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Tag: "free dahlia lithwick"

What a Wingnutty Era it Was

[ 0 ] November 7, 2008 |

I thought I was aware of most of the major pillars of Clinton-era foolishness, but I had no idea that there had been thigh-rubbing about Clinton having a hot tub (just like Saint Reagan, although the future Pulitzer Prize winner (!) MoDo neglected to mention that). Which leads us to one of the most horrifying passages in the recent history of American journalism:

I took some friends along so we could float a few theories about the iconic meaning of Bill Clinton installing a hot tub on the South Lawn — Jerry Nachman, the former New York Post editor who now works in TV; Dee Dee Myers, the former White House press secretary who now lives in L.A. and works at Vanity Fair; Barbara Hower, author and TV personality; Rebecca Liss, a reporter for The Los Angeles Daily Journal, and Mickey Kaus, a magazine writer.

Their comments are precisely as illuminating as you would expect. The person who wrote the column retains her presitgious editorial real estate for reasons I could not dream of explaining. [Via, of course, Somerby.]

The Blame Acorn Game

[ 14 ] October 26, 2008 |

Peter Dreier and John Atlas break it down.

In her own excellent article on the subject, Dahlia Lithwick has some good analysis of John Paul Stevens’s unfortunate endorsement of the vote fraud fraud earlier this year:

In the end, all roads lead back to John Paul Stevens. He wrote the plurality opinion in last term’s Crawford v. Marion County, which upheld Indiana’s restrictive voter-ID law. Stevens understood that there is no such thing as polling-place vote fraud, conceding that “[t]he record contains no evidence of any such fraud actually occurring in Indiana at any time in its history.” But, continued Stevens, in the manner of someone rationally discussing the likelihood of UFO sightings, “flagrant examples of such fraud in other parts of the country have been documented throughout this nation’s history.” Like, um, an 1868 mayoral election in New York City, he notes, and a single 2004 incident from Washington. Stevens was more worried about shaky “voter confidence” in elections than actual voting. The message that went out from on high was clear: undermine voter confidence. Even if it’s irrational and hysterical and tinged with the worst kinds of racism, keep telling the voters the system is busted.

Each time they spread the word that Democrats (especially poor and minority Democrats) are poised to steal an election, John McCain and his overheated friends deliberately undermine voter confidence.

It’s a great scam; use apocryphal stories of “voter fraud” to create a pretext for further vote suppression, and the Supreme Court will actually cite the completely unfounded fears you’ve created as a justification! Even granting that Stevens was trying to keep the possibility that some vote suppression method might be held unconstitutional in the future, once you’ve accepted “voter confidence” as a valid reason it’s not clear what will ever fail the test…

Hell Exists on Earth? Yes. I Won’t Live In It.

[ 0 ] July 14, 2008 |

When you hear that the country’s most prominent op-ed page can feature the Feng Shui Princess of Georgetown describing a conversation between Mike Barnicle and Margaret Carlson, you know that the State of Perfect Complacent Vapidity has been achieved.

And what’s worse is that they weren’t even the first to get there.

Somerby: “Things have deteriorated to the point where staffers at People are mystified by the inanity of the political press corps.” Sad, but true.

"Maureen Goes To Fantasy Camp? Her Whole Life Is A Fantasy Camp."

[ 9 ] July 10, 2008 |

Shorter Verbatim MoDo: “Fictionalizing historical figures is fine. Fantasies about public figures are inevitable.”

Unlike (it seems) Somerby, I don’t see the slightest problem with Sittenfeld using Laura Bush to write a roman a clef. I can’t say it sounds especially promising, but the idea will rise and fall with the quality of the work. Fiction writers aren’t under any obligation to stick to facts about historical figures.

When fantasy narratives become the basis for large numbers of columns on the nation’s most prominent op-ed pages, however, and the writers who push these fantasy narratives with disastrous consequences continue forever in their sinecures, that’s a rather different matter.

More on Hoyt and MoDo

[ 5 ] June 24, 2008 |

What Digby said. Especially this:

These negative “feminine” stereotypes not only perpetuate noxious myths about female and gay leadership abilities in the culture at large, they consistently favor the right wing authoritarian philosophy. Dowd always says she’s speaking truth to power, but her obsession with “playing with gender” actually serves power very, very well. She and her editors may be so dazzled by puerile cutsiness like “Obama is like an anorexic starlet,” to even know that she’s being partisan, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t. It plays perfectly into the way Republicans have run elections since Reagan. If she and her editors don’t know she’s doing this then they are too stupid to be working for the paper of record.

…and what Amanda said.

Crackpot Hack of the Day

[ 5 ] June 22, 2008 |

Maureen Dowd. (See also.)

Re-Raising MoDo

[ 16 ] May 16, 2008 |

Shorter Verbatim Camille Paglia: “I for one have renewed questions about the 1993 suicide of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster, Hillary’s former law partner and longtime friend, whose files were purged by Hillary’s staff before they could be examined for evidence.”

Heckuva job, Salon!

The Transition

[ 0 ] May 11, 2008 |

MoDo seems regretful that she will have less reason (at least outside the context of blind dates) to snigger about Bill Clinton’s sex life. But she holds out faint hope for a Vice Presidential nod:

Aside from the delight Bill would get from living at the Naval Observatory and having a huge telescope to window-peep with, there wouldn’t be much joy in Hillaryland.

Hahahahahahahaha! That’s the kind of legendary wit that can get you a Pulitzer prize, or the Tuesday night slot at Yakov Smirnoff’s comedy club in Branson if Carrot Top cancels at the last minute. But won’t Obama think of poor Dowd? After all, if Clinton isn’t on the ticket, how will she continue to discuss completely fabricated pseudo-scandals?

But in a return engagement with Obama at the top, could she really wake up every day in the back seat and wish him well, or would she just be plotting? (Fourteen vice presidents have ascended, after all.) Wouldn’t she be, in Monty Python parlance, the Trojan Rabbit behind the gates?

On a positive note, maybe she could bring back all that stuff she pilfered on her way out.

Sure, this doesn’t make any sense unless you conflate “theft” with “taking some personal gifts with you, with a lesser total value than the previous administration,” but when have facts ever stopped MoDo from smearing the Clintons before?

Anyway, as Cole points out this is the key part in terms of how the smears on Obama are going to proceed:

Now Barack Obama faces a true dilemma: how best to punish Hillary Clinton.

After 15 months of fighting her off, as she veered wildly from bully to victim, as she brandished any ice pick at hand, whether racial, sexual, mathematical or marital (in the form of her Vesuvian husband), Obama must decide the most efficacious means of doing to Hillary what she has been trying to do to him: putting her in her place.

In addition to the obvious projection, I trust you can see what’s going on here. If Obama doesn’t choose Clinton as a running mate, it’s because he wants to “put her in her place.” If he does choose Clinton, it’s because he wants to “put her in her place.” See, when you’re setting up the inevitable endless stream of columns about how Obama is really an womanly effete elitist woman who’s probably lactating even more than Al Gore, you win either way! The country, not so much.

I know that some people in the Clinton Hackosphere are trying to set up the argument that a decision by Obama to choose anybody but Clinton must be motivated by personal animus, because there simply can’t be any rational argument (such as, say, her high negatives, the fact that she would muddy Obama’s message on the most important issue of the Bush era, and the fact that she doesn’t represent a swing state, etc.) against it. But at least I believe that they would be satisfied if Obama picks her.

Projections of Puddle-Deep Minds

[ 0 ] May 5, 2008 |

MoDo:

Hillary and her posse pressed hard on their noble twin themes of emasculation and elitism.

Yes. Hillary’s theme.

Waste of Space

[ 8 ] April 23, 2008 |

You will be shocked to learn that Maureen Dowd’s column today says that a male Democratic candidate is really a woman, and a female Democratic candidate is really a man/castrating bitch. And this crackpot nonsense is expressed entirely through witless cliches only Camille Paglia or Ann Althouse could find clever. (Note: this post may be applied to all past and future Maureen Dowd columns about Democrats.)

Very, Very Bitter

[ 26 ] April 19, 2008 |

Kathy unloads some snark on Maureen “Feminism Should Too Be My Dating Service!” Dowd for asserting that, whatever that condescending girly-man Barack Obama might think, she was never bitter:

But there’s another problem with the opening sentence of the Dowd column. “I’m not bitter.” Oh Maureen — who the hell do you think you’re kidding? The woman positively soaks in bitterness. Marinates in it. It oozes out of her pen and pours into just about every damn word she writes. Her bitterness has utterly corroded her soul. It’s turned her into a twisted freak whose chief pleasure in life seems lie in vicious, barking-mad attacks on the only people capable of ending our long national nightmare — the Democrats. Seriously, if there is any other single person in the media who’s been a more powerful enabler of Republican high crimes and misdemeanors than Modo, I don’t know who it is.

[...]

There’s always been a weirdly gendered quality to Dowd’s bitterness. The main, and indeed often the only, point of nearly every column she writes is that male Democrats are girly men and female Democrats are castrating bee-yotches. It’s antifeminist, to be sure, but it goes waaaay beyond that into some warped, dark psychosexual realm of its own. Somerby calls her a “gender nut,” which is as good a term for it as any, I suppose.

Make sure to keep reading for the funny setup-with-MoDo anecdote, which will hopefully give pause to people who accept assertions that the media is obsessed with Bill Clinton’s penis because it’s what the public demands…

Red-Baiting, Live From 43rd Street!

[ 10 ] April 14, 2008 |

When did Bob Owens get a gig with the NYT op-ed page? Nobody tells me anything anymore.

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