Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Maureen Dowd's Latest Dispatch From The World of Her Personal Psychodrama

I was out of town this past Sunday, so it wasn't till today that I got a chance to read Maureen Dowd's latest junior-high-school gossip column masquerading as political analysis.

Just as a number of progressive bloggers had warned me, the column was deeply cringe-worthy in classic Mo Dowd style, with its contrast between "Mistress Hillary" the "debate dominatrix" and the wimpish "Obambi" who, she implied, has already been emasculated by his wife and therefore is happy to accept discipline from the shrewish Clinton.

The Times is providing quite a public service by giving us these twice-weekly projections from Mo's subconscious--and saving Dowd a bundle on psychotherapy, I imagine.

She capped off the column with these paragraphs about yet another character in her internal psychodrama:
If Rudy's the nominee, he will go with relish to all the vulnerable places in Hillary's past. At the Federalist Society on Friday, he had barely spoken the word "she" before the audience began tittering appreciatively.

He went through a whole faux-bemused riff on Hillary's driver's license twists without ever uttering her name: "First, she was for the idea, and supported Governor Spitzer, who wanted to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Then she was against the idea. Then she was for and against the idea. And then finally she said it should be decided on a state-by-state basis. This is the only time in her career that she's ever decided anything should be decided on a state-by-state basis. You know something? She picked out absolutely the wrong one. Right? I mean, this is one of the areas that is given to the federal government to deal with under our Constitution, the borders of the United States, immigration."

Rudy laced his speech with faith references, including the assertion that America has "a divinely inspired role in the world" and a mission to "save a civilization from Islamic terrorism."

Hillary has her work cut out for her. Rudy will not be so easy to spank.
In Dowd's mind, her job as a columnist is mainly to tease out the psychosexual implications of the national political debate--or, if there are none, to make some up. She does it admirably.

But if Dowd were actually interested in politics or government, she might have noticed something else about the quotation from Giuliani: That it makes no sense at all. Rudy mocks Clinton for saying that the question of who gets drivers' licenses is a state matter, not a federal one. (And Dowd admiringly quotes his mockery to prove his mettle as a candidate.)

But of course the fact of the matter is that drivers' licenses are issued by states--not the federal government. Always have been, always will be. And no one, including Giuliani, is proposing otherwise. So when Giuliani says that "this is one of the areas that is given to the federal government to deal with under our Constitution," he is simply making things up--no matter whether the members of the Federalist Society find it titter-worthy or not.

Too bad little things like the facts aren't worthy of mention in The Newspaper of Record. Dowd's admiration for Giuliani is the appreciation of one narcissistic fantasist for another. God help the country that looks to people like these for insight or leadership.

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