Maureen Dowd referred to Caroline Kennedy as, “A smart policy-oriented, civic-minded woman to whom the President feels deeply indebted in an era when every state has it’s hand out.” In other words, Caroline Kennedy deserves Hillary’s Senate seat, because President Obama “owes her one” for endorsing him. Excuse me, but isn’t that, literally, the very definition of entitlement? Furthermore, has anyone ever heard of someone publicly campaigning for an appointment to be a US Senator (especially someone with Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications, or lack there of)? Anyone? Anyone? That’s what I thought. I mean, at least when Hillary Clinton was running for the NY Senate seat back in 2000, she barnstormed the state of NY, participated in debates, took reporters questions, and convinced people to vote for her the old fashioned way. Caroline Kennedy wanted to um, you know, like strong arm a weak governor into giving her a Senate seat over other more qualified candidates. Oh, and speaking of entitlement–“I know Caroline Kennedy and she’s my friend, so I am entitled to have my friend be the Senator from my state.” Get over yourself Maureen. You’re not that important.
Now, one doesn’t have to be Sigmund Freud to see that Maureen Dowd has a problem with strong female candidates, and that she never hesitates to demean them with sexist stereotypes. For example, she wrote a column a year ago titled “Can Hillary Cry Her Way Back to the Whitehouse?”, and she wrote a column called “There Will Be Blood” where she stated that “Hillary got agitated and was flapping her arms”. She also wrote a column titled “Seeing Red Over Hillary” where she compared Hillary to Scarlet O’Hara. Furthermore, Dowd wrote a column calling Sarah Palin “A Vice in Go-Go Boots” which was just loaded with sexist stereotypes–such as referring to Governor Palin as “Miss Congeniality” and as an “under-qualified babe“. And, Ms. Dowd called Sarah Palin “John McCain’s Mean Girl” in “Mud Pies for That One” (and she also accused the McCain campaign of racism, but really, what would a Maureen Dowd column be without a false accusation of racism in it). Oh, and how can I forget Ms. Dowd comparing Sarah Palin to Alicica Silverstone in the movie “Clueless” in “Sarah’s Pom Pom Palaver”. And Finally, in “Which Governor is Wackier?”, Dowd refers to Kirsten Gillibrand, New York’s newest junior Senator, as “having sharp elbows”, calls her “Tracy Flick” (the overly-ambitious, pushy candidate for student council president in the movie “Election”), refers to her as “the hand-maiden of the NRA“, and says that Gillibrand accepting the honor onstage with “her Republican pal Al D’Amato” was “gross”….so much for Obama’s call for “post-partisianship”.
On a side note, I thought that it might interest you all to actually see Kirsten Gillibrand’s resume compared to that of Caroline Kennedy’s. Unlike Caroline Kennedy, Kirsten Gillibrand actually has some real accomplishments on her resume–such as being a two term member of the US House of Representatives (where she‘s a member of the group of conservative Democrats known as The Blue Dog Coalition), and she is the first female representative of her district. Not to mention, Gillibrand interned for Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato during college, she was a law clerk for a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and she served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton Administration. Oh, but silly me. I forgot that she doesn’t have “Friend of Maureen Dowd” on her resume. (By the way, our own Mickey Sanders wrote an excellent diary about Kirsten Gillibrand if anyone wants to know more about her, on a personal level, from the point of view of someone who lives in her district.)
Now, it should interest all of you to know that the New York Times was well aware of the fact that people thought that Maureen Dowd’s columns about Hillary Clinton were sexist, demeaning, offensive, and obnoxious, because Clarke Hoyt, the public editor, wrote an op-ed where he even admitted that numerous people had written to him complaining about Maureen Dowd’s coverage of Clinton during the Democratic primaries. Hoyt specifically quoted inappropriate things from Dowd’s past columns about Hillary Clinton. For instance, Hoyt quoted Ms. Dowd as saying that, “Clinton’s message was unapologetically emasculating”, and that she needed to “prove her masculinity”. Hoyt also quoted Dowd as saying, in regard to Clinton, that, “She may want to take her cue from the Miss America contest: make a graceful, magnanimous exit“. Not to mention, Hoyt, himself, even stated that “assailing Clinton in gender-heavy terms, in column after column, went over the top this election season”. OK, so then why did the New York Times editorial board continue to allow Maureen Dowd to assail Sarah Palin (and, now, Kirsten Gillibrand) in “gender-heavy terms”? Is it because they don’t have a lot of respect for female candidates whose last names aren‘t Kennedy (or women in general), or is it because they don’t have a whole lot of respect for their readers–or both? Hasn’t The New York Times ever heard the expression, “The customer is always right”? Maybe one of the reasons why The New York Times is rated as a junk bond is because they show such little respect for their readers/customers, but I digress.
So, now I’ve been thinking–what exactly is Maureen Dowd’s problem with strong female candidates? I gotta confess that I’m not exactly jumping up and down to crawl inside of Maureen Dowd’s head–it looks like a scary place to explore. However, if pressured, I would diagnose Maureen Dowd with “Queen Bee Syndrome”. My educated guess would be that Maureen Dowd is a very insecure woman (otherwise, why all of the personal attacks on other women?), so she needs to be the “Queen Bee” or the “Belle of the Ball”. I mean, she ain’t got a man, she doesn’t have any kids (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I bet it bothers her), and she hasn’t really made any great contributions to society except to write a bunch of b*tchy columns for The New York Times. So, I would bet that it’s very important to her to be the woman in the room that everybody notices at a cocktail party (“Oh look, Maureen Dowd is over there”). However, if Hillary Clinton walked into the room, who do you honestly think that most people would want to talk to–the first major female presidential candidate, who is currently the Secretary of State, or some catty columnist from The New York Times? And if Sarah Palin walked into the room, who do you honestly think that most people would rather talk to–the most popular governor in America, who is also the first female Republican vice-presidential candidate, or some catty columnist from The New York Times? And if Kirsten Gillibrand walked into the room, who do you think that most people would rather talk to–a successful two-term NY congresswoman who just got appointed to the Senate, or some catty columnist from The New York Times? And if Caroline Kennedy walked into the room–oh, never mind. I would rather talk to the catty columnist from The New York Times–at least I can laugh at her. Talking to Caroline Kennedy would be like um, you know, watching paint dry. She’s what my Daddy calls “vanilla pudding”, which is why Maureen Dowd is not threatened by her and hence likes her. When Caroline Kennedy is around, Maureen Dowd is the “Belle of the Ball”, but when Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, or Kirsten Gillibrand are around, then Maureen Dowd just shrivels on the vine–which why she feels such an overwhelming need to degrade them. Actually, it’s quite sad.
However, I think that what bothers me the most about Maureen Dowd–more than her egregious double standards and her use of sexist stereotypes–is the hateful way that she looks down her nose at her fellow Americans. For example, in “Mr. Darcy Comes Courting”, Ms. Dowd asks, “Can America overcome its prejudice to elect the first black president?” Furthermore, in that same column, Dowd states that working class women who supported Hillary are put off by “Obama’s zero fat body figure”, and like the fact that Hillary admitted to having gone on Weight Watchers. Then, Dowd further states that Obama may be too elegant for these women “when what they are really craving is mac and cheese”. Oh, I get it–if you don’t vote for Obama, you are both fat and racist. Interesting.
Oh, on a side note, I find it quite humorous that Ms. Dowd is so quick to toss out accusations of racism when, according to the Gawker, Maureen Dowd thinks that all black people look alike. Not to mention, Ms. Dowd even admitted in a column that she asked her “cute black mailman” (her words, not mine) how he felt about Obama’s win. Furthermore, the Gawker also pointed out that Maureen Dowd seems to have one black friend, Gwen Ifil. Oh, who am I kidding. Gwen Ifil is probably Maureen Dowd’s only friend–besides Caroline Kennedy–but I digress.
Now, in the column “Barbies for War!” (which is probably the snobbiest thing that I’ve ever read in my entire life), Ms. Dowd writes about her trip to Wasilla, AK. In the column, she writes about AK as if she is literally visiting a foreign country and observing the local people’s customs (Dowd also spends half of the column making fun of Sarah Palin‘s church). In “Barbies for War!”, she mentions meeting Betty Necas. In her column, Ms. Dowd mentions that Ms. Necas was a teenage mom, and describes her as a “Wal-mart mom” who “wears sweatpants and has tattoos on her wrists”. And, in ”My Fair Veep” Ms. Dowd says that, “Sarah has to be a K-mart mom who has to appeal to K-mart moms and dads”. (By the way, I don’t know what Dowd’s problem is with Wal-mart and K-mart. Does she think that she’s special because she pays too much for toilet paper and eggs at Whole Foods?) OK, let’s play a game. Suppose that a conservative columnist from say The Wall Street Journal or National Review wrote a column about visiting inner city Harlem as if it were a foreign country, mocked the churches there, and described Obama supporters that he came in contact with as wearing tattoos and sweatpants, being overweight, and liking mac and cheese? I’m not a betting woman, but I would bet everything that I own that he would be out of a job the very next day–and rightfully so I might add.
So, in conclusion, I don’t really have a whole lot of ire directed towards Maureen Dowd. She is pathetic. Her misery is so palpable that it practically bounds off of the page. Maureen Dowd deserves our pity, and dare I say, our prayers. No, my ire is directed towards The New York Times for giving this unhappy woman a platform to take her anger and her misery out on her fellow Americans. Furthermore, I don’t think that it’s enough for us over here at Redstate to denounce her. Obama supporters need to start speaking out against her and The New York Times for allowing this garbage. For starters, Maureen Dowd makes Obama supporters look bad. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t President Obama run on “hope, change, unity, post-partisanship, and bringing people together”? Well, I got news for you–Maureen Dowd’s writings are the very antithesis of that message. When I read her columns, I don’t even know what Ms. Dowd likes about President Obama–I just know who she hates (strong women, people in fly-over country, people who shop at Wal-mart and K-mart, working class women who eat “mac and cheese”, people in AK in sweatpants, and pretty much everyone who lives outside of Manhattan, D.C., or LA). Now, I know that some of you Obama supporters will predictably say, “But Maureen Dowd doesn’t speak for me”. I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. Every time Rush Limbaugh opens his mouth and says something slightly controversial, Democrats are on TV asking Republicans to apologize for him (I just saw Joan Walsh, the editor of Salon, on Hardball this week saying that “Republicans should apologize to President Obama” for Rush’s “Bend over and grab the ankles” remark). Well first of all, Maureen Dowd makes Rush Limbaugh look like George Will. Second of all, The New York Times has a larger audience than Limbaugh has, and they give this daffy woman a platform to spew her venom on a regular basis. And, I know that some of you will try to justify Maureen Dowd’s columns as “irony” or “clever satire”; however, there is nothing “clever” about Ms. Dowd’s columns–simply put, they are just cruel. So, Obama supporters, are you guys for real about wanting “unity” and “post-partisanship“, or is your “movement” really just a bunch of hot air? In other words, don’t you guys think that it’s time to start putting your money where your mouth is and begin to call out people on your side (like Maureen Dowd) who traffic in hatred and sexist stereotypes? You betcha!
This diary is cross-posted on The Minority Report.