Bring on the Puppy and the Rookie
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: November 5, 2008
Maureen Dowd took an extra day to file her column so that she could soak in the atmosphere of the cleaner brighter air of a new era.
I walked over to the White House Tuesday night and leaned against the fence. How can such a lovely house make so many of its inhabitants nuts?She is referring to President Nixon’s habit of talking to the portraits in the White House. This habit of his has been documented in biographies, filmed in Oliver Stone’s Nixon and satirized on Saturday Night Live. Maureen’s twist is that, like the ghosts in the Harry Potter novels, they might not want to talk back.
There was no U-Haul in the driveway. I don’t know if W. was inside talking to the portraits on the wall. Or if the portraits can vanish from their frames, as at Hogwarts Academy, to escape if W. is pestering them about his legacy.
As she thinks back on the incredible campaign that has put an African-American in the White House, she recalls the casual racism that still exists in this country.
But I had been astonished by the overt willingness of some people who didn’t mind being quoted by name in The New York Times saying vile stuff, that a President Obama would turn the Rose Garden into a watermelon patch, that he’d have barbeques on the front lawn, that he’d make the White House the Black House.Maureen has the class to not quote that person by name, but she doesn’t really have to. Internet forums and blog comment sections are rife with that rather tired racist watermelon joke. For example, it shows up as a post by a CAP-LOCKS challenged self-styled comedian in a FoxNews forum. This one thread with over 7000 comments serves as clearinghouse for all the nutty bitter post election invective that might make RedState members blanch.
In Washington, DC, the front of the White House was the center of celebration for revelers wanting to blow off some steam.
Americans all over the place were jumping for joy, including the block I had been on in front of the White House, where they were singing: “Na, na, na, na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye.”Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post was also among that crowd and had this dispatch:
It was an explosion of joy. Strangers hugged. People danced in clusters. The air became saturated with the sound of honking car horns from all points of the compass. Police stayed back, barely perceptible on the periphery. The White House itself was darkened, with hardly a sign of life. But people called toward the president's house anyway, and chanted. One group started a song:But Maureen found more than exuberance, she found Hope.
Na na na na
Na na na na
Hey hey hey
In front of the White House, the celebrants came up with a new chant to direct toward the mansion: "Pack! Your! S--t!"
There have been many awful mistakes made in this country. But now we have another chance.She better be careful. There may be line headed up by T. M. Shine.
As we start fresh with a constitutional law professor and senator from the Land of Lincoln, the Lincoln Memorial might be getting its gleam back.
I may have to celebrate by going over there and climbing up into Abe’s lap.
It’s a $50 fine. But it’d be worth it.