Gift of Gall
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: November 4, 2007
1. impudence; effrontery.
2. bile, esp. that of an animal.
3. something bitter or severe.
4. bitterness of spirit; rancor.
Synonyms 1. nerve, audacity, brass, cheek.
Speaking of nerve, Maureen has been watching too much of The View and has picking up the patois of that estrogen fest. Take for example:
Girlfriend had a rough week.And
I must rush to a sister’s defense.Which of course she doesn’t. If the feminists were outraged over Dowd’s previous treatment of Hillary Clinton, she pours gasoline on the fire this week. She begins with a baseball metaphor more tortured than a Gitmo ghost detainee.
First Hillary got brushed back by the boys in the debate. Then some women bemoaned Hillaryland’s “Don’t hit me, I’m a girl” strategy.
Then we go to the Dylan allusion:
But she can break, just like a little girl, when male chauvinists are rude enough to catch her red-handed being slippery and opportunistic.
Nobody feels any painMuch better is her reversal of the famous Harry Truman saying “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”
Tonight as I stand inside the rain
That Baby's got new clothes
But lately I see her ribbons and her bows
Have fallen from her curls.
She takes just like a woman, yes, she does
She makes love just like a woman, yes, she does
And she aches just like a woman
But she breaks just like a little girl.
-Bob Dylan, "Just Like A Woman"
Sometimes when Hillary takes heat, she gets paranoid and controlling. But this time she took the heat by getting into the kitchen.Dowd then goes to examples of Hillary and her campaign milking the victimhood while trying to toughen up her image.
Meanwhile, she let her aides below the fray stir up fem-outrage by putting a video on the campaign Web site called “The Politics of Pile On,” edited to highlight men ganging up on her to the tune of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro.”No, Mo, your penchant for alliteration is genius! And "Politics of Pile-On" (video here) is coming awfully close to working your side of the street with the alliterative title, mid-brow opera soundtrack, and mild sports metaphor. Just remember that sincerity is the most flattering imitation.
And remember the time Hillville used a Washington Post story about a sighting of the senator’s cleavage in the Senate to spearhead a fund-raising drive with women? Dollars for décolletage. Genius!
It was Pulitzer Prize rival Robin Givhan that made the mountains out of those particular molehills. Keeping with the fashion beat approach, Dowd takes another incident of the week and inverts that metaphor as well.
That may be why she recently blew off a Vogue photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz at the last minute, according to Liz Smith: to show solidarity with supporters who can’t afford Vogue frocks.And Dowd projects just a little when calling for the clucking commentariat to back-off on the “disgrace to feminism” tirades.
She was always kind enough to let Bill hide behind her skirts when he got in trouble with women. Now she deserves to hide behind her own pantsuits when men cause her trouble.
When pundettes tut-tut that playing the victim is not what a feminist should do, they forget that Hillary is not a feminist. If she were merely some clichéd version of a women’s rights advocate, she never could have so effortlessly blown off Marian Wright Edelman and Lani Guinier when Bill first got in, or played the Fury with Bill’s cupcakes during the campaign.Marian Wright Edelman was a close friend and mentor of Hillary until they became estranged over various slights during Bill’s half of the Clinton Interregnum. Similarly, Lani Guinier was a close ally dropped like a hotcake when her views were too liberal for confirmation.
The Cupcake Fury takes us back to the kitchen, but whether Dowd is talking about Gennifer Flowers or Hillary's recent Letterman Cupcake Promise is lost within the recursive mind of Maureen. But she can’t get any clearer on her much repeated assertion that Hillary has one goal: Get elected.
There is nowhere she won’t go, so long as it gets her where she wants to be.And you don’t need a fashion editor to know that kind of beauty is more than skin deep. It goes all the way to the gall and bile.
That’s the beauty of Hillary.
Update (11/6/07): Thanks to Jessica McBride for highlighting a particularly relevant John Irving reference:
Mark Penn presided over a conference call on Wednesday to rally supporters to the idea of a fem-backlash, during which one devoted Ellen Jamesian suggested that Tim Russert “should be shot.” The woman quickly repented, not the sentiment, but the fact that she shouldn’t have said it on a conference call. (NBC security remained on high alert.)In The World According To Garp, the Ellen James Society was a group of radical feminists that cut off their tongues in symbolic sympathy with an eleven-year-old rape victim named Ellen James. As always, Dowd is able to reach into the recesses of 1970s pop literature and pull out the absolutely perfect metaphor.