Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rove's Richie Rich Rant

More Phony Myths
Published: June 25, 2008

The crush that almost died as a result of Barack’s bitter comment (way back in April) is back. Nothing raises the hackles of a woman in love more than seeing her beau picked on.

The bully in this case is Karl Rove using last elections playbook and trying to paint Obama as a Kerry-esque elitist. Dowd had her own daydreams about Obama and sees as more of a college professory wonk. Let’s compare the two competing images of Obama.

Rove's RantDowd's Dream
“Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”He might be smoking, but it would be at a cafe, hunched over a New York Times, an Atlantic magazine, his MacBook and some organic fruit-flavored tea, listening to Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” on his iPod.
Dowd uses the opening to open both barrels on Karl’s former boss (or his lackey depending on how you see that power relationship going):
He’s not Richie Rich, saved time and again by Daddy’s influence and Daddy’s friends, the one who got waved into Yale and Harvard and cushy business deals, who drank too much and snickered at the intellectuals and gave them snide nicknames.
Maureen is indulging in just a little pot calling a kettle a namecaller with the slam on snide nicknames but you get the point, which is the hypocrisy of people with patrician lines like the Scion of Prescott pretending to be common folk.
Haven’t we had enough of this hypocritical comedy of people in the elite disowning their social status for political purposes? The Bushes had to move all the way to Texas from Greenwich to make their blue blood appear more red.
Just having Rove call Obama an elitist has her seeing red, but Dowd sees nothing wrong with a little elitism:
Everyone who ever became president was in the elite one way or another, including Andrew Jackson.
And after holding back the vocabulary for a few weeks, we have three contenders for Crossword Puzzle Clue Of The Week®. The first entry is a word meaning "to outline" that is not often seen outside deconstructionist literature classes:
But even as the Republicans limn him as John Kerry, as someone who is too haughty and too “foreign,” Obama is determined not to repeat what Kerry thinks was a big mistake: not having enough money to compete against the Republicans in 2004.
Our second entry is not quite as obscure, but its interchangeable meaning, coupled with a cringe-inducing brand-name Dowdversion that brings up rather frightening mental images. The less we connect Obama with loincloths, the better.
For some of Obama’s critics, it’s a breathtaking bit of fungible principles, as though Gandhi suddenly donned a Dolce & Gabbana, or Dolce & Mahatma, loincloth.
Finally, we have a word that implies that it the Republicans that are living the pampered life:
Conservatives love playing this little game, acting as if the “elite” Democratic candidates are not in touch with people like themselves, even though the guys doing the attacking — like Rove, Limbaugh, O’Reilly and Hannity — are wealthy and cosseted.
There is one noticeable Andre The Giant-sized rhetorical thud in the column:
The cheap populism is really rich coming from Karl Rove. When was the last time he kicked back with a corncob pipe to watch professional wrestling?
Given that Barry has admitted to drug use in the past, it’s probably best we stay away from references to pipes of any variety.

But Maureen has worked herself up into a fury and lets the rhetorical questions fly:
Rove’s mythmaking about Obama won’t fly. If he means that Obama has brains, what’s wrong with that? If he means that Obama is successful, what’s wrong with that? If he means that Obama has education and intellectual sophistication, what’s wrong with that?
And if a NYT columnist wears her heart on her sleeve for the guy she wants to win the election, what’s wrong with that?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Ms. Dowd's use of the rarely-employed word "limn" can be traced to the influence of one of her personal buddies at The Times (I'm sure that you've researched "The Redhead and the Gray Lady" 2005 New York Magazine feature by Ariel Levy), book critic Michiko Kakutani:

As for "fungible," it seems to be a favorite of another Dowd cohort, television critic Alessandra Stanley:

Don't know if Jill Abramson might bear any responsibility for "cossetted."

I confess to having read your blog for some time now, although this is my first comment. I just have to ask if you've ever been sounded out by anybody in the MSM regarding the fifth enumerated purpose in your blog's mission statement, i.e., "Get featured in a mainstream media report about obsequious fansites that border on or even cross the line dividing genuine fandom and creepy stalkerhood." Your candor is remarkable, and I was wondering if such forthrightness of purpose is ever rewarded. As long as I'm at it, since you are probably infringing on an NYT copyright anyway, why not update your site and personal comment avatar to use her latest official Times website photo, the one in the white blouse?

Mo MoDo said...

Michiko Kakutani owns "limn".

So far as I know my blog has stayed very much beyond mainstream media attention as far as I know.

Anonymous said...

"AFAIK" is the common Internet abbreviation for expressing such uncertainty. Heck, why not just send Maureen a link to it by e-mail from The Times website, sign up for Google Analytics (if you haven't already), and then see if you get any visitors from the domain? You devote such prodigious energy to your subject, that I'm sure she'd be... well, "impressed" in one way or another. I'd almost send her the link myself, but it's not my blog.

While you're on the page of the NYT website from which to send her that e-mail, right-click your mouse and select "save image as" over the current photo, though. I consider it superior to the old one you're using in a number of aspects that I won't enumerate.