On the Opinion Page: May 7, 2008


In which The Gay Recluse scores selected opinions in The Times.

Thomas Friedman/The Democratic Recession

The Short Version: Thanks, oil! You’ve caused democratic government to wane around the world.  

In his words: “I’ve long argued that the price of oil and the pace of freedom operate in an inverse correlation — which I call: “The First Law of Petro-Politics.”

Score: D (Depressing)
Though we’re totally on board with Friedman’s calls to end U.S. dependence on oil for both political and environmental reasons, we weren’t too excited to read this column, which is filled with pompous self-referential jargon and depressing, meaningless slogans like “freedom” and “the democratic wave.” Sigh.    

Maureen Dowd/Butterflies Aren’t Free

The Short Version: HIllary’s a scorpion and Barack’s a butterfly.

In her words: “What would that young Hillary…think of this shape-shifting, cynical Hillary?”

The Score: A- (Angst)
Although this piece feels dated, given the increasing recognition post-Indiana/NC that Clinton doesn’t have a prayer, we are somewhat intrigued by the more emotional and lyrical passages in which Dowd describes an older version of Clinton that the younger and more idealistic one wouldn’t recognize. What’s most compelling about this is not the story about Clinton, but the idea that Dowd is actually writing about herself, albeit in an unconscious way, which — whatever Dowd’s intention in writing it — makes us want to read more.  

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