Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Democratic Convention of a disturbed imagination

I've somehow become fixated on Maureen Dowd's twice-weekly fiasco of a New York Times column. But she's in such a state of disintegration, reading her column is starting to give me the kind of guilty feeling you might get if you found yourself rubber-necking at a bad car accident in hope of seeing some gore. Or the kind you would might feel after making fun of someone suffering from a serious mental disability.

Her level of self-revelation has become downright painful. In High Anxiety in the Mile High City New York Times 08/27/08, she gives us a direct statement of what she is looking for at the Democratic Convention. She gets all the way to the second paragraph before bringing up sex:

I’ve been to a lot of conventions, and there’s always something gratifyingly weird that happens.

Dan Quayle acting like a Dancing Hamster. Teresa Heinz Kerry reprising Blanche DuBois. Dick Morris getting nabbed triangulating between a hooker and toes.

But this Democratic convention has a vibe so weird and jittery, so at odds with the early thrilling, fairy dust feel of the Obama revolution, that I had to consult Mike Murphy, the peppery Republican strategist and former McCain guru.

“What is that feeling in the air?” I asked him.

“Submerged hate,” he promptly replied.
She even tells us directly that she, supposedly one of the most distinguished of Big Pundits, had to ask a professional Republican political hack what to think about the Democratic Convention.

Dick Morris between a hooker and toes? Submerged hate? I can't even begin to imagine what she means by the dancing hamster and Blanche Dubois.

Even the CNN crew realized immediately after Clinton's speech that they couldn't spin in into their preferred script of the Vile Clintons trying to sabotage Obama's campaign.

That doesn't stop MoDo. She just typed up the preferred tale anyway. Amazing.

She also managed to find the one woman in Denver who said she was a Clinton voter but was going to vote for McCain instead.

And MoDo projects her own weird notions - she uses the word "weird" three times, including her opening sentence declaring that what she's looking for is the "weird" - onto Democratic delegates, relying as usual on friend-of-a-friend anonymous sources.

Her crazied serial fantasies about Obama continue to flow. In Wednesday's nervous breakdown, MoDo finds Obama to be not intense enough (?!), "limpid", controlling but under the Clintons' Mafia influence, a frivolous celebrity, a bad memory, poor clothing style (of course!) and too long-looking. No, it's not consisted. And it doesn't make jack for sense. But this is the kind of stuff MoDo cranks out constantly now.

She ends by quoting yet another anonymous Democrat. I worry about MoDo's anonymous sources, since her fact-checking ability seems to have long since become a casualty to whatever is causing her mental disintegration. Was this an actual "top Democrat", as she says? Or just another of those voices she hears?

Anyway, the alleged quote is, “I’m telling you, man, it’s something about our party, the shtetl mentality.”

Now, I don't pretend to know Yiddish. But Yiddish is mostly Middle High German, so I often recognize the words. But I don't know what "shtetl" means in this context. I think the word may be derived from Polish. But it normally refers to a culturally insular, pre-World War II, Eastern European Orthodox Jewish village.

Is MoDo trying to say she thinks the Democrats are a bunch of Orthodox Jews? What the hell is she talking about?

MoDo has reached the point of being barely coherent. Even when she cites on-the-record sources, you can't rely in the least on the factual content of what she quotes them as saying. Or even getting the quote correct. Her anonymous sources are like imaginary friends. Her judgments - when you can make out what they are - are loony. Thinking about Democratic politicians sends her into strange anxiety attacks having something to do with gender-role confusion.

Haven't her editors noticed any of this? It's kind of cruel of them to let her go on publishing this stuff in the paper week after week.

Tags: Memeorandum

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"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."

-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


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