Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's A Trap

You think it's over just because I am dead. It's not over. The games have just begun.

- Jigsaw Saw IV
The Monster Mash
Published: March 9, 2008

In every high school flick ever filmed, from Sixteen Candles to Mean Girls, there is a scene in the cafeteria where the heroine is approached by the preternaturally cute big man on campus only to be humiliated in front of the entire school. Here is Maureen Dowd’s description of that script in her mind.
I was covered in barbecue sauce, somewhere over Texas, when Barack Obama loped down the aisle of the plane to chat with reporters.

I felt guilty, because I had been covering his speeches urging parents to make their kids give up chips and Popeyes. I hadn’t yet come to grips with the notion of giving up Popeyes when Obama — slender, chewing Nicorette and perfectly groomed in his crisp white shirt — came upon me. I was splattered with so much red sauce it could have been a scene from “Saw IV.” Not only on my face and hands but all over the candidate’s picture in the U.S. News & World Report I was reading.
But rather than teen comedies, this week’s Movies With Maureen® focuses on horror films. Much to Dowd’s horror, Hillary Clinton has, like an undead psycho in the last fifteen minutes of a slasher flick, sprung back to life to attack the innocent na├»ve teenagers once again. This is the part of the movie where the plucky hero has to draw on his hidden reserve of machismo and strike down the zombie killer. Never mind that mojo (as opposed to Cujo, the Big Dog) is an Austin Powers call out, Dowd is telling Barack, once again, to man-up.
After losing Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and his mojo, and getting whipsawed around by Hillary and his own chuckleheaded coterie of advisers, he will now have to come to grips with something he has always skittered away from: You can’t be elected president unless you prove you’re tough.
Hillary Clinton reminds Maureen Dowd (and the Wall Street Journal editorial page) of another woman leader that terrorized the country with a band of murderous thugs, Ma Barker. And Ma Barker/Clinton has some easy prey in her scope. It’s the Return of Obambi:
Ma Clinton knows where Obambi’s soft spots are; she knows he likes being petted on his pedestal, that he’s unnerved by her, and that he can never fully accept how shameless she is. What could be more shameless than suggesting to Democrats that John McCain would make a better commander in chief than Obama?
And it’s not just Dowd that views Hillary as a relentless immoral monster lurking in the shadows waiting to attack, the Obama campaign does as well. A gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Here is former Obama advisor Samantha Power:
Power, a foreign policy adviser to Obama, told The Scotsman [of the BBC] that Hillary was “a monster” and the BBC that Obama’s Iraq withdrawal plan was merely a “best-case scenario.” (She’s now resigned.)

Ma Clinton pounced, telling reporters in Mississippi, “He keeps telling people one thing, while his campaign tells people abroad something else.”
And like any truly scary monster, Hillary has the power to disguise herself, the better to sneak up on unsuspecting voters.
Hillary successfully recast herself in Ohio as a beer-drinking former waitress. Only after last week’s reversals did the Obama camp raise a louder ruckus about her tax returns. Obviously, Ms. Night Shift does not want to reveal the details of the fortune that Bill Clinton has made, sometimes through dubious associations.
Night Shift was Michael Keaton’s mortuary hooker comedy before he went on to be the not-quite-dead-yet Beetlejuice. Both movies seem to be apt metaphors for the still-on-life-support Clinton campaign. But the real nightmare would be Hillary suckering the Candidate of Hope (that's "hope" as in "the desire and search for a future good", not the Arkansas spawning ground of presidential candidates) into being a zombie-fied running mate:
If he thinks Hillary has cut him down to size lately, he’d better imagine what his life would be like as the Clintons’ vice president.
Maureen is like a horror movie fan yelling at the screen as the clueless hero does something stupid. The audience knows the monster isn’t dead yet and is still lying in wait. Dowd is telling Obama to beware of any power sharing overtures Hillary may offer. As the Saw IV tagline says: It’s A Trap.


Grace Nearing said...

That analysis is just bloody marvelous! How do you do it?

I hope you're keeping backup copies of all your posts and illustrations and publish them someday as The Complete Illustrated Guide to Maureen Dowd's Batshit Crazy World and Her Really (Really) Awful Editorial Writing.

Or maybe you'd prefer a shorter title....

Mo MoDo said...

Thanks for the praise. Perhaps just The World According to Dowd (With Filmography).

Suzanne said...

I'm not sure if you're a Mo-hater or Mo-lover, but your play by play analysis is creepily compelling.

Keep up the good work!