Sunday, October 20, 2002

Off Her Rocker

Maureen Dowd has finally fallen off her rocker, and there's no better guide to her psychosis than Josh Chafetz. Dowd cannot offer any coherent arguments against Bush foreign policy so she lapses habitually into the old metaphor of the boy-king being tutored by evil professors. Today's bizarre column is an extended rant following a metaphor of a souffle preparation -- all based on a made-up quip from Richard Perle (as chef) about having persuaded "Reagan to ignore the weak-kneed, striped-pants set at the State Department and buy every weapon in sight until the Evil Empire was scared stiffer than a perfectly executed meringue." Huh? Good line, but is this a political column or a restaurant review? Besides, wasn't that policy stunningly successful?

The column follows four of Chafetz's five "Immutable Laws of Maureen Dowd," including caricature of people involved (complete with nicknames), whining instead of offering arguments, cuteness over coherence, and even a bit too much reverence for the French. The only law unrepresented is the one that dictates that the particular aspects of Dowd's personal life reveal universal truths. Well, at least her narcissism is somewhat under control. Still, four out of five laws (or symptoms) is impressive, and indicates how accurate a diagnostitian Chafetz is.

I almost feel sorry for Dowd because, as Chafetz indicates, her cutsie style which was so appropriate for dealing with Clinton is such a bad apparatus for describing this administration and the issues before it. Dowd is a one-trick pony who can't adjust her style to the issue at hand. Whether it's kinkiness in the oval office with one president or war deliberations with another, her style remains the same. Oh well, Howell Raines probably doesn't mind.


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