Thursday, May 3, 2007

Maureen Dowd is on Notice

Several weeks ago, I posted about Ann Coulter calling John Edwards a homophobic epithet. Wobblie noted in the comments that Bob Somerby had written about how Maureen Dowd was also complicit in painting Edwards as a "breck-girl" on at least five different times (repeating an insult slung by the White House press office). Since then, Dowd has also gained noteriety for writing (behind subscription wall) about John Edwards' hair cut and how Michelle Obama is emasculating her husband.

Hilzoy has written a couple of posts on Dowd's ability to play into the "Democratic men are wimpy and not 'man' enough to be President" while always relieving herself the responsibility of making these claims. She always says that she is simply reporting what "others" are thinking. I mean, she has no problem with these men, but others might, so she just wants to "report" it so that they can plan accordingly (as if no one knew that this was the standard screed about Democrats as if none of us remember how the entire RNC convention in 2004 was about how John Kerry wasn't "manly" enough [1].

Beyond calling Democrats "pretty boys" and aiding and abetting the Coulters and Cheneys of the world, today she is blaming Tenet, Colin Powell and Democrats for the war:

If Colin Powell and George Tenet had walked out of the administration in February 2003 instead of working together on that tainted U.N. speech making the bogus case for war, they might have turned everything around. They might have saved the lives and limbs of all those brave U.S. kids and innocent Iraqis, not to mention our world standing and national security.

It would certainly have been harder for timid Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and John Edwards, to back up the administration if two members of the Bush inner circle had broken away to tell an increasingly apparent truth: that Dick Cheney, Rummy and the neocons were feverishly pushing a naive president into invading Iraq with junk facts.

General Powell counted on Slam Dunk -- a slender reed -- to help him rid the speech of most of the garbage the Cheney office wanted in it. Slam, of course, tried to have it both ways, helping the skeptical secretary of state and pandering to higher bosses. Afterward, when the speech turned out to be built on a no-legged stool, General Powell was furious at Slam. But they both share blame: they knew better. They put their loyalty to a runaway White House ahead of their loyalty to a fearful public.

It's also worth noting that, in a previous column, Dowd reverts to her criticism via "gender" analysis of Tenet: "Slam Dunk always presented himself as the ultimate guy’s guy, a cigar-chomping spymaster who swapped jokes with the president. But now he shows us his tender side, a sniveling C.I.A. chief bullied by “remote” Condi."

While I have no problem blaming Tenet for the disaster and agree with the CIA officials calling for him to accept blame for what happened donate half his royalties to the servicepeople wounded and killed in Irag; and Colin Powell certainly went the UN even though he really wasn't comfortable; and the Democrats were far too timid in the run up to the war; but I think that Dowd has selective amnesia that her own paper and Judith Miller also contributed. Or for that matter, that the President lied to the nation! I hope she keeps criticizing Tenet, but for goodness sake, can we stop blaming "timid Democrats" and start blaming "lying Presidents"?

[1] This is when she's not making stuff up.


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Ksenya said...

Yeah, seriously! Poor "naive president." Bullied around by big bad people - how the fuck does he get away with being so "manly" then?! The convoluted lack of logic in these gender politics that add insult to injury (real people's actual injury, mind you) is enough to send one into conniptions...

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