Times columnist Maureen Dowd spent a decent chunk of this campaign trying to paint Barack Obama as another effete faggy Democratic wuss, as she did to John Kerry and Al Gore, just because, hey, why not. OBambi was all her, remember? Also she called him a "butterfly." Now, today, she's thrilled Obama won, and certain he'll restore dignity and grandeur to Washington and the White House. Obama "has the chance to make the White House pristine again." Yes, because Washington DC and the White House were certainly pristine before all this, right? Dowd explains how rough the last 16 years have been:
How could the White House be classy when the Clintons were turning it into Motel 1600 for fund-raising, when Bill Clinton was using it for trysts with an intern and when he plunked a seven-seat hot tub with two Moto-Massager jets on the lawn? How could the White House be inspiring when W. and Cheney were inside making torture and domestic spying legal, fooling Americans by cooking up warped evidence for war and scheming how to further enrich their buddies in the oil and gas industry?
Ok, Maureen, equating torture with allowing fundraisers to have sleepovers is insane reflexive Clinton-hatred. And hey, it's also the return of the "White Trash Bubba in the White House" narrative, what with the audacity of Bill putting a hot tub on the lawn (just a couple paragraphs after Maureen recoils at those who'd make the same jokes about Obama based on race instead of her regionalism and classism). Was Nixon's bowling alley charmingly blue collar? What about his criminal behavior? What about when John Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt fucked around in the formerly pristine White House? When, exactly, was the White House pristine, Maureen? In 1829, when Andrew Jackson was sworn in, he threw a big party at the White House, and the 19th Century Maureen Dowd was similarly upset:
Margaret Bayard Smith, a lady of Washington society, wrote of the scene: "Ladies and gentlemen only had been expected at this Levee, not the people en masse. But it was the People's day, and the People's President and the People would rule."
Hopefully President Obama is enough of an elitist to continue to please Maureen Dowd without becoming so much of an elitist that she goes back to calling him a fancy boy again. It's a delicate balance, pleasing Maureen Dowd.