Bullying and the Tolerance Disconnect have been subjects brought very much to the fore, thanks to recent tragic events. It is a serious subject that deserves to be defined in serious terms and discussed in serious tones.
Maureen Dowd, ever attuned to the cultural narrative (though increasingly unable to comprehend it) has glommed on the notion of bullies; she has taken this very sober topic and rendered it–as she frequently does–into cartoon and caricature. She then casts her Candyland perspective into the political arena. This is Mo Dowd’s modus operandi; glad-hand a cultural moment and then use it to make a facile, often distorted, always-divisive argument that has less to do with reality than with giving too full a rein to whatever bizarre Pratchettian imp has taken up residence within her skull.
We are in the era of Republican Mean Girls, grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.
Last week I noted that bullies will happily spread lies about their victim, or willfully misrepresent them, and that they will do this with great gusto “. . .before the largest possible audience of mindless, guffawing creeps, who will applaud and validate the dubious wit of the bully, and perhaps even join in the abuse.”
So, Miss Dowd, who once deliberately and happily lied about President George W. Bush by willfully misrepresented him to her audience, is today lecturing us about “mean girls,” who happen to be Republican women making inroads against her beloved Democrats. Miss Dowd, the lady who wrote a book wondering if an entire gender “was really necessary,”–the lady who has admitted that she wants to rip the face off of Frosty the Snowman–is “feeling jittery” about mean girls whose opinions differ from those of her NOW-sanctioned sisterhood of “strong” (or, if it’s politically-expedient, “quite weak”) authentic women.
As I sat above the Hoover Dam under the broiling sun, I was getting jittery.
There was Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, speaking at the dedication of a bridge linking Arizona and Nevada 890 feet above the Colorado River.
As the politicians droned on and my Irish skin turned toasty brown, I worried that Governor Brewer might make a citizen’s arrest and I would have to run for my life across the desert. She has, after all, declared open season on anyone with a suspicious skin tone in her state.
Okay, that is so stupid (and inaccurate; pasty-faced Irish do not turn “a toasty brown;” 52 years of sunburns talking, here!) that it needn’t even be addressed seriously. The gist is, Dowd is “scared” of the “mean girls” who are daring to talk back to their betters. With typical venom Dowd, unable to spread a rumor that Brewer is pregnant, opts to imply that she is a racist.
Then she sets her sites on another (GOP) female politician, senate candidate Sharon Angle and plays to the official Democrat narratives: the mean “outspoken Christian” was beating up on Harry Reid, the “soft-spoken Mormon.”
Mormons are mostly
hated distrusted* by the Democrats, the left and the media–but as with everything else with the press–the “right sort” of Mormon will get a few nods for expediency’s sake; Dowd watches a debate between two rough-and-tumble politicians and finds herself fearing the strong woman over the warm and fuzzy man, whose entire sex, let us remember, may not actually be necessary:
“Man up, Harry Reid,” Sharron Angle taunted him at their Las Vegas debate here Thursday night. That’s not an idle insult, coming from a woman who campaigns at times with a .44 Magnum revolver in her 1989 GMC pickup.
Ohhh, scary emasculating girls! Maureen Dowd has never liked them before!
The “tart” Angle, whose demeanor and rhetoric only needed a D after her name to become acceptably dominant, seemed to–if local papers are to be believed–won the debate with her opponent. And that made Dowd “jittery” all over again:
After the debate was over, Angle scurried away and so did I — in a different direction. I was feeling jittery again. If she saw me, she might take away my health insurance and spray-paint my locker.
All that “scurrying” away, all those jitters! Poor “strong woman” Maureen Dowd! Pounding from her exalted and rather powerful pulpit, she beats out a rhythm of falsehood, distortion, and passive-aggressive bullying, while painting herself and another “strong woman” as frenzied wee beasties, one a casino-red-lipsticked (and probably rabid) sort of rat, and the other a fearful, oh-so-vulnerable widdle mousie in danger of being eaten up, or stomped upon by the mean, mean women coming to Washington.
Her discreet rodent imagery might have been more effective, and more accurate, if she had managed to deploy it back when American voters found their vociferously-expressed wishes being stomped on by their Democrat “representatives” in Washington who then, like rats, scurried away from their own “yeas” and their own speaker and president, when it came time to scrounge for votes, again.
In defining bullies, I wrote:
Some–if they are particularly adept at bullying or have a peculiar inclination toward the vicious, will invest a little time and energy into pretending to be the hapless victim’s friend, awaiting the chance to betray and humiliate the victim before the largest possible audience of mindless, guffawing creeps, who will applaud and validate the dubious wit of the bully, and perhaps even join in the abuse.
One could argue that the people entrusted with great power by their naive victims, and who used it to force through unwanted and ruinous legislation against their wills, have met the definition.
The American people have figured out who the bullies are. Maureen Dowd played the “meanie” card today, but she played it poorly.
Which is surprising, considering how nimbly she lives it.
Dana Perino: Mean Maureen
Quotes of the Day
Little Miss Attila: writing before Dowd’s piece but making a good point
NOW; Whore is as Whore Does
UPDATE: Melissa Clouthier snags an interview with a columnist who wields the smartest of pens, the clear-thinking P.J. O’Rourke. Don’t miss it.
Ahem…speaking of clear-thinking.
Allahpundit, noting Dowd is not “handling this Mama Grizzlies thing too well,” has has related quotes of the day!
*“Hate” is a strong word; don’t wish to overuse it.