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Posted by on Sep 18, 2011 in Media, Politics, Society | 19 comments

Maureen Dowd’s Not-So-Funny Column about ‘Blockheads’

I started to read a real funny piece in today’s New York Times—at least funny to Democrats and perhaps even to some Republicans with a sense of humor. Others need not read any farther…

It is written by the columnist Republicans love to hate: Maureen Dowd.

It is about “Eggheads and Blockheads.”

It is about the “egghead Eastern lawyer who lacks the skills or stomach for a gunfight,” and about the “tough Western rancher and ace shot who has no patience for book learnin’.”

It is about the “skinny Eastern egghead lawyer who’s inept in Washington gunfights” and it is about the “pistol-totin’, lethal-injectin’, square-shouldered cowboy who has no patience for book learnin’.” (Sorry if this book learnin’ thing has been mentioned before).

But, to be fair, it is mostly about the man from Paint Creek, Texas, who is no John Wayne as in the 1962 Western, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” even though:

… he has a ton of executions notched on his belt…wears a pair of cowboy boots with the legend ‘Liberty; stitched on one. (As in freedom, not Valance.) He plays up the effete-versus-mesquite stereotypes in his second-grade textbook of a manifesto, “Fed Up!”

It is mostly about the kind of guy Texans elect, “The kind of guy who goes jogging in the morning, packing a Ruger .380 with laser sights and loaded with hollow-point bullets, and shoots a coyote that is threatening his daughter’s dog,” as the tough Western rancher himself writes.

It’s about the cowboy who “stands up with a smirk to talk to students about how you can get C’s, D’s and F’s and still run for president.”

I guess, by now, everyone knows who Dowd’s “blockhead” is.

And, I guess, by now all Democrats (and perhaps some Republicans) are laughing their heads off.

Yes, I did say that Dowd’s article was funny—initially—but after reading her conclusion and after reflecting on it, I have changed my mind. I think it is quite ominous and scary, and I am not even smiling anymore.


Sarah Palin, who got outraged at a “gotcha” question about what newspapers and magazines she read, is the mother of stupid conservatism. Another “Don’t Know Much About History” Tea Party heroine, Michele Bachmann, seems rather proud of not knowing anything, simply repeating nutty, inflammatory medical claims that somebody in the crowd tells her.

So we’re choosing between the overintellectualized professor and blockheads boasting about their vacuity?

The occupational hazard of democracy is know-nothing voters. It shouldn’t be know-nothing candidates.

Read more here, and smile—if you can.

If Dowd’s article was somewhat boring, please read this one by that other “Darling of the Right,” Gail Collins.