Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The 47% Solution

Let Them Eat Crab Cake
Published: September 18, 2012

Despite our extended absence, Maureed Dowd has continued to limm the political landscape with her usual savvy and insight. Today's column is yet another journeyman piece of work. As a refresher course let's review the rhetorical devices she is so fond of.


Perhaps the most ignored aspect of her arsenal, the lilting alliteration is one of her go-to tricks.

But, even as Mitt was spitefully demonizing and dividing in Boca, he remained cardboard-cutout un-self-aware

And while that one is good it is no match for one later in the column:

Romney came across as a mean geek, a Cranbrook kid at the country club smugly swaddled in class disdain.

It's like poetry, only with venom.

Crossword Clues

While never quite hitting the heights that William F. Buckly or former Times stablemate William Safire, reading a Dowd column should make you scramble for the dictionary at least twice each week. Her is the word of the week, hitting that perfect connotation of folly, ignorance and effeteness which exemplifies Mitt Romney:
At another point in the video, Romney once more showed his foreign policy jejuneness,

Not-So-Nice Nicknames

Dowd's withering sobriquets often sting more than the rest of the column. While Mitt Romney has yet to have one like The Dauphin (for W.) or No Drama Obama (among the dozens she has invented for The One), she does give one for the Mittster here:
Mr. Sunshine said he sometimes felt “that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace — and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”


The pinnacle of parallelsims in a Maureen Dowd column is when she reverses a phrase with flourish. While today's examples aren't perfect, they do hint at the flavor she can reach. The first doesn't quite pull off the full reversal.
We thought Romney was secretly moderate, but it turns out that he’s secretly cruel,

And the second lacks quite the twist needed.

One thing we have to give Mitt, though: He is, as advertised, a brilliant manager. He’s managed to ensure that President Obama has a much better chance of re-election. 

It's tough to put out 1600 words of this quality every week so we can forgive if everything isn't quite perfect, as long as Maureen isn't perfectly quiet. With less than two months left in the campaign, we are in for a bumpy ride.