On the Post-Debate Spin: More Proof that Maureen Dowd Has No Clue and Why The Times Should Shake Up Their Op-Ed Page


In which The Gay Recluse takes a look at what’s really going ahn.

Although Maureen Dowd is generally liberal to the extent that she hates Bush — and hey, we can appreciate that! — there’s always been a disturbing and seriously outdated undercurrent of idolatry for the masculine — along with a sense that (like many of the Times op-ed regulars) she has not quite discovered the internet — that has relegated her to a position of weakness and obscurity in so much of her analysis. Like so many gay men we have met — the single-but-always-looking type — she seems to espouse the ideal of a candidate as a man’s man, a tough guy who can bench-press 200 pounds and — when necessary — simply walk into a crisis and tell everyone to STFU because Daddy has arrived and is going to set the record straight.

We see this on display in her column today — called “Sound, But No Fury” — in which (after tediously recounting McCain’s shenanigans from last week) she laments Obama’s failure to really show some “heat” in the debate on Friday night, to deliver the “knock-out” punch, to really give what McCain really has coming to him. We will admit to having felt a little bit of this ourselves as we watched the debate and wanted Obama to score points a little more viciously, which of course reflects the intensity of our dislike for McCain but also our general admiration for Obama. But almost two days later, and after — more importantly — a cursory glance at some of the poll numbers — i.e., particularly among the “undecideds,” etc. — the wisdom of Obama’s strategy has become clear; in short, the debate was not a forum in which to convince people like us (and presumably, Dowd) to vote for him, but for people who (and yes, there are a lot of them!) who are literally meeting Obama for the first time. And interestingly enough, Obama crushed McCain in poll after poll of these voters, many of whom are presumably shallow (and racist!), but who will still be voting on November 4. These are the people (or some of them) who were surprised that a black man could sound so intelligent, and who would have been presumably turned off by a frightening display of “uppity” anger.

Which begs the question of where Dowd has been since the debate, since her Sunday-morning analysis already sounds seriously dated. Hey, if we have the time to check out what’s going on around the internet, why can’t Dowd do the same, and factor some of that into her analysis? It’s time for Dowd to drop the “Obambi” shtick and realize that the ideal president is not necessarily someone she would want to take to bed.

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