Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cat Fight Of The Century

Norm Gunderson: [rubbing Margie's pregnant stomach] Two more months.
Marge Gunderson: [smiling] Two more months.
-Fargo (last lines)
Clash of the Titans
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: September 6, 2008

Maureen Dowd misses Hillary Clinton. As much as she despised the pantsuited one, she wishes she was around to take Sarah Palin down a notch.
If Barack Obama had chosen Hillary Clinton as his running mate, we would now be looking forward to the greatest night in the history of American politics: the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate between Ma Barker and Sarah Barracuda.
In Dowd’s wrestling ring of Rude Names®, Ma Barker is the WSJ nickname that Dowd used back in March. Barracuda is the moniker Palin gained in her hoops days. Maureen sizes up the two hypothetical opponents.
The two women are both aggressive pols who take disagreement personally, accruing a body count of rivals, and who have been known to exaggerate their accomplishments. But in ideological terms, the gun-toting hockey mom and the shot-swilling Warrior Queen of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits are opposites.
To become governor, Palin defeated an incumbent Republican in the primary and then took on an ex-governor to take the governor’s mansion. Hillary’s enemies include, well, let’s not even get started. Ironically, it’s the now mythical Estonian vodka contest with McCain that gives Clinton her alcohol imbibing vibe. And we mix a Royalty Metaphor® with Hillary’s sartorial salute to her PUMAs.

Since Hillary is not on the ticket, Dowd has fantasized a scenario where McCain wins the 2008 election, Palin forces him to step aside and she takes on Hillary in the 2012 race. This is all to set up a trademarked DowdDebate™ where she gets to put all her catty cut-downs in the mouths of her characters. This faux-bate is full of all sorts of trivia and asides so hang on tight because we are going to go fast.
PALIN: Before we start, Hillary, I want to honor your achievement in 2008. You nicked the glass ceiling. But in the end, as my friend Cheryl Metiva from Wasilla Bible Church said, I was more of a woman and more of a man than you, so I was the one who actually busted up the old boys’ club. Sorry I called you a whiner about sexism. That was before I realized how handy the victim card can be against the press wolves. In Alaska, we just gun down wolves from the air.
Pretty head-spinning when the head of the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce is a national figure. Metiva did give Palin that gender-bending compliment, but Maureen adds the boys club crack. And Dowd connects the real practice of aerial wolf hunting with the metaphorical sexists in the press.

We get a brief reprise of the Subtle Sabotage Strategy®, but the caged bird metaphor is all Dowd:
CLINTON: I do give you and John credit, Sarah, for following my blueprint to reveal Obama as all cage, no bird. {snip}

PALIN: {snip} While you got to go to your snooty Wellesley, I had to switch colleges six times in six years. While you got to go to Yale Law, I had to enter beauty contests and turn my back to judges in a bathing suit to get scholarship money.
And this is a double cheap shot by Dowd, dredging up Palin’s presumably pallid academic career and her 1984 second runner-up placing in Miss Alaska. As if journalism majors and beauty queens can’t become president.

In another two-fer, Maureen points out that Palin supports creationism and sports pricy glasses worthy of being seen with McCain’s Ferragamos.
CLINTON: I’ve got a little news flash for you, Annie Oakley. Dinosaurs disappeared a lot longer than 4,000 years ago. I admit you’ve had a profound influence on America, and I’m not just talking about all the women wearing up-dos and rimless titanium $375 Kazuo Kawasaki designer frames.
And then Dowd’s Sock Puppet Hillary really lays into Palin. In this hypothetical future, McCain has edged us towards a dystopia of The Handmaid’s Tale proportions.
CLINTON: You said you wanted to help women, but you’ve only hurt them with your silly mantra that women can have it all if they just work harder and pray harder. You put Medicare on eBay. You cut funding for special-needs children. The Dobson Supreme Court has outlawed abortion, evolution and gun control. With sex education banned, baby bumps in high schools are rampant. And the head of your Abstinence Outreach Program, Levi Johnston, has failed to force any other teenage fathers to marry their prom dates.
Dowd is pointing out that this election will have a major impact on major wedge issues such as the Supreme Court and reproductive rights. And while doing so, she slips in a side reference to the discredited tale of selling the state jet on eBay and a snide reference to Palin’s future son-in-law. Not stopping at the social issues, Maureen also points out that oil interests will be well represented in a McCain/Palin administration. But she saves the last shot for Fake Future Hillary:
CLINTON: Adios, Sister Sarah. You’re tough, but I’ve been tougher longer. Slide out of town on that oil slick you made on the Mall. And take that Grizzly throw with you.
There really is a genuine bearskin in the Alaska Oval Office. By giving Clinton the last word, Dowd is declaring war. Maureen Dowd has a new target and she is going to spend the next two months shooting Barracuda in a barrel.

2 comments:

Grace Nearing said...

rimless titanium $375 Kazuo Kawasaki designer frames.

Great product placement! Are these designer frames generally available in the Juneau WalMart or did Smart Mom Sarah spot them on EBay while trying to ditch the executive jet?

And are we to infer from the specificity of this reference that Dowd actually did, um, some research?

Mo MoDo said...

She at least read the USA Today article that I linked to. As well as the Boston Globe article quoting Cheryl Metiva.

Trust me, no original reporting occurred. We'd hate to have any of that going on.