David Corn shatters a firm pundit rule!

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

Your Howler keeps getting results: Last night, speaking with Lawrence O’Donnell, David Corn broke a firm rule of the guild.

We take our hats off to Corn. Just look what the gentleman did:
O’DONNELL (9/24/13): Who is the best presidential tactician since LBJ? In an article today from Mother Jones, David Corn gives us his answer. The article’s entitled, “Obama is the shrewdest political tactician since LBJ.” Joining me now, David Corn.

David, I got to tell you, when I saw the piece today, I said, “Get me David Corn,” because I completely agree with you. And you now have five minutes to convince the rest of the world. Go ahead.

CORN: Well, let me say that I sort of posed that as a bit of an overstatement. But I gave the case for believing that might be so. And basically, if you look at President Barack Obama and ask yourself, who are his most bothersome foes of late? The answer would be Vladimir Putin and John Boehner, two men who probably don’t have much in common with each other, right?

But I think Barack Obama has really gotten the best of them in the last couple weeks, despite what Maureen Dowd and others in the Washington conventional wisdom circuit say.
Say what? Can David Corn do that?

Corn criticized the poisonous Dowd by name, right there on the TV machine! By all that’s holy in Hard Pundit Law, that simply isn’t done!

Corn’s timing was excellent, if about two decades late. This morning, Dowd’s column may be the worst she has ever written, and that covers a lot of ground.

Dowd has been poisonous for a long time—poisonous and inane. This morning, she started like this:
DOWD (9/25/13): The man formerly hailed as a messiah was having a bad day.

The Iranians snubbed him. The Brazilians upbraided him. Ted Cruz fauxlibustered him. And you just know that, behind the scenes, the Russians were messing with him.

At the end of a long, hard day at the United Nations, he escaped into the sweaty and freighted embrace of the Clintons, who had to explain and defend the president’s own health care plan for him at their global initiative conference/Hillary 2016 pep rally.
At least she didn't say that Obama was having a bad hair day, as she so frequently does. Still though, the bullets flew:

Obama used to be hailed as a messiah! And the Clintons are sweaty!

Bill Clinton had to explain the messiah’s health plan for him! The whole thing was a pep rally for Hill!

The inanity spread down the page as Dowd delivered scattershot barbs at everyone she dislikes. Prince Turki al-Faisal said Obama screwed up.

As we all know, if the prince speaks, his statement just has to be right!

Dowd closed with some of her brainless word-play, a long-standing cry for help. Had Corn already seen this crap when he broke Pundit Law last night?

The guild has tolerated Dowd for a very long time. She seems to be feared to the same extent that the swells once feared J. Edgar Hoover.

Corn should have spoken up long ago, perhaps when Dowd composed seven columns in which Candidate Gore held crazed discussions with his bald spot.

For decades, Dowd has been crying for help. Finally, Corn spoke her name right there on TV, where other big pundits could hear him!

The analysts stood and cheered. Frankly, that's the “Uncle Corn” the youngsters have always liked!

31 comments:

  1. "At the end of a long, hard day at the United Nations, he escaped into the sweaty and freighted embrace of the Clintons, who had to explain and defend the president’s own health care plan for him at their global initiative conference/Hillary 2016 pep rally"

    The weirdest thing about Dowd to me is how she always sets Obama apart from "Democrats".
    Her whole boring schtick is about how Democrats have to do one or another thing for Obama.
    It's a political Party. They're all Democrats. She's really horrified that they campaign for one another's issues and causes and candidates?
    It's just nuts. They ALL did it when Bill Cinton gave a speech at the 2012 convention. They were so excited that the former Democratic President gave a speech at the Democratic Convention.
    I think it will be HUGE for them when Obama appears at the 2016 convention. "He's a.... Democrat?" What is this? Why are they like this?

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    1. Believe it or not, there was a time in her beauteous youth (er, well-preserved middle age) when the schtick worked much better.

      I wonder how many times she dialed and hung up when the tabs reported the split between Liberace Douglas and Zeta-Jones. Sad, sad, sad.

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  2. While I do not like or agree with Dowd, I do think Obama is atypical as a Democrat. My reasons for thinking this include his stance on defense, FISA and privacy issues; his widening of Bush's drone attacks and defense policies; his retention of many Bush appointees in intelligence, defense and financial positions; his reticence on gay rights (for the first term); his harshness in deporting immigrants; his willingness to modify social security (even when there is no clear call to do so); his persecution of whistleblowers in a variety of contexts; his lack of support within his administration for female appointees and his lack of active support for women's issues, including reproductive health; his lack of support for research via NSF and NSA and his dismantling of NASA; his reticence in promoting climate change measures (except when repackaged as "green" stimulus initiatives); his lack of aggressiveness in attacking unemployment and poverty during the financial meltdown; his failure to go after the bankers or anyone leftover from Bush's administration; his backtracking on campaign promises taking more liberal positions, and so on. In particular, I see his subordination of Michelle Obama as a strongly conservative gesture to traditional partriarchy, especially in light of her own previous career accomplishments. These things do not spell Democrat to me. I was most upset by his crowing about killing Osama bin Laden -- not very Democrat at all, given longtime support for elimination of the death penalty and our general unwarlike stance on military matters (Democrats end wars, not start them).

    Big tent Democrats may embrace all this, but those of us further to the left feel pretty justified in the concerns we raised during the 2008 primaries.

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    1. certifiedgooglemachineoperatorSeptember 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      strong comment

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, the choice in the real world, in politics, is generally the lesser of two evils.

      Delete
    3. Lindy. Those of you to further to the left were obviously not statistically significant during the primaries. And those you backed are either disgraced or starring on FOX.

      KZ

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    4. "those you backed are either disgraced or starring on FOX"

      Do you know what Poop, er KZ, is talking about?

      It's OK, neither does he.

      Delete
    5. He's saying his is the only view that counts.

      That is the essential psychology of a troll.

      Delete
    6. Easy to see why we are celebrating our statistical tie
      with emerging post Stalinist nations.

      KZ

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    7. "That is the essential ...."

      You ought to know. Make sure you check under your bed before retiring for the evening.

      Delete
    8. Why, Anon:18? You going to be under there with the other dust bunnies?

      Delete
  3. In the article, Corn called his hypothesis a Slate pitch. You can look it up. How seriously should we take him? Is it wishful thinking, or Hitchens-style contrary-for-contrary's-sake? Is he hedging his dangerous thoughts with a little, "Naaaaah!"

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  4. certifiedgooglemachineoperatorSeptember 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    somerby says,

    "The guild has tolerated Dowd for a very long time. She seems to be feared to the same extent that the swells once feared J. Edgar Hoover."

    >>> that's on the guild, not dowd, to the extent its true that she is feared or whatever.

    i don't read her except the odd column referenced somewhere. does she denigrate other journalists or columnists as somerby does regularly, or at all?

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    1. Her column is not about media criticism. Why should it have the same content as Somerby's? Are you asking whether she names names? She denigrates lots of people by name (if you consider Obambi a name).

      Delete
    2. certifiedgooglemachineoperatorSeptember 25, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      I specifically asked, " does she denigrate other *journalists or columnists*..." because somerby said "the guild" (media) seems to fear her. if she doesnt, then i dont see why media people would fear her.

      Delete
    3. Someone doesn't have to attack you in print in order to make life difficult for you in press circles. There is consensus that Maureen Dowd hated the Clintons because they didn't include her on their guest lists when they first took office. She took reprisals. What reprisals someone might take against a colleague behind the scenes, we wouldn't have access to. We do, however, see her vindictiveness in print with respect to public figures she would like to damage (for whatever reason) and her unfairness in the way she goes about it.

      If someone is ruthlessly mean to others, people with nothing to fear will nevertheless cower. That is human nature. No one wants to be on the receiving end, even if it is remote that they would wind up in column space. There are other ways people can hurt each other when they are in the same profession, that the public would never become aware of.

      I think she has been snide about other people's work but I am not going to spend any time chasing down examples.

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    4. certifiedgooglemachineoperatorSeptember 25, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      "...Dowd hated the Clintons because they didn't include her on their guest lists when they first took office. She took reprisals. What reprisals someone might take against a colleague behind the scenes, we wouldn't have access to."

      >>> the reprisals she may have taken to non-media people would have been in her column. any reprisals she would have taken to a media person would be in her column as well. the only exception might be her using her influence with her papers bosses against fellow ny times journalists or columnists, assuming she had that kind of influence, which is a big assumption imo.

      "If someone is ruthlessly mean to others, people with nothing to fear will nevertheless cower. That is human nature."

      >>> i disagree with that as a general principle. but specifically here, youre giving her way too much power and dismissing the rest of the media as totally spineless. you seem to have bought the somerby theory that dowd is like a witch with svengali like powers. you demonize her and in the process take the rest of the media off the hook for their malfeasance.

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    5. I think Dowd went after the Clintons because they are ripe targets foe snark, and that is what her column is about. She's never one to pass over a low-IQ trope, and has coined new ones in her day.

      She's all about "irony" ....the knowing wink...the condescension...the sophisticated urbane viewer of the human scene, that she and her fellow media members like to see themselves as being.

      For years conservatives complained about her columns being little more than a more arch version of a Jon Stewart segment.

      As partisanship has increased in liberal circles, she become more provocative to them as well, and is wearing thin.

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  5. From Somerby, the self-proclaimed Prince of Paraphrase:

    "The inanity spread down the page as Dowd delivered scattershot barbs at everyone she dislikes. Prince Turki al-Faisal said Obama screwed up.
    As we all know, if the prince speaks, his statement just has to be right!"

    Actual Dowd:

    "Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., told an audience at the Core Club in Midtown Sunday evening that President Obama raised expectations in the Arab world with his 2009 Cairo speech that were never met. "

    Does anybody want to try to refute Dowd on this point? Or should we cheer Bob's featherweight snark? TDH will always claim it only does media criticism--but when Dowd quotes an appropriate public figure on a policy matter, it's Bob that begins to clown.

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    1. I wonder if Turki al-Faisal was to become Governor of Idaho how many column inches Gail Collins would devote to him?

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    2. Did Obama raise expectations well above his ability to deliver change?
      Or did Middle East nations expect more than THEY could deliver?
      Reread the plaint of the Progressive Liberal above.

      This is what Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had to say after the Cairo speech, and he was not alone.

      "The nations of this part of the world ... deeply hate America," the Reuters news service quoted him as saying in a televised speech. "Even if they give sweet and beautiful (speeches) to the Muslim nation ... that will not create change. Action is needed."

      New Arab saying, "The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy!"
      Old American saying, "With friends like this, who needs enemies?"

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  6. Trolles, Dowd mentioned the 2009 speech in a litany of negative remarks on the foreign policy performance of both the president and the Clintons.

    I think that is Somerby's complaint.

    Dowd also mentioned the Prince as a way of arguing that Pres. Obama has been burned with the Syrian bombing issue and has backed away from it as he has he pledge in the 2009 speech that he made early in his tenure.

    Those arguments are debatable.

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    1. So you're saying that Dowd has raised important and debatable points. And Somerby doesn't like that...why? Certainly columnists should be more than Obama and Clinton sycophants. And Bob won't argue the merits of the actual policies ... so what is Bob's complaint exactly? Dowd isn't fawning enough to his favored politicians?

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    2. "I think that is Somerby's complaint."

      And where would Somerby be without Cecelia to explain daily what she "thinks" he really means?

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    3. No, you suggested that the Prince's statement is indisputable.

      Well, that's not the point. Dowd piece contained a litany events and dynamics that she feels were reality checks for the a clinton and Obama Administration via a problematic region of the world. This she pronounces upon with her usual irony-cum-snark tone.

      However, things do happen to mitigate the best laid plans of mice and political leaders.

      What is Dowd's point in that screed? That politicians can't predict the future? That sometimes fate undercuts their best intentions? Duh...

      No, what Dowd and her attitude Is about is suggesting that she and her readers know that this is a big ole complex world and are more sophisticated, sassy, and savvy than those tacky pols who have to get elected.

      The shelf-life for that bullshit is finally reaching expiration date within her own tribe.

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    4. Anon11:54, you stop prefacing ridiculous charges of sexism and hypocrisy based upon specious arguments and missing the point, and I'll stop schooling you.

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    5. So would you say that TDH has paraphrased Dowd accurately? Would TDH be satisfied if someone paraphrased, say, Susan Rice that loosely?

      Or is TDH full of hot air when it comes to the topic of paraphrase?

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  7. Bob -- Good to see you're still at it. Keep on keeping on. -- dks

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