Maureen Dowd dreams of the Lincoln Bedroom!


It’s time to tell Ahab to stop: In yesterday morning’s New York Times, two of the newspaper’s columnists were killing time in the future.

Despite the fact that it’s 2013, Frank Bruni was pondering Jeb Bush’s degree of interest in the 2016 White House race. And needless to say, Maureen Dowd was beating the meat concerning Hillary Clinton and her vile husband and daughter.

Dowd’s column was so awful that it cries for a great deal of treatment. In our view, it’s inane to be writing about the 2016 campaign at this point. We will suggest that, when columnists do so, they show us they don’t care about anything happening now, in the year 2013.

That said, it’s increasingly obvious that Dowd, and the Times itself, are determined to restore their earlier themes about the vile, evil Clintons. In her tortured inanity, Dowd has already revived Gennifer Flowers, one of the most ridiculous figures of the past twenty years—and look how yesterday’s column started!

We’ll include the headline. Try not to step in the puns:
DOWD (8/18/13): Money, Money, Money, Money, MONEY!

Clinton nostalgia is being replaced by Clinton neuralgia.

Why is it that America’s roil family always seems better in abstract than in concrete? The closer it gets to running the world once more, the more you are reminded of all the things that bugged you the last time around.

The Clintons’ neediness, their sense of what they are owed in material terms for their public service, their assumption that they’re entitled to everyone’s money.

Are we about to put the “For Rent” sign back on the Lincoln Bedroom?
Good God! The Lincoln Bedroom!

Dowd’s column is headlined in monomaniacal fashion. Does she know that the money involved in the “Lincoln Bedroom” era has been rendered comically obsolete by the era which has come after it?

The big bucks of the Clinton era has been made into a joke. At the time, of course, newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times struggled to make a scandal out of the “Lincoln Bedroom,” in keeping with a monomaniacal era of pseudo-scandal aimed at both Clintons and at Gore—an era the “press corps” didn’t abandon until the Chosen Lad, Younge Bush, had screwed things up in Iraq.

In the case of the “Lincoln Bedroom” pseudo-scandal, the most appalling part of their effort was the way they swelled the number of overnight guests the Clintons had entertained at the White House, not all of whom had actually used the Lincoln Bedroom. To get the total number of guests to an appropriately shocking number, they added in 72 overnight visits by teen-aged friends of Chelsea Clinton’s.

(For background on the Lincoln Bedroom, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/16/05.)

Scandal! Children invited to slumber parties were added to the list of those who had slept in the Lincoln Bedroom! In this way, the guild showed the world that it will truly do and say anything to peddle the themes it enjoys.

And then, omigod! How perfect!

In May 2005, USA Today’s Judy Keen reported an intriguing fact: “About a third of the 152 adult guests who slept at the White House or Camp David last year were fundraisers or donors to President Bush's campaigns.”

The numbers involved in Keen’s reporting were similar to those involved in Clinton’s Lincoln Bedroom “scandal.” Keen quoted a Washington watchdog, who thought this too was appalling:
KEEN (5/15/05): Larry Noble of the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan watchdog group, said that while the practice of inviting donors to spend the night at the White House and the presidential retreat isn't new, it doesn't look any better than when it sparked a scandal during the Clinton administration.
For our money, we weren’t shocked when Clinton had his overnight guests, nor did we care all that much about Bush. But of one thing we can be certain:

From that day to this, you haven't heard a single word about Bush’s Lincoln Bedroom guests. And now, the biggest crackpot since Ahab himself is back on the Lincoln Bedroom.

Of course, when Dowd dreams her dreams about the Lincoln, she pictures herself in the big comfy bed. Dear Jack slips in after bombing Beirut to ravish her in unspeakable ways. Well—to borrow from Bobby Collins, that’s what she says on the inside! On the outside, Dowd starts more of her lunatic loathing of Clinton and Clinton and Clinton, an obsession she’ll with which she’ll carpet-bomb the homeland for the next several years.

Last Friday, Dowd’s stable-mate, Paul Krugman, couldn’t even bring himself to name the press corps as he discussed the guild’s refusal to perform its most basic duties. Now, Dowd has made it clear that she plans to revive poisonous themes and hammer them at the public.

In comments, many Dowd readers are already showing that they don’t understand the sheer absurdity of columns like the one she penned yesterday. (Why should they, when professional journalists simply refuse to help them understand?) In part for that reason, we’ll spend some time each day this week reviewing yesterday’s poisonous column, which flowed from the broken soul and tortured brain of America’s craziest “journalist.”

Yesterday, the public editor took out a couple of arrows about Clinton too—and Krugman can’t even bring himself to name the name of the guild. It will be up to us the people to fight back against this curse.

All week long, we’ll be making suggestions about how to do that. Paul Krugman has no plan to help. Neither does anyone else.

Krugman made that clear last week. Dowd is making something else clear:

Faced with the specter of Dowd and her hatred; faced with her newspaper's tired old themes; we the people will have to fight back hard. And we’ll have to fight back by ourselves.

Tomorrow: Dowd pimps a large nothingburger


  1. Slow day, Bob? First you jump all over something O'Donnell said a week ago, now you bring out your good ol' reliable punching bag, Maureen Dowd.

    But I do see that now Krugman is on your list. After all, he does write an op-ed for the New York Times.

    More sweet hay for your lowing cattle.

    1. OMG!! You convinced me! What an idiot I have been reading and enjoying this, when it was really all just shit. Wow, thanks, now I really understand that the obvious decline in investigation, independence, articulation, and vocabulary that I have seen in my fifty years of reading newspapers is really just an illusion put in my head by the stupid rants of a crank.

    2. So you come here to get the conclusions you've already reached validated by Somerby? Is that why you find so much enjoyment here?

      How sad. And how tribal.

    3. I like Shakespeare's plays. Sometimes I read them again, and find something new in the details.

    4. Is it possible to disapprove of there being a NYT level columnist with Dowd's style of archness in lieu of analysis, without perpetrating some bitter-sexually-frustrated-old-maid stereotype?

    5. CeceliaMc, that was an imitation of the kind of ugly mind-reading pseudo-psychoanalytic attributions that Dowd habitually puts in her own columns about the people she dislikes. I didn't take it as a knock on anyone but her.

    6. I don't like it as a knock on her.

    7. Are Men Necessary?
      You are probably right CeceliaMc to avoid the negative profiling, but that title makes it seem that the stereotype is not only true about Dowd but she also seems to be waving the misanthropy flag quite proudly.
      I hate titles like that. Same with Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Spiritual pollution.

    8. Dowd is herself ALL ABOUT the sexy-time "archness," Cecelia. It's her specialty.

      Disallowing reference or recourse to it in mocking her would be ridiculous.

      As the phrase goes, Dowd's own prose methods "invite such a response." Invite, or make mandatory.

  2. If you write about the future, that means you don't care about anything now.

    What a maroon.

    1. There is no future. There is no now, either.

      There is only Al Gore and Campaign 2000.

  3. Media Matters efficiently took down this MoDo mess:

  4. *if* i thought that dowd was trying to sabotage clinton in order to get a non or lesser corporatist in there in 2016 like omalley or biden, and if i thought that they had a good chance of winning the general election, then i wouldnt feel so queasy about attacks like this on clinton.

    1. Regardless of who will or won't be viable in 2016, it is not appropriate political commentary or substantive journalism to write the crap she writes. You should care about it for that reason.

    2. OK, fine. Then stick to the "crap she writes." Don't be writing garbage like this:

      "In our view, it’s inane to be writing about the 2016 campaign at this point. We will suggest that, when columnists do so, they show us they don’t care about anything happening now, in the year 2013."

    3. Biden, The Lesser Corporatist. Only in the deranged mind of lowercaseguy!

      Biden is "lesser" to no one in the department of fealty to corporate wealth and power.

  5. Dowd's impact on Hillary will be about the same as it was on Bill, who was elected twice, finished slightly higher average approval ratings at Saint Ronnie, and was generally thought to have had a very successful presidency.

    As for Gore, many, many factors contributed to his "defeat," and they've been enumerated by me and some other commenters here, usually falling on deaf ears.

    1. Not ignored, no, your enumerations have been noted and debunked.

      Also, Logic 1001:

      That a candidate wins or has high approval does not prove that pundits opposing them had no effect.

  6. The media conventional wisdom of the day is that HRC has kicked off her campaign via a speech and future scheduled appearances, and close friends and staffers organizing for fund raising.

    On Morning Joe there was much sad reflection over this being a bad move for both she and the president.

    1. What would you expect on Morning Joe?

    2. That HRC has started the campaign is pretty much the media meme now.

  7. The TDH criticism of Krugman is based on the apparent belief that he is free to write about any topic any way he likes and the NYT will continue to publish him twice every week on the op-ed page.

    I don't believe that's the way it works.

    1. Actually, no.

      The criticism of Krugman wasn't the choice of topic. Krugman did choose the topic.

      The criticism was that having chosen the topic, Krugman then effectively obfuscated it by avoiding naming the press itself as a chief obstacle to understanding.

      It's a valid criticism.

    2. It's valid as long as you make it clear that you believe Krugman should quit his job to crusade against the media.

      It's valid as long as you don't believe Krugman should balance his ability to communicate with millions on the topic of economics with value of pointing an accusatory finger at his employers.

      Yeah, sure it's valid.

    3. Well, actually, it is the way it works, at least for Krugman. Good grief, the man is a Nobel laureate and a full, tenured professor at Princeton. I doubt he needs the part-time gig at the NYT.

      Could it be possible that Krugman actually is writing what he wants to write without some hand at the NYT censoring him? And, that sooner or later, Somerby would find something in what Krugman writes that he doesn't approve of, since, after all, he is an op-edder at the NYT, and we all have been taught by no less an authority than Somerby himself that nothing good can ever be found on the op-ed page of the NYT.

      And eventually, you knew that would include Krugman, sooner or later.

    4. Now you're onto something, trollmes.

      Actually, Krugman did write about the sea of disinformation produced by the "media" concerning his field of expertise -- economics.

      What was his mortal sin according to Somerby? He didn't "name names."

      Well, let's look at the names Somerby names most often -- Maureen Dowd, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Rachel Maddow.

      Oh, good grief!

  8. PK doesn't need the NYT cash, he needs the platform.

  9. I can't be too hard on Krgthulu; he's got a full plate with the economic beat to be the paper's ombudsman, too.

    But for the love of all that's holy (and many things that are unholy), PLEASE refrain from designating Maureen Dowd as America's craziest "journalist." Besides the hurt fee-fees that will engender in certain quarters, there are others who will take that as a personal challenge, and truly we're full up with crazy as it is.