Good Gowd Miss Dowd!
Reading a column by Maureen Dowd provides us with a special opportunity to exercise our ability to show pity.
In her latest exercise in self-important flapdoodle, Dowd seems to be writing as though accompanied by an imaginary rim-shot and laugh track. (She would certainly require a laugh track, because her wit remains sharp-as-a-bowling-ball.)
I mean, take this opening comment (please!).
Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard, has been pilloried for suggesting that women may be biologically unsuited to succeed at mathematics.
He may have a point.
Just look at Condoleezza Rice.
(Rimshot! Cue laugh track!)
Dowd's column is filled with loopy little math lessons, like:
"If you multiply 1,370 dead soldiers times zero weapons of mass destruction, that equals zero achievement for Ms. Rice, who helped the president and vice president bamboozle the country into war."
(Rimshot! Laugh track!)
"Donald Rumsfeld, didn't realize that using an autopen signature on more than 1,000 letters to the relatives of fallen troops added up to zero solace."
(Rimshot! Laugh track!)
See what I mean? I have no doubt that Dowd hears laughter. She just doesn't realize that it's directed at her.
Dowd's catty insults at Dr. Rice also make me wonder if she's calling out Condi for an after-school rumble on the playground.
"Was Condi out doing figure eights at the ice skating rink when she should have been home learning her figures?"
(If this does devolve into a cat fight, my money's on Condi.)
And Dowd wouldn't be Dowd if she didn't try to get in at least one shocking sexual reference.
Her geometry is skewed if she thinks she'll now be more powerful than Rummy and Dick Cheney. Doesn't she know that the Pentagon has more sides than her Crawford triangle with George and Laura?
If I get Ms. Dowd's drift (and I think I do) the "Crawford triangle" comment is beyond the pale. Ms. Dowd, you may be a highly-paid columnist, but with crude comments like that, you come off sounding like a silly child revelling in the chance to say naughty words.
The column is typical Dowd -- that is to say, she is once again convinced of her own cleverness. She may be the only one. Here's an equation for you Ms. Dowd: one plus zero still equals one columnist whose presence on the New York Times staff continues to confound reason.
But we need her if only because it teaches us forebearance. If Maureen Dowd did not exist, the New York Times would have to invent her.
More: The Anchoress has a poem for Ms. Dowd.