Wednesday, March 12, 2008

From Ho's To Hillary

Carry on my wayward son,
For there'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Now don't you cry no more

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely
means that I don't know

-"Carry On Wayward Son", Kansas

Ways of the Wayward
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: March 12, 2008

It takes a hooker sex scandal to drag Maureen Dowd’s attention away from the Clinton campaign. Sort of. She whines like I Hate Math Barbie:
The arithmetic of procuring a prostitute who is both experienced and inspirational is even more complicated than the arithmetic of procuring a president who is both experienced and inspirational.
And that doesn’t even count as a Dowdversion®, because the structure is completely parallel. This shell game is much punnier:
…do you really need to shell out $4,300, plus minibar expenses, to a shell company for an hour with a shady lady? Aren’t there cheaper hooker hook-ups on Craigslist? It makes you wonder how sharp Eliot Spitzer’s pencil was on the state’s fiscal disclipline.
As a bonus, we get the pretty lame shell-shady ho-ho double alliteration complete with internal rhyme and the just a little too subtle phallic pencil innuendo. But it goes juicier:
And how does it add up that Steamroller No. 1 suddenly morphs into Client No. 9, a nom d’amour with the ring of an overpriced Gucci cologne for men, giving untold thousands for untold years to a prostitution ring that has hourly rates based on rating its girls on a diamond scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being $3,100, and above 7 in a special club for $5,500 and up?
This is good because Steamroller No. 1 is a callback to this profane quote from Spitzer’s first days in office (as retold on Boston.com):
"I am a fucking steamroller and I'll roll over you or anybody else," the Democratic governor told Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco in a private conversation last week, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.
"Fucking" was the absolutely right adjective there. Freudian slip much Eliot? This story is so hot we get, not one, but three unnamed imaginary “friends” of Maureen to chime in. The first knows her way around an escort service. Ah, those were the days, weren’t they, Mo?
(A friend of mine who knows the ways of the wayward, explained that the flesh-peddlers no doubt had a shell game as well as a shell company: “They say, ‘You can have Jane. She’s $1,000 an hour. Or, you can have Tiffany for $5,000 an hour.’ The client doesn’t know that Jane and Tiffany are the same girl...)
The second is a straw(wo)man letting Dowd drag this out to the gutter and back onto the Clinton campaign.
“I would think the story about our esteemed governor is all the proof we need that we should have a woman as president,” a woman I know said in an e-mail message.
And finally, we get back on the Hillary Hating Highway after our detour to Spitzers truckstop trollop.
Another woman e-mailed the reverse to a friend: “I hope this makes people think back to Monica Lewinsky. Can sex scandals be well timed?”
Gee, what sex scandal does this remind Dowd of? Hmmm…
Hillary could not have been pleased to be in all the TV stand-by-your-man features, or to hear David Letterman’s Spitzer Top Ten list which included, “I thought Bill Clinton legalized this years ago.”
Since sex is covered, Maureen can fan the flames of racial disrespect while getting in a jab at spectacular Democratic crash and burns of the past:
Geraldine Ferraro, who helped Walter Mondale lose 49 states in 1984, was clearly stung at what she considered Obama’s easy rise to celebrity and electoral success. Last Friday, Ms. Ferraro, who is on Hillary’s national finance committee, told The Daily Breeze, a small newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

[Ferraro] told The Times on Tuesday night that she was “livid,” adding: “Anytime you say anything to anybody about the Obama campaign, it immediately becomes a racist attack.”
Sorry, I got to take the side of the Obamaniacs in this one. Gerry was one the bringing up race. And it was an attack. Guilty as charged.

And speaking of guilty as in “Off with their heads” we backtrack to this week’s Movies With Maureen®. The underbill is a Shakespearean classic about an ambitious wife that will do anything, including and especially, murder to get the crown and a story about an untouchable law man named Eliot (in Dowd’s version Ness gets taken down by the tax codes, not vice versa):
If blood will have blood, as Shakespeare said in “Macbeth,” power will have sex.

Some people took the saga of Eliot Ness in the boudoir, the old yarn of holier-than-thou caught in flagrante delicto, as a sign that a woman should be president.
But the feature attraction is a costume drama about a powerful woman that has trouble keeping the men in her life in line. Rather than go to any of the recent Cate Blanchett portrayals, Dowd reaches way back to the Errol Flynn classic The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. “Private lives”, “Essex”, get it?
But in the past, women got tangled up with sex and power. When Bette Davis played Elizabeth I, she was always sending her lovers off to the Tower of London when they made eyes at her pretty ladies-in-waiting. Catherine the Great was hardly known for her restraint. And there were Agrippa and Cleopatra, of course.
And to that pantheon, Dowd adds a future ruler tough enough to stand with the men:
Hillary would never have to pretend to be a man to get aides to respect her, proving that she has moved past gender in a way Ferraro never did.
Not only that, you have no fear of sex scandal on Hillary’s watch because:
In modern times, you rarely see any men having to ashenly stand by their women.
We know that Hillary has already stood by her man and now Tammy Wynette gets to be the opening act.

1 comment:

Grace Nearing said...

This story is so hot we get, not one, but three unnamed imaginary “friends” of Maureen to chime in.

Oh how I loathe the ubiquitous and ever-handy "friends" (and their always useful "stories" and "insights") who make guest appearances in op/ed pieces. I call those columns op|pulp|ed fiction.

Maybe we should write to the NYT ombudsmen/public editor and inquire as to whether MoDo has to supply substantiating evidence....