Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Headache for Laura Bush: Dreams for Maureen Dowd

In a column in today's New York Times, Maureen Dowd attempts to portray what appears to be a potentially very offensive book about the first lady, Laura Bush, as just another book that

anyone might read. With utter unctuousness Ms. Dowd says, "It’s the sort of novel Laura Bush might curl up with in the White House solarium if it were not about Laura Bush. It would be interesting to hear how that lover of fiction feels about being the subject of fiction." This is an incredible, unsupported assumption on the part of Ms. Dowd. It assumes she knows the reading habits of Laura Bush, particularly with regard to sexually detailed novels. Given what Ms. Dowd says later, it is unlikely she has such information.

In the very next paragraph in her column Ms. Dowd says, "You don’t get any fingerprints from Laura Bush. When you look into her eyes during an interview, you feel as if she is there somewhere, deep inside herself, miles and miles down. But though she is lovely and gracious, the main vibe she gives off is an emphatic: “I am not going to show you anything ." Why would Laura Bush want to expose herself to, and I do not use that term loosely, the prying eyes of the press? In particular, why would she want to reveal anything regarding her inner self to Maureen Dowd, who is an ultra-liberal who has said many nasty and unkind things about her husband and his administration?

I don't fault Ms. Dowd for saying critical things about the Bush administration because that is her job as a columnist. However, I do find Ms. Dowd's style of writing to be offensive because of her smugness and the way she seems to imply "I know what's right, and you don't; therefore you are a lesser being than I." Ms. Dowd’s sharp scalpel continually carved away at Hillary Clinton as if she were some being from the nether worlds. I imagine Ms. Dowd is beginning to have a bad case of indigestion regarding Senator Obama’s move to the center. Alas.

I cannot make any judgment on this book because I have not read it. I'm reacting to Maureen Dowd's column and her statements and her description of what the book contains. When I read this book, and I surely will, even if I were to find it offensive I would strongly defend its right to be published because I am an ardent believer in the rights of free speech. I have said many things in my blog that would have put me at risk in other countries. I would also defend Ms. Dowd's right to say what she wants in her column. I just don't like what she has to say or how she says it. When I wrote the header to this post I was tempted to say Wet Dreams instead of Dreams, but that would have been offensive.


Mo MoDo said...

Some of the more sensational excerpts have been published. It does have some clumsy explicit sex scenes and the main character kills another kid with her car and later has an abortion.

It's not really out of the mainstream, but the fact that it is making up details about Laura Bush might make it controversial.

Otherwise, it sounds like trashy beach reading that the First Lady has read on the record.

Neil Benson said...

I wasn't aware of her reading habits. So I guess one of my slurs against Ms. Dowd was wrong. I was mainly pissed at Ms. Dowd's column which reflected her usual level of smarmyness and unctuousness. Obviously I am not a fan. I went to your web site and thought you gave an evenhanded appraisal, certainly more flattering than mine.

Politi Gal said...

Outrageous! Not anything anyone has written here...just the way Do' reminds me so (sorry bro) of Jello: Always room for Mo'!

Neil Benson said...


Mo = Jello. Basically without substance and barely any flavor?

I concede to your outrageousness which is unsurpassed.