Who’s Afraid of Maureen Dowd?

When Maureen Dowd is good she is very, very good. But when Maureen Dowd is bad she’s rotten.

Whether it’s shellacking Hillary Clinton or ridiculing various limp-wristed Liberal girly men, she’s not happy unless she’s snarky. She’s loves to bare her teeth and rip the flesh as she belittles and ridicules the subjects she deems inferior.

She’s also insanely hard on women in powerful positions to the point that if she were a man she’d most undoubtedly would be a misogynist. But since she’s a woman it’s just ironic that she often has it out for other power gals who are opinionated as she is.

Maybe there can only be one Queen Bee. Perhaps that’s what troubles her. Before my eyes she is morphing her 24/7 “Hillary Hate” coverage to possible Michelle Mincing. Dowd slyly expressed alarm over the femme Obama last year after she found her too tough on her “débutante” husband. She was too much of a dominating presence. Oh dear! A marriage where both man and woman are equal? Quelle horror!

Once again, IRONY. I often wonder if Dowd is aware that what she writes about Clinton and Michelle Obama and countless other female figures sounds an awful lot like what people say about her. That hateful bitch! And that’s really what her deal is. She’s a hater. She’s the chick who calls you a lush after she’s downed five shots of Patron. She calls you a slut in her Slam book. She’s the toilet flusher when you’re in the shower. The spazz who screws your boyfriend. The jealous diva who dumps pig’s blood on your prom dress. She’s that bitch.

God. I hate that bitch, but she’s usually the most popular with the most money.

Dowd was a bit nicer towards Michelle Obama in her latest column. I put the nice part mildly as one can never trust Dowd when she appears to be charitable. Especially when some have claimed that Dowd can’t tell Michelle Obama from other upwardly mobile black women. I’m always waiting for the biting backhand, the snide digs, the emasculation of the men and the masculation of the women.

But this column was particularly “Sob Sister-ish.”

In their narrative of how Hillary lost in The Times on Sunday, Jim Rutenberg and Peter Baker said that Mark Penn argued that Hillary should subtly stress Obama’s “lack of American roots.”

That’s a good preview of how Republicans will attack Michelle, suggesting that she does not share American values, mining a subtext of race.

She’s a devoted daughter, wife and mother who has lived the American dream, from the humble South Side of Chicago to Harvard Law School. Hey, isn’t it totally unAmerican to complain that being a black woman in the ’80s at a class-conscious, white-bread college, Princeton, was somewhat uncomfortable?

This is especially interesting when last year, Dowd wrote this:

I wince a bit when Michelle Obama chides her husband as a mere mortal — a comic routine that rests on the presumption that we see him as a god.

The tweaking takes place at fundraisers, where Michelle wants to lift the veil on their home life a bit and give the folks their money’s worth …

Michelle conveys the appealing idea that she will tell her husband when he’s puffed up or out of line. She aims high — she ordered her husband to stop puffing on cigarettes as he started campaigning. But then, why didn’t she see the red flags on the Rezko deal?

I can’t tell how Dowd actually feels about Michelle Obama. I always think “it’s a trick!” whenever she becomes charitable. How long will this last before the poison pens come out? This is the same woman who wrote “Can Hillary Cry Her Way Back to the White House?” And Media Matters has devoted an entire report on Dowd’s feminization of Barack Obama and John Edwards, as well as her continued disdain for Sen. Clinton.

(I)n an April 2 column, Dowd claimed that “[h]is strenuous and inadvertently hilarious efforts to woo working-class folk in Pennsylvania have only made him seem more effete.” Later in the column, she wrote: “At the Wilbur chocolate shop in Lititz Monday, he spent most of his time skittering away from chocolate goodies, as though he were a starlet obsessing on a svelte waistline.


So don’t mind me if I’m not reading Dowd’s column today as a point of solidarity for bitchatude. It just sounds like the prelude before the first verse. I’m sure by the chorus the song will sound the same — Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down.

3 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid of Maureen Dowd?

  1. I read her column today. I thought she was forecasting simply what was going to go down with Michelle now that the press, punditocracy, and Gatekeepers need to focus on other assets and liabilities of the race. You should read it.I think you are right in your assessments to not trust her because clearly Maureen is learning. She wrote the piece about Michelle not knowing the relationships in the Black Communities are not structured exactly like the roles modified and performed in White demographic communities. It was not until the fallout from last years article did she get a whiff that everything about life was not based upon her reigning and our voluntary assimilated performances as authentic and singular idealogies.But the problem with Black People is that they want “White People to act right and play nice” when we never want to take the risks to teach or challenge them of their place. By not reading her article, it does not do anything proactively. Maureen incites but she also eludes to what is transparently said and thought. Our younger generations are so thin-skinned to know what racism and privilege is but we don’t have the stomach to take it to fight it. That’s why we have 2 generations of chattering classes that know how to cry racism but not know how to fight it. You have to be strong to stomach the insults to take the insults head on in fighting them and how the mentalities are formed.We take on these false-noble identities that have no structural power in fighting offensive power. We play defense to think we are holding steady but we are like turtles retreating in our shells. And we get beat back by the offensives thinking that our silent refutes or Amen Corner murmuring is combustible energy to off-balance the controls.Maureen’s article was not alarming. It was actually intriguing in performance seeing that the the variables at play of Obama being the nominee has forced America to have certain discussions with themselves and others. America was putting it off for as long as they could put it off of the idea of a Black First Lady. That is what she is talking about. And that is the starter. She brings that to NYT readers’ attention that they never considered this actualization as evitability.But I still would not trust her. It’s not about trusting Maureen to soothe my Black Psyche. She has not pledged allegiance to dire sisterhood. I don’t trust my White Liberal Elite friends no matter how much more they love Obama in contest to out-shine me as “The Darkie With The Attitude Problem” who won’t stay on the bandwagon. We have different needs and different motives. Our motivations are different. So I don’t expect Maureen to move to the wind that moves me or any other Black. And I hope that we can get back to a standard of not expecting THEM to sugarcoat and handhold for our comfort. It kills our edge. It kills our ability to critically think — as not victims. It cripples us. It weakens us to want everyone to defend us without us defending ourselves and knowing when someone is simplying assessing as a social critic or that they have to handhold and stroke our egos.People like so many concepts of Barack but Michelle, eventhough bourgie, does not play along and sing in tune all the time. That is a threat.I thought her op-ed was what it was: her opinion…of what others are thinking and will do.

  2. andrea: I’ve actually read the column. She was being pretty cut and dry, but I alternate between liking and hating Maureen. Mostly because of how she can be towards women she writes about (and some men). I realize that part of it is simply her writing style, but sometimes she can just be mean. I’m no fan of Clarence Thomas but I even thought her column on Thomas after her book came out was uncalled for. Discounting the angst Thomas suffers from due to the racism he’s encountered in his life just isn’t funny to me. So this blog entry was more about Dowd and less about Michelle (who, as I wrote, she was pretty mild towards this time).I do think some black people have been rather reactionary when it comes to the Obamas, but I think that’s because many had not followed politics closely until this year. Sometimes they mistake business as usual (like Dowd being a pithy bitch) for high crimes and misdemeanors. Sometimes a snarky comment is just a snarky comment. But I think that comes from people not understanding how the media game works. And I feel that the chippiness some people have over every public critique over the Obamas really does a disservice for when actual racist things do happen. It’s much like crying wolf. After awhile, the howling does not get the same attention or have the same desired affect. I don’t think pundits should pull punches even when I don’t agree with them. It’s just to the public and the industry to enforce the standards of what is and isn’t acceptable. This is probably why that even though I rarely agree with him and think he’s a bigot, Pat Buchanan is my favorite pundit. When other conservative pundits talk they often color things to conceal anything that could be misunderstood as sexism or racism. They come up with excuses. They play dumb or cute. Pat just gives the unvarnished view that has been deemed socially unacceptable and most of the media tries to hide, but is still a huge part of larger white voting base. He’s offensive because you’re supposed to be offended. But if you actually listen to him he’s more a realist that most of the flacks hacking up phlegm on TV. Rather than sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears, I wish more people would be realistic and not have a pride so sensitive that it can’t withstand the occasional jerk. You might learn something other than the fact that you disagree with him.

  3. The amount of success you experience depends on the amount of criticism you can take.”But the problem with Black People is that they want “White People to act right and play nice” when we never want to take the risks to teach or challenge them of their place.” “And I hope that we can get back to a standard of not expecting THEM to sugarcoat and handhold for our comfort. It kills our edge. It kills our ability to critically think — as not victims.”Andrea. Bravo. Well said.

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