Every Thursday and Saturday, I have the same nightmare. When I wake up in the morning to read the Times on those days, the dream is made real...all over the op-ed page. Her name is Gail Collins. Once the paper's editorial page director, she now writes twice a week, and when those days come around, I'd rather listen to Thomas Friedman say "flat" 800 times than read a single word she writes. Today she has topped herself with the most banal column in the history of the op-ed genre. Don't believe me? The close is "Time for a change." Experience the worst:Collins' reign over the Times op-ed page until the end of 2006 wasn't altogether a hapless one - she brought along a number of popular columnists. (She did move Frank Rich to the op-ed page, where the best columnist on the paper got a larger platform.) We can't personally testify to any of her editing abilities, but she must have been one hell of a re-writer to have stayed with the paper this long as a weekly writer. She makes Maureen Dowd's column ideas look unique and original. The only advantage she has on Maureen is that she's not a racist (probably). The theme of today's opus is on her impatience for Barack Obama to replace George W. Bush. Thanks, Gail — you've taken what we're all thinking, albeit weeks ago, and somehow turned that into a column. A long column. A column that actually contains the words, "Can I see a show of hands? How many people want George W. out and Barack in?" More boring than outright bad, here's the kind of high level thinking that Gail makes you do:

The person who would like this plan least probably would be Barack Obama. Who would want to be saddled with the auto industry’s problems ahead of schedule?

Insight! And it's not like she hasn't done this before. Her column last Saturday was titled "Hillary for Secretary?" and it ended with the line, "She might do a terrific job." Every single day she writes a column, all she does it take the first story on Drudge and make alleged jokes about it by appending a question mark to the news in question. Look, Gail, if you're going to bore us with this type of inanity, there's only one place to put it: a blog. Time For Him To Go [NYT]