You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline.Sound, but No Fury-A Few Good Men, screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: September 27, 2008
Making up for a few columns with poor or non-existent Movies With Maureen® segments, Maureen Dowd makes up for it with an extended take on the Aaron Sorkin military courtroom drama. (I wonder what reminded her of that flick. Hmmm….)
The first debate seemed like the perfect moment for Barack Obama to re-enact the Code Red courtroom scene from “A Few Good Men,” to slide under John McCain’s skin and irritate until he goaded McCain into doing exactly what he really wanted to do: tell off the whippersnapper who’d never bled for his country.Tom Cruise’s trick in that movie was to make Colonel Nathan Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson, lose his cool and blow up. But the usually hot-headed McCain refused to play his role.
It would have been easy for smarty-pants Obama to get in the face of the temperamental older guy, just as Tom Cruise did with Jack Nicholson, to push him into erupting into some version of that climactic speech, like, “Deep down, in places you don’t talk about at your fancy faculty club, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.”Dowd says that McCain kept his cool despite the incoherent ramblings of his running mate. Sarah Palin has been kept under such tight wraps that Dowd compares her to another famous recluse.
Once Garbo began to speak, and people realized that Palin had a few key lacunae in her understanding of the globe and even of her running mate’s record, the myth of the Alaska superwoman continued to unravel.And Maureen is repeating her Crossword Clues Of The Week®. “Lacunae” was used back in July when it was Obama that wanted to cover up any gaps in his judgment. The runner-up Crossword Clue for this week is “bête noire” (meaning nemesis from the French for “black beast”), which shows up in this slam at Dubya:
The president, who is so insecure that he could only choose a vice president he knew would never hold his title, and so insecure that he needs proof of presidency emblazoned everywhere, even riding a Trek bike with the presidential seal affixed, was suddenly faced with his bête noire: sitting at a table in the White House with the two men who want his job, either of whom would do a better job, given that nearly everyone in the country thinks things are going horribly.Mountain Bike One was described in a Washington Post article thusly:
The Trek has "United States of America" painted in white letters across the blue top tube, and a 2-inch presidential seal affixed to both sides of the head tube.Maureen sees Bush’s preoccupation with biking as a metaphor for his inattention to the business of state, by citing four examples where Dubya had been warned, but did nothing.
The Republicans had a lot to answer for. The Bush administration had been warned about Osama bin Laden attacking and did nothing. It had been warned that there would be a civil war and insurgency if it attacked Iraq. It had been warned that Katrina was coming. It had been warned that the country’s financial casinos were courting disaster.She also mentioned him biking off a cliff in her previous column as well which mentioned the End of Days, tying into the "eve of destruction" apocalyptic image as well (not to mention a nasty Barry McGuire tune cootie). That earlier column also took some swipes at Nobel Prize winning bomber Henry Kissinger. McCain’s mention of Dr. K in the debate allows Dowd to take one more shot.
W. biked through all those eves of destruction.
And who cares what Henry Kissinger thinks? He was wrong 35 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse since then.Maureen calls the debate a draw on points since Obama failed to bait the bear sufficiently.
Obama did a poor job of getting under McCain’s skin. Or maybe McCain did an exceptional job of not letting Obama get under his skin. McCain nattered about earmarks and Obama ran out of gas.But while McCain-Obama should have been the main event, she holds out for a better fight in the undercard match.
We’re left waiting for a knockout debate. On to Palin-Biden.We need a catchy name for this matchup. Perhaps The Beauty Queen versus the Plagiarizing Pugilist. We’ll be watching.