Husband of the Goldwater Girl repealed Glass-Steagall, scribe says: Maureen Dowd doesn't [HEART] Candidate Hillary Clinton.
In 2008, public editor Clark Hoyt said that was a problem. He said complaints about the Times' perceived misogyny had almost always turned out to be complaints about Maureen Dowd.
Given Dowd's status in the guild, this was a very unusual column:
HOYT (6/22/08): Dowd's columns about Clinton's campaign were so loaded with language painting her as a 50-foot woman with a suffocating embrace, a conniving film noir dame and a victim dependent on her husband that they could easily have been listed in that Times article on sexism, right along with the comments of Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle, Tucker Carlson or, for that matter, Kristol, who made the Hall of Shame for a comment on Fox News, not for his Times work.Just for the record, many people had complained about Dowd's ill-advised language about "Obambi," the "diffident debutante." Also about her inevitable attacks on his big loud appalling wife.
''I've been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years,'' Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns. She often refers to Barack Obama as ''Obambi'' and has said he has a ''feminine'' management style. But the relentless nature of her gender-laden assault on Clinton—in 28 of 44 columns since Jan. 1—left many readers with the strong feeling that an impermissible line had been crossed, even though, as Dowd noted, she is a columnist who is paid not to be objective.
Over the course of the campaign, I received complaints that Times coverage of Clinton included too much emphasis on her appearance, too many stereotypical words that appeared to put her down and dismiss a woman's potential for leadership and too many snide references to her as cold or unlikable. When I pressed for details, the subject often boiled down to Dowd.
Politically correct is never a term one would apply to Dowd's commentary. Her columns this year said Clinton's ''message is unapologetically emasculating,'' and that she ''needed to prove her masculinity'' but in the end ''had to fend off calamity by playing the female victim.'' In one column Dowd wrote, ''She may want to take a cue from the Miss America contest: make a graceful, magnanimous exit and wait in the wings.''
Aulisio, the reader who wanted a review of Times coverage, asked if a man could have gotten away with writing what Dowd wrote. Rosenthal said that if the man had written everything Dowd had written over the years and established himself as a sardonic commentator on the sexes, ''I'd say the answer is yes.''
Of course, there is no such man, and I do not think another one could have used Dowd's language. Even she, I think, by assailing Clinton in gender-heavy terms in column after column, went over the top this election season.
Eight years later, Dowd's loathing of Candidate Clinton seems to be stronger than ever. It also tends toward blind rage, and toward the incoherence attendant to blindness and rage. Consider a pair of complaints in yesterday's sarcastic loathe-fest:
DOWD (8/14/16): The erstwhile Goldwater Girl and Goldman Sachs busker can be counted on to do the normal political things, not the abnormal haywire things. Trump’s propounding could drag us into war, plunge us into a recession and shatter Washington into a thousand tiny bits.Just so you'll know, Dowd doesn't care about welfare, or about welfare recipients, or about welfare practices. She doesn't have the slightest idea what Bill Clinton did, or didn't do, to change welfare procedures. It's just a useful ball of mud for her to use in these columns.
Hillary will keep the establishment safe. Who is more of an establishment figure, after all? Her husband was president, and he repealed Glass-Steagall, signed the Defense of Marriage Act and got rid of those pesky welfare queens.
But how about those other complaints? Do they even make sense?
Hillary Clinton is a (former) Goldwater Girl? (That's what "erstwhile" means though helpfully nobody knows that.) Her husband repealed Glass-Steagall? Do those mud-balls even make sense?
Clinton was a Goldwater Girl when she was in high school. (She was 15 when Goldwater won the GOP nomination at the Cow Palace.) It takes a special kind of dimwit hater to go back so far in a candidate's life, back to their high school years, occasionally into their childhood, to come up with stinging complaints.
Dowd is that kind of hater. Regarding Glass-Steagall, might it be worth recalling the congressional vote on repeal?
Bill Clinton didn't exactly strong-arm repeal through the Congress. For whatever reason, the vote in favor of repeal was 90-8 in the Senate. Among Senate Democrats, the vote was 38-7 in favor of repeal.
Up in Massachusetts, Senator Kerry voted for repeal—and so did Senator Kennedy. So did Senator Biden, who functions, in Dowd's twisted mind, as her favorite East Coast Irish Catholic uncle.
Dowd loves lurves loaves her Uncle Joe. She simply can't stand the appalling Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall!
Biden voted for repeal. So did Senator Durbin, Obambi's top Senate supporter. In the House, so did four future Democratic senators, including flaming liberal Sherrod Brown. Last month, Clinton's failure to pick him for the VP spot proved that she's still that same old Goldwater Girl.
For whatever reason or reasons, House Democrats supported repeal, 155-51. We're not saying that they were right or wrong in their votes. We're just saying that, however the measure was understood at the time, Dictator Bill Clinton-Peron didn't ram it through the Congress, supported by Evita.
The vote for 38-7 in the Senate. Seventeen years later, Dowd is cramming Glass-Steagall up her ascot as she screams about the evil of you-know-who.
Whatever you think of Candidate Clinton, Columnist Dowd has been crazy for years. Only Hoyt has ever been willing to say this.
Her craziness fits in at the Times, an amazingly subcompetent newspaper. Yesterday, her cries reached back to 1999, and on to the sins of high school.
Starting tomorrow: The houses of Chozick County
Past thoughts on welfare reform: Back in 1999, Gay Jervey wrote a profile of Dowd for the soon-to-be-defunct Brill's Content. She included this wonderful anecdote from Joe Klein:
JERVEY (6/99): "Maureen is very talented," observes Joe Klein of The New Yorker. "But she is ground zero of what the press has come to be about in the nineties....I remember having a discussion with her in which I said, 'Maureen, why don't you go out and report about something significant, go out and see poor people, do something real?' And she said, 'You mean I should write about welfare reform?’ ”No one had to wonder what Klein's anecdote meant. Dowd had rolled her eyes at his suggestion that she consider the lives of Those People.
Today, she feels differently, of course. She hates what Bill Clinton did!