Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Maureen Dowd

Michael Abramowitz wrote in WaPo Having made a living for years skewering President Bush, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is almost certainly not one of the White House's favorite columnists.
That is the understatement of the year.
She refers to the president dismissively, by his middle initial, and has been vastly less than impressed by his efforts in the Middle East. "After subverting diplomacy in his first term," Dowd wrote recently of Bush's latest efforts to mediate between the Israelis and Palestinians, "now W. does drive-by diplomacy, taking a playboy approach to peace." This kind of language did not, however, dissuade White House aides and medical staff from leaping to help Dowd when she fell ill during Bush's eight-day swing through the Middle East.
She certainly did not express her appreciation for it in the column she wrote:
Faith, Freedom and Bling in the Middle East - New York Times Puddle jumping through Arabia, the president saw his share of falcons in little leather hoods — presumably not a Gitmo reference —
She just had to throw that jab in.
and Arabian stallions, including one retired stud from Texas — presumably not a W. reference.
And that one. Disagreeing with the man is one thing, but this is uncalled for.
But there was a distinct dearth of wives and dissidents.... Though W. has made the issue of the progress of women in the Middle East a central part of “the freedom agenda” — he had a roundtable over the weekend with Kuwaiti women on democracy and development — he doesn’t seem bothered that 17 years after his father protected the Saudis when Saddam invaded Kuwait, Saudi women still can’t drive or publicly display hair or skin and still get beheaded and lashed because of archaic laws.
Maybe he thinks there are more important things to worry about than trying to change things related to their culture AND religion.
Neither does the female secretary of state of the United States.
Was she beheaded or lashed?
“It’s not allowed for ladies to use the gym,” the Marriott desk clerk told me, an American woman in an American franchise traveling with an American president.
In a foreign country which is the home of the two most holy place in their religion.
... Asked by ABC’s Terry Moran what he was thinking when he stood on the site where Jesus performed miracles at the Sea of Galilee, W. replied: “I reflected on the story in the New Testament about the calm and the rough seas, because it was on those very seas that the Lord was in the boat with the disciples, and they were worried about the waves and the wind, and the sea calmed. That’s what I reflected on: the calm you can find in putting your faith in a higher power.” Clearly, the man believes in miracles.
And clearly Maureen Dowd just believes in Maureen Dowd.

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