Maureen Dowd: Down the Memory Hole, and the Grammar Hole, too

It has been a long time since I bothered to read Maureen Dowd, but a friend sent me a link to her current column. It is the usual anti-Trump screed. Dowd takes off from the resignation of Rob Porter–a story in which I have little interest–to insult the president in a variety of ways, mostly related to the treatment of women. There is much that could be said, but I only want to comment on three aspects of the column.


Among many, the allure of Barack Obama’s brainy nuance had given way to a longing for a more muscular certainty.

Anyone who can still refer with a straight face to “Obama’s brainy nuance” is writing only for true believers.

Second, the main point of the column:

We don’t want to countenance abusive behavior. And we certainly don’t want men like Rob Porter who have punched, kicked, choked and terrorized their wives to be in the president’s inner circle, helping decide which policies, including those that affect women, get emphasized.
We want our president to be a moral beacon, not a ratings-obsessed id. We want a president who understands that sexual and physical abuse are wrong.
We don’t want a president who bends over backward to give the benefit of the doubt to neo-Nazis, wife beaters, pedophiles and sexual predators — or who is a sexual predator himself.

The funny thing about this is, we have had at least one president who–unlike Donald Trump–actually was a sexual predator. We had an administration where it wasn’t just an obscure aide who allegedly abused a woman, years ago, far from the White House. Rather, it was the president himself who assaulted at least one woman, Kathleen Willey, in the Oval Office itself. And for all the talk about abuse, respecting women, and so on, we have had only one president who was, in all probability, a rapist who should have been serving a long jail term, not running the Executive Branch.

His name was Bill Clinton. I’m so old, I can remember when Maureen Dowd criticized Clinton heavily for his abuse of women. But her vitriol then was nothing compared to what she unleashes on Trump–not a rapist, not an abuser of women–today. Why the double standard, Maureen? Party loyalty, I suppose.

Third, wasn’t there a time when newspaper columnists were expected to be familiar with the rules of grammar? And didn’t the New York Times, at one point, employ editors whose job it was, in part, to make sure that the paper’s content was grammatically correct? I have written before that, given the obvious mistakes the paper so often makes, I question whether the Times actually employs any editors at all.

Dowd’s gaffe:

And now, thanks to our barmy president and his staff meltdown, we are finding out fast who we are and whom we don’t want to be.

Maureen, if you send me an email at [email protected], I will give you lessons in both politics and grammar, at a very reasonable price.