Honestly, you’d think that in an age when newspapers are losing subscribers faster than the rate of illegal immigration, it ought to be possible to pick up the alleged “Newspaper of Record” without immediately wishing you hadn’t. Much of its bilge is duplicated on-line, and the New York Times staff seems to revel in thumbing its collective nose at the country. In truth, outside of New York and Washington DC, the few people who actually read it are mostly pundits and politicians, so imagine my surprise when a friend sent me a link to Maureen Dowd’s latest bit of drivel. Ms. Dowd is renowned for pro-statist propaganda, and except for the fact that she wrote it, this particular anti-Tea Party screed would be shocking. You see, I’ve come to expect little else in the character of her columns, so that virtually nothing she writes is able to move me. It’s a bit like being a non-Muslim abroad in an Islamic country: For the first few days, the call to prayer gets your attention or catches you off guard, but after a while, it fades into the background of your daily life, and you find ways to avoid it.
This time, the object of her latest verbal Jihad is the Tea Party. Perhaps the greatest irony evinces when she compares them to suicide bombers. As she straps on her own linguistic bomb vest, she tells us with the appropriate touch of scornful regret:
“The maniacal Tea Party freshmen are trying to burn down the House they were elected to serve in. It turns out they wanted to come inside to get a blueprint of the historic building to sabotage it.”
One could almost find this offensive if taken seriously, but the problem with Ms. Dowd these days is that apart from those in media and the poor unfortunate souls who still think the New York Times is fit to print, this bit of hyperbole plays not to stunned shock but instead to raucous laughter. As it turns out, in any case, the Tea Party freshmen who held out on the Boehner Bill undoubtedly improved it.
Never satisfied to drop a played-out theme in a couplet, the red-headed bard presses her attack:
“Like gargoyles on the Capitol, the adamantine nihilists are determined to blow up the country’s prestige, their party and even their own re-election chances if that’s what it takes. (Many are worried about primary races with even more dogmatic challengers, which is a truly scary thought.) If they can drag President Obama off his pedestal, even better. They think he looks down on them and sneers at their values.”
“Adamantine nihilists?” Coming from Ms. Dowd, this has roughly the same impact as if she’d simply called them “truck-drivers.” It’s so completely out of context and proportion that it actually causes one to worry more for Ms. Dowd’s tenuous grasp on her own frame of mind than for any of the topics she addresses. I’ve actually begun waiting for her to intimate that they’re brown-shirts, or worse. This is the problem with Ms. Dowd’s reckless tendency to morbid overstatement: She reads like a loon to all but her fellow inmates at the asylum.
On more solid ground, I’m certain that if the freshmen do manage to drag Obama from his pedestal, perhaps they’ll politely ask the British to return the bust of Winston Churchill this President had carted off, and put it in his place. That would constitute more thorough leadership than her hero has delivered.
She spends a few lines criticizing Obama with something he probably fears, by way of a description of him morphing into Jimmy Carter, but this is mere urging aimed at bucking-up her champion. As per the norm, she goes on to bore her readers with the standard behind-the-scenes, un-sourced blather, and concludes with a pair of questions designed to deliver her big lie of the piece:
“What if this is all a cruel joke on us? What if the people who hate government are good at it and the people who love government are bad at it? “
In most of her columns, you will find a nugget of truth nestled up tightly to a larger lie. While it is certainly true to say Barack Obama and the remainder of the statist crowd indeed loves government, scarcely able to conjure even a toilet flush or a theater performance without its involvement, it is a thorough falsehood to contend that Tea Party types hate government. In my experience, what they hate about government, if anything, is its perpetually-growing over-reach into the tax-payers’ pockets at the behest of such enlightened souls as Ms. Dowd.
The salient point to consider when evaluating anything emanating from the mind of Maureen Dowd isn’t so much a question of her intelligence, but instead the appearance of her diminishing sanity. As she writes one fatiguing set of attacks after the other against anybody remotely center-right, she’s running out of material, and with each passing rant, reads more and more like the extremist, left-wing version of the mullahs who demand “Death to the great Satan; Death to the infidels.”
The difference lies only in the fact that the mullahs are much less sincere.