Monday, November 5, 2007

BlogWatch: All Gall

I predicted that Maureen Dowd’s Gallic Campaign would draw umbrage from liberal quarters and they did not disappoint. All the major lefty blogs had major reactions to Dowd’s interpretation of the week’s events.

Molly Ivors of Whiskey Fire (who has had words to say about Dowd before) trots out the familiar accusation of Dowd being a dupe of the right (I do like the rather Dowd-esque coinage of the epithet Idiot Princess™):

Ms. Dowd is clearly determined to spin out every wingnut fantasy about Hillary and to attack her on everything except actual issues. As it happens, I differ with Hillary on several issues, but this line of attack pisses me off. Hillary's vajayjay has nothing--nothing whatsoever--to do with her governing abilities. Only MoDo and her compatriots in The Village think it does.

And then there were these white wolves in the trees and Mo had a little cough. Below: How MoDo sees herself, facing down the dangerous seductions of Hillary. (I think Ariels's red is more natural-looking than Maureen's, however.)

Lots of people find both Ariel and MoDo sexy. I've just never pictured her without legs before though.

At Daily Kos, Nevada Dem found Dowd’s narrative “brutal” and had this reaction towards Hillary:
This column might be the most brutal interpetation of what Hillary actually is, it does make me wonder if she's even worth backing in a general election as a nominee. One major selling point about Hillary that could make one overlook her shortcomings was how her presidency could help women an deserve as a role model for girls. What she pulled after the debate is not role model material in fact it's embarassing to use the all these men ganging up on me defense.

Is this really the type of campaign that we want our democratic nominee to run and if this little episode is preducing a backlash in the democratic community it will be disasterous with the general electorate. With Hillary her gender is just another tool to doubletalk, spin and bullshit her way to the whitehouse.
Greg Sargent of Talking Points Memo’s Horse’s Mouth blog disputes that what everybody else saw even happened.
People have already started taking their whacks at Maureen Dowd's dismal column today decrying Hillary for playing the "gender card." But I wanted to add one other point: The entire column is based on something that just never happened.
Dowd's whole effort is based on the idea that Camp Hillary's strategy is, as Dowd describes it, a "don’t hit me, I’m a girl" strategy. From there Dowd concludes that Hillary says she should be able to do and say whatever she wants -- or "have it both ways" on a variety of fronts -- because she's a woman.

Camp Hillary did not say men were attacking her, or that her rivals shouldn't attack her, because (italics in original) she's a woman. She just never tried to use gender as a "shield" in any meaningful sense. If someone can prove otherwise, I'll gladly post it. Without this false point, Dowd's entire column collapses.
That line of reasoning seems disingenuous at best. The syllogism at work was:
1. Hillary is being unfairly ganged up on.
2. Hillary is the only woman in the race.
3. ????
While this is fallacious logic by Socratic standards, most people connected the dots that were being laid out. If Sargent wants to claim that the two statements have no connection, that is his own intentional naiveté.

Hillary never has to play the gender card herself. That's what she has minions for. It's called plausible deniability, a common presidential perk. She learned that a long time ago from someone close to her.

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