Maureen Dowd: Junior Needs a Spanking

She’s good today.

Junior Needs a Spanking
Published: August 26, 2006

The Old King put the Boy King over his knee yesterday and gave him a good thwack with a lobster-shaped paddle.

O.K., that didn’t happen, but don’t you wish it had?

Junior certainly deserves it, with recent attempts to blame his dad for policies that led to 9/11 and the rise of Osama and Middle East terrorism.

As with so many things about this byzantine, Shakespearean relationship between father and son, reunited here at last for a wedding, a christening and a funeral this weekend, it’s an ironic turn of events.

The son was furious when the father was painted as a wimp in the 1988 campaign, and now he and his spinners are painting 41 as a weak leader. W.’s pain at what happened to his aristocratic dad with ‘the wimp factor’ led him to overreact in the other direction when he became president, embracing a West Texas-tough, muscle-bound foreign policy that shunned diplomacy, nuance, compromise, multilateral treaties and allied coalitions as measures that reflected impotence.

And now it has led him to scapegoat his own father, and Bill Clinton, for sending signals of weakness that encouraged the terrorists – even as many Middle East experts say it is W.’s culturally obtuse, diplomatically averse and morally simplistic style that has spurred terrorism and made the world more dangerous.

The Bush spokesman Tony Snow recently told reporters that “when the United States walked away, in the opinion of Osama bin Laden in 1991, bin Laden drew from that the conclusion that Americans were weak and wouldn’t stay the course, and that led to September 11th.”

Afterwards, questioned by furious Bush I foreign policy types, Bush II officials tried to claim that Mr. Snow was talking about President Clinton running away from Somalia, but clearly the spokesman was referring, as he originally confirmed, to the truncated end of Desert Storm.

In Crawford recently, the president also criticized previous administrations for policies that indicated that ‘stability is more important than form of government.’

Translation: Dad cuddled up to the corrupt Saudi monarchy and other Middle East dictators and let Saddam stay in power and was tough on Israel. I got rid of Saddam to establish a democracy and uncritically sided with Israel, a democracy.

Of course, now W. has now been reduced to pleading with dictatorial Mideast leaders to help him quell the violence engulfing Iraq and Lebanon, and with the military dictator Musharraf to help him capture Al Qaeda members.

The Bush I inner circle whispers that W. and Condi are ‘in over their heads,’ as one told me, and that without 41, Jim Baker and Brent Scowcroft around, there is no one to ‘corral’ Dick Cheney from his hard-line craziness.

‘They misread history,’ said one Bush I foreign policy official. ’43’s born-again background and lack of experience and simple view of the world made him think it was easy to define who the enemy is. But hope is not a policy – hoping to win, hoping to make a democracy. They came in with the philosophy that the U.S. was the most powerful country in the world and they could remake the world any way they wanted. Condi and others assumed that the Middle East would fall apart peacefully, the way the Soviet Union did, if given a chance. But the Middle East is a totally different place.’

They agree, as one said, that 41 is a ‘very private guy who loves his son dearly, and you will not catch any daylight between them. I doubt that he’s taking any joy from the fact it’s clear now that he did the right thing in ’91 and his son is screwing up.’

Poppy Bush did not like it when Jimmy Carter tried to give him advice after he took over the job and he would be very loath to do that with any successor – much less a son who was so threatened by his dad’s shadow that he drifted until his 40s.

Father and son do talk quite a bit on the phone, and sometimes about world affairs. But 41, as one associate notes, “is not the type of guy to say, ‘George, you should be doing x, y and z.’ He might say something more oblique, like, ‘So-and-so says this is happening.’ ”

At this hazardous moment in world history, somebody has got to grab the stubborn, shuttered scion wearing the ’43’ windbreaker and talk some sense into him, the way Dwight Eisenhower did when he privately dressed down the young J.F.K. after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. And who better than his dad, that 82-year-old still demonically driving his cigarette boat around the Bay of Bushes?

The Discussion: 4 Comments

Richard, please don’t mention “Maureen Dowd” and “spanking” to me in the same breath.

It’s not that I’m into spanking, not at all. But when you say that word alongside the name Maureen Dowd, then I think of her great legs and her sweet ass.

And I’m sure that I’m not alone in this.

Oh, um what? Did you say Maureen Dowd wrote something? Ah, ok, maybe I’ll read it.

After I get over the testosterone shock that you inflicted on me when you mentioned Maureen Dowd alongside a reference to lower body parts.

Which is NOT to say that I don’t take Maureen Dowd seriously as a journalist.

But it IS to say, what her main appeal is, to me.

Maureen, if you ever read this, then you can see my email address. I mean, NOT to be sexist about this. But that photo of you with your legs crossed, which you publiished on the NTY, oh, YEAH! ๐Ÿ™‚

But of course I take MoDo seriously as a journalist.


August 26, 2006 @ 1:42 am | Comment

She’s always good, but, still afraid to do the right thing…

I love this line;
“W’s culturally obtuse, diplomatically averse and morally simplistic style that has spurred terrorism and made the world more dangerous.”

Does morally simplistic mean immoral? I hope so.

I do think, however, that you are swallowing without looking. The recent shows of disagreement between 41 & 43 are nothing more than that – shows. It is a technique of repeating the unproven story that we know who the terrorists were that attacked on 911.

Do some investigative reporting, Ms. Dowd. Quit the NYTimes if your must. Tell us how flight 77’s jet fuel totally incinerated the skin and inside of the jet and didn’t harm the leaves on a tree a few feet away.

August 26, 2006 @ 5:51 am | Comment

Ivan, I imagine you’re thinking of that picture of her at the bar. I often think of that picture myself. I’m sure Maureen thanks god every day for Photoshop, high heels, airbrushing and low lighting.

August 26, 2006 @ 7:34 am | Comment

Senior may not be as stupid as junior, but he is just as morally corrupt. The grandfather, the father and the son are now part of a disgraceful American dynasty lof greed, cowardice, arrogance, stupidity and treason. In a Stalinist world, the entire family, Poppy and that white haired witch of a wife, W, Jeb, Ned and all of their various offspring would be purged. While I don’t advocate killing, the disappearance of the entire clan from the face of the Earth would not be tragic in any way.

August 26, 2006 @ 9:50 am | Comment

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