As Dowd gets her usual pass: It was left to Obama himself to mock the absurd Maureen Dowd.
Two Sundays back, Dowd wrote her usual gong-show column about the way Weakling Obama can’t make the Congress do what he wants. Just before passing out on her shag, Dowd authored this ludicrous thought:
DOWD (4/21/13): The White House should have created a war room full of charts with the names of pols they had to capture, like they had in “The American President.” Soaring speeches have their place, but this was about blocking and tackling.Dowd had seen President Michael Douglas work his will in a Hollywood movie. She wanted to know why Obama couldn’t do the same thing!
Even for Dowd, that was overtly foolish. But even after all these years, other journalists know that you mustn’t criticize Dowd.
Dowd is a very high-ranking player at our most famous newspaper. Criticizing people like that pretty much just isn’t done.
It was left to poor Obama to mock the ridiculous thing Dowd had said. He did so at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Obama delivered a mocking joke about the way Dowd had cited that movie. It wasn't one of his better jokes, but it seemed to get a good laugh.
This morning, Dowd pushes back, in her latest numb-nutted attempt at a column. That said, we didn’t see many journalists point to the foolishness of her earlier piece.
Being powerful, Dowd gets a pass. This morning, though, Greg Sargent is whacking Jonathan Karl for a question from yesterday’s press conference.
Below, we will improve Karl’s question. But after reading Sargent’s piece, we don’t really understand why he objects to this:
KARL (4/30/13): Mr. President, you are a hundred days into your second term. On the gun bill, you put, it seems, everything into it to try to get it passed. Obviously, it didn’t. Congress has ignored your efforts to try to get them to undo these sequester cuts. There was even a bill that you threatened to veto that got 92 Democrats in the House voting yes. So my question to you is do you still have the juice to get the rest of your agenda through this Congress?We will improve that question below, but it’s a fairly obvious question. Will Obama be able “to get the rest of his agenda through this Congress?”
The answer is also obvious—No! We don’t understand why Sargent thinks Karl shouldn’t have asked.
Karl’s question could have been better stated. In our view, he should have dropped the snark about “the juice” and included a bit of context. That would have produced this question:
KARL REWRITTEN: Mr. President, you are a hundred days into your second term. On the gun bill, you put everything into it to try to get it passed. Obviously, it didn’t. Congress has ignored your efforts to try to get them to undo these sequester cuts. There was even a bill that you threatened to veto that got 92 Democrats in the House voting yes. So my question to you is this:That’s a “process question,” as Sargent notes. But it’s also one of the most obvious questions in the western world.
If it takes 60 votes to get a bill through the 100-member Senate; if the Republican leadership in the House won’t even bring major bills up for a vote; under those circumstances, will you be able to get the rest of your agenda through this Congress?
This morning, Dowd clowns about this topic again, hiss-spitting back at the man who dared to treat her like a joke. As a journalist, Dowd is a joke, of course. She has been for many years.
But Dowd remains sacrosanct, thus influential. It’s people like Karl who get dissed.
One who pushed back: On April 22, Kevin Drum criticized Dowd's silly column, saying he's “been gobsmacked for years that the New York Times continues to publish her tedious rambles.”
He also said that Dowd had been “widely pilloried” for the American President nonsense. We didn’t see it ourselves. If it happened, it was long overdue.