Soft Shoe in Hard Times
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: March 16, 2008
Maureen Dowd, after four months of nearly exclusive focus on the Clinton campaign, raises her head like a groundhog that has overslept and notices that the economy has gone into the dumper. Not that she claims you would know by listening to George W. Bush:
The dollar’s crumpling, the recession’s thundering, the Dow’s bungee-jumping and the world’s disapproving, yet George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly, tap dancing and singing in a one-man review called “The Most Happy Fella.”Gene Kelly is the low-hanging fruit in this pop culture parade (the widow Kelly has already protested any insinuation that W could possibly hold a candle to Gene’s footwork), but The Most Happy Fella is the more intriguing call-out. This is an obscure Frank Loesser musical comedy most notable for its operatic musical structure.
The plot about a shlubby guy hitting on a waitress has little to do with the Bush administration, but back in January, Patt Morrison at the Huffington Post called Dick Cheney the “Most Happy Fella”. Who knew so many pundits writing about the Dubya crew were showtune fans?
Whether or not Dowd was inspired by Morrison or not is not for me to figure out, but another passage sounded very familiar. It seems that Maureen reads a lot of Dowd. Take this comment in the Sunday column:
Boy George crashed the family station wagon into the globe and now the global economy.Boy George was a Rude Name® in Dowd's mind since before 9/11. But W has wrecked the family station wagon before. That car crash metaphor sounds just like the one she used in her December 5, 2007 column (DowdReported here):
When W.’s history is written, he will be seen as the rebellious teenager crashing the family station wagon into his father’s three most cherished spots — diplomacy, intelligence and the Gulf.And before that on July 11, 2007 in a column called “History As An Alibi”:
Watching the warring tribes in Iraq grow more violent has caused the beginning of a reconciliation among the warring tribes in Washington, as they realize they have to get the car keys away from the careening president who has crashed into the globe.That’s a whole lot of crashing going on. Mostly of metaphors into each other.