Spock at the Bridge
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: February 28, 2009
Dubya may be gone from the White House but not from the thoughts of Maureen Dowd. Today's column was spurred by news that Barack Obama had given his predecessor a courtesy call.
Mr. Obama called W. on Friday to give him a heads-up about the repudiation on Iraq.Maureen wanted to be a fly on that wall.
Wow. What a phone call that must have been.And in addition to stupid, she has plenty of other adjectives to use.
"That’s why I’m calling, actually. I’m ending your stupid war.”
But on Friday, the new president did exit from the inane and pernicious W. era of cartoon villains, simplistic linear thinking, and black-and-white cowboy bluster.She even gives the new policy a snappy title
Mission Relinquished.Which is of course a call-back to the much derided over-reaching carrier deck banner that the Bush White House has tried to Orwell out of existence.
And Maureen can't call-out Bush without employing her favorite belittling Rude Name® for him. She even adds a dollop of Alliteration Alert™ to it.
What can the disavowed dauphin possibly be thinking as Professor Obama strides up to the blackboard to erase everything W. stood for, while giving us crisp lectures about how we must get more educated, more equitable, more realistic, more responsible and more reasonable?There are enough mores in that sentence to revive Andrea True's career. The Dubya as dauphin is caricature that Dowd has nursed since even before Dubya began wrecking the White House. Here is the first appearance from July of 2000.
W.'s campaign has always been less about vision than vindication. The dauphin must reclaim the throne because the Bushes must restore the halcyon days of the ruling-class court that thrived before that dissolute commoner Bill Clinton usurped it.To this day, she continues to psychoanalyze all of Bush's actions as attempts to cover up his inadequacies.
W.’s strategy was inspired by his insecurity. He has acknowledged that he went to war based on body language, without a full-throated debate or analysis; there was just a vibe coming from the general direction of the Pentagon and the vice president’s office that it was a good thing to do. His only real goal was to prove he was tough.She even uses a quote from Obama to put into perspective what a disaster Dubya has been.
But in the Lehrer interview, the president compared America to a big tanker that needed to “start moving in a better trajectory so that five years, 10 years down the road you can say, you know what, because of good decisions now our kids are safer, more secure, more prosperous, more unified than they were before.” This analogy turns W. into the Exxon Valdez.Dowd sees Obama's boldness spilling into domestic policy as well as he and his larger than life chief of staff push their budget through the jungle of Congress.
The new commander in chief has the nerves of a riverboat gambler and, on the humongous budget and stimulus package, he and Rahmbo Emanuel are liberally applying the Rahm doctrine: Take advantage of a crisis to grab an opportunity.But the hyper-violent action hero isn't the only Movies With Maureen® moment we get. She also compares Barack to a certain logic driven alien of mixed heritage.
Speaking of the Enterprise, Mr. Obama has a bit of Mr. Spock in him (and not just the funny ears). He has a Vulcan-like logic and detachment.Frankly, that comparison has been done before. For example, our guest photoshopper carlosthesecond has done a yeoman's job on that mash-up used at the top of the post that I can't hope to touch with my own humble attempt at right.
But Maureen sees enough irony in the current situation to bring emotion to the most Stoic politician.
Any mere mortal who had to tell liberals that our obligations in Iraq and Afghanistan are far from over and tell Republicans that he has a $3.6 trillion budget would probably have tears running down his face.I'd be laughing at Dowd's observation if it weren't so tragic. Full warp speed ahead.
Spock Obama image used by permission of the artist.