MONDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2021
The nonsense our tribe took in stride: In this morning's report, we focused on a particular statement in yesterday's column by Maureen Dowd.
In her overall column, Dowd hammered Kyrsten Sinema hard. Given various aspects of Sinema's behavior, this isn't hard to do.
In the passage shown below, Dowd examines Sinema's various "fashion statements." As the passage ends, Dowd rolls her eyes at the way a certain "strait-laced town" once criticized Barack Obama for wearing a tan suit:
DOWD (10/3/21): Sinema rarely gives interviews and shuns the scrum of reporters at the Capitol. But she is not shy about drawing the spotlight, whether she is swathed in fur stoles, bedecked in pink, purple and mint-colored wigs, bedazzled in glittering stilettos. It is hard to believe that the Senate had a nutty sexist ban on sleeveless outfits on the floor. But the mandarins quit worrying about it for members once their colleague blithely turned the hallowed marble halls into an iconoclastic catwalk.
Sinema’s more conservative—and monochromatic—colleagues were agog at her stylings when she first ascended to the Senate—a moment when she was celebrated as the first openly bisexual senator. And they were appalled this past year when her fashion statements included presiding over the Senate in a pink sweater reading “Dangerous Creature” and when she put a picture on Instagram, following her defiant thumbs down on a $15 minimum wage, sporting a hot pink newsboy cap, matching oversized glasses and a ring that expressed the sentiment “Kiss off,” but in a more vulgar way. (Remember that this is a town so strait-laced, it was a sartorial scandal when President Barack Obama donned a tan suit.)
For the record, the ring to which Dowd refers actually bore the words, "F*CK OFF." And yes, Sinema posted a photo of herself wearing that ring, along with the rest of the outfit Dowd describes.
You can see the photo of that particular fashion statement just by clicking here. And yes, the person you see in that photo is one of our tribe's fifty senators!
In the passage we've posted above, Dowd plays it all ways to Christmas. She has the fun of describing Sinema's unusual outfits, even while mocking a certain town for allegedly having cared about Obama's tan suit.
The flap about Obama's suit lasted roughly a minute. But when Candidate Gore wore a suit which was maybe brown or olive but was plainly "earth tones," Dowd helped turn it into an iconic fashion scandal—a fashion scandal she continued to pimp for at least a dozen years.
When we read that snark about the "strait-laced town," we decided to revisit Dowd's reaction to that other pol's "earth tones." We offer a few results here:
The monster dumbness about the earth tones started in October 1999. Dowd enjoyed the theme in real time, though she focused much more heavily on Gore's highly comical bald spot.
Five years later, Dowd was still pimping the dimwitted "earth tones" theme. During the 2004 primary race, she folded it into her attack on the clothing being worn by Candidate Wesley Clark.
"Al Gore sprouted earth tones in 2000, hoping heathery brown sweaters and khakis would warm him up," Dowd told the world, more than four years later, in a January 2004 column. Here's a taste of the thunder she brought that day to Clark's troubling outfits:
DOWD (1/11/04): After General Clark's ill-fitting suits in his first few debates—his collars seemed to be standing away from his body in a different part of the room—a sudden infusion of dandified sweaters and duck boots just intensifies the impression that he's having a hard time adjusting to civilian life.
It's also a little alarming that he thinks the way to ensorcell women is to swaddle himself in woolly geometric shapes that conjure up images of Bing Crosby on the links or Fred MacMurray at the kitchen table.
Starting with Brian Williams (again and again) in the fall of 1999, these idiots always said that the Democratic candidates' troubling clothes represented an attempt to "ensorcell" female voters. In Dowd's hands, they tended to prove that Democratic men were really just "dandified" girls.
Don't worry—Dowd's column went on and on from there, getting dumber as it went. It included a glancing reference to the tones, more than four years after the fact.
Two years later, she went there again. This time, she was hunting Hillary Clinton, who she called "Ozone Woman:"
DOWD (5/24/06): At the National Press Club here yesterday, the New York senator finally took a passionate stand. After giving a courteous nod to her old rival Al as "a committed visionary on global warming," she purloined his issue and his revolution, going his Earth Tones in the Balance one better by wearing a blinding yellow pantsuit that looked as if it could provide solar power to all of Tennessee.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That was May 2006. Dowd had now extended this inanity into a seventh year, part of her skillful effort to avoid discussing climate change.
Before you knew it, it was 2010! On September 1 of that year, Dowd started a column as shown below, taking aim at the troubling way President Obama had redecorated the Oval Office:
DOWD (9/1/10): If we had wanted earth tones in the Oval Office, we would have elected Al Gore.
(Oh, yeah, we did.)
On the night we were reminded that George W. Bush ended up in the White House and heedlessly, needlessly started the war with Iraq, President Obama did his Mission Relinquished address from his redecorated man cave.
The Oval Office was done over by the chichi decorator Michael Smith, who was previously paid $800,000 for his part in refurnishing the lair of the former Merrill Lynch C.E.O. John Thain (a $1.2 million project featuring the notorious $35,000 antique cabinet, or commode).
The Oval Office, the classiest, most powerful place on earth, is now suffused with browns and beiges and leather and resembles an upscale hotel conference room or a ’70s conversation pit with a boxy coffee table that even some Obama aides find ugly.
Ha ha ha ha ha! Thus began Dowd's attack on the browns and beiges in Obama's Oval. Inevitably, the browns and beiges had brought Gore's earth tones to mind.
We haven't made an exhaustive effort to find Dowd's earth tones references. These are just three samples of the brain-damaged theme which couldn't and wouldn't die.
We were almost shocked, reading back through this dreck, by how deeply stupid it was. Amazingly, it was substantially dumber than even we would have remembered!
That said, our mainstream press corps kept behaving this way until the conduct of President Trump brought them in the general direction of their limited senses. Meanwhile, our deeply self-impressed liberal world put up with this stupid shit every single step of the way, from January 1992 on.
The dumbness of this journalistic behavior almost defies belief. But so does the overall dumbness of our own self-impressed blue tribe
Yesterday, this same Pulitzer-winning columnist rolled her eyes at the way a certain "strait-laced town" once complained, for roughly a minute, about Obama's tan suit. She complained about his tan rugs, but also about the other guy's tones, a theme she peddled for years.
Regarding Dowd, our deeply self-impressed liberal tribe tolerated this Monster Truck Dumbness every step of the way. Go ahead! Just name the multimillionaire "cable news" star who ever had a word to say about any of this inexcusably stupid conduct.
Did our darling Rachel ever say boo? Dear God, you must be kidding!
Dearest darlings, use your heads! It simply isn't done! Millions of dollars and oodles of fame were hanging in the balance! In the end, of course, our tribe's wider tolerance for this constant bullshit helped send Trump to the White House.
Our tribe is convinced that we're the smart ones. Human delusion is very much like that, or so all the experts have said.