Op-ed writer Maureen Dowd, the New York Times’ Queen of Snark, is widely regarded as an arch-liberal, if an amusing one. During the campaign, however, she emerged as an analyst who was not dissuaded from telling the truth and expressing deep displeasure with Hillary Clinton’s ethics. As the full-force assault on Donald Trump and Republicans by her employer and colleagues since November 8 has shown, this isn’t a safe stance to take on the flagship of biased American media.
Maybe that explains why Dowd took such a strange and circuitous route in today’s print column, in which she places what are obviously her own words and conclusions in the mouth of Kevin, her conservative, “affluent, educated suburbanite” brother, introducing the column as his, based on the barrage of pro-Trump gloating Dowd says she received at the hands of her Trump-supporting kin, which she calls her “own little basket of deplorables.”
It’s really Maureen’s column, of course, and I would have made her an Ethics Hero if she had only had the guts to own it unequivocally. That cavil aside, I gained a great deal of respect for Dowd through her writing this. She rose far above the vast majority of her ideologically similar peers by doing so, and the nation and especially the Democratic party would be better off if angry liberals read it and accepted its truths as the icy dousing in unbiased reality they so obviously need in order to stop embarrassing themselves. Ethics Alarms and I, as it happens, didn’t need her analysis, since it literally matches what has been explained here for months. Still, I find it gratifying that at least one prominent liberal pundit gets it, and had the integrity, sort of, to say so in the Times.
Please read Dowd’s whole column here. Here are a few of my favorite parts:
The election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama: his fantasy world of political correctness, the politicization of the Justice Department and the I.R.S., an out-of-control E.P.A., his neutering of the military, his nonsupport of the police and his fixation on things like transgender bathrooms.
Preaching — and pandering — with a message of inclusion, the Democrats have instead become a party where incivility and bad manners are taken for granted, rudeness is routine, religion is mocked and there is absolutely no respect for a differing opinion…The rudeness reached its peak when Vice President-elect Mike Pence was booed by attendees of “Hamilton” and then pompously lectured by the cast. This may play well with the New York theater crowd but is considered boorish and unacceptable by those of us taught to respect the office of the president and vice president, if not the occupants.
If any of my sons had told me they were too distraught over a national election to take an exam, I would have brought them home the next day, fearful of the instruction they were receiving. Not one of the top 50 colleges mandate one semester of Western Civilization. Maybe they should rethink that.
The liberal media, both print and electronic, has lost all credibility. I am reasonably sure that none of the mainstream print media had stories prepared for a Trump victory. I watched the networks and cable stations in their midnight meltdown — embodied by Rachel Maddow explaining to viewers that they were not having a “terrible, terrible dream” and that they had not died and “gone to hell.”
Best of all..
And finally, to all the foreign countries that contributed to the Clinton Foundation, there will not be a payoff or a rebate.
And so on.
Dowd introduces “her brother’s column” by citing a tweet she saw from her op-ed pal, arch-conservative-hater—I think that’s fair—Paul Krugman, who opined that “affluent, educated suburbanites” who voted for Trump are “fools,” adding, “What else is there to say?” For once I agree with Krugman on this narrow point, as several posts here illustrated. It is res ipsa loquitur irrational to gamble on placing an unqualified, unstable, ignorant and unethical man in the White House. There is a lot more to say, however, and Dowd deserves praise and respect for saying it.
UPDATE: I am shocked that some esteemed readers think I am pushing a conspiracy theory to suggest that this isn’t Maureen’s brother’s column, not Maureen herself. I assumed that the by-line settled that, plus the lack of quotation marks, the usual facetious tone in the introduction, the fact that Kevin writes exactly like his sister, and the use of the imaginary guest commentator as a device since the dawn of opinion columns. So let’s vote on it, shall we?