The Right Coast

January 30, 2004
Somebody help this woman!
By Tom Smith

The thing I object to most about Maureen Dowd is that she is not funny, at least not lately. Her mind is just not cut out to deal with big complicated issues with fates of many lives, principles and nations at stake. I would be quite happy to read things making fun of Bush and Cheney, if they made me laugh. And look, Bush is not that hard of a target. He is remarkably inarticulate whenever he departs from prepared text, and he does have a tendency, apparently familial, toward goofiness, that could easily be parodied as that of an evil clown. But instead all Dowd can harp on is that fact that he is a guy. She has never gotten over not being her high school quarterback's best girl. Cheney is well known around D.C. as being the kindly uncle who in fact has a steel heart and ice water in his veins. There's plenty to work with there. Instead, Dowd tries to portray him as a ranter, when in fact his speech has the quality of a nerveless surgeon. Of course her politics annoy me, but what offends me is her utter lack of insight. She sounds like the shopping mom who spends all her time telling the same stale jokes to her friends who laugh at them mechanically, because they are working off the same stale script themselves. She needs to get out more, with some different people. That she has such a prominent perch is proof that labor markets are full of rigidities, and markets are imperfect. Maybe Krugman could use her as an example in his next piece about why we need government intervention. She is at least as infuriatingly clunky as Windows.