Dowd: Voters sick of 'macho politics by marshmallow men'
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Published: Saturday November 11, 2006
The 2006 vote demonstrates that Americans are fed up with political posturing, asserts Maureen Dowd in a commentary that will appear in Saturday's edition of The New York Times.
"This will be known as the year macho politics failed – mainly because it was macho politics by marshmallow men," Dowd writes. "Voters were sick of phony swaggering, blustering and bellicosity, absent competency and accountability. They were ready to trade in the deadbeat Daddy party for the sheltering Mommy party."
The columnist also took a swipe at President Bush's remark about Nancy Pelosi during his first post-election press conference that he'd "shared with her the names of some Republican interior decorators who can help her pick out the new drapes in her new offices."
"All the conservative sneering about a fem-lib from San Francisco who was measuring the drapes for the speaker's office didn't work," retorted Dowd. "Americans wanted new drapes, and an Armani granny with a whip in charge.
Further excerpts from the article, a Times Select item that has been made available to the public...
A recent study found that the testosterone of American men has been dropping for 20 years, but in Republican Washington, it was running amok, and not in a good way. Men who had refused to go to an untenable war themselves were now refusing to find an end to another untenable war that they had recklessly started.
Republicans were oddly oblivious to the fact that they had turned into a Thomas Nast cartoon: an unappetizing tableau of bloated, corrupt, dissembling, feckless white hacks who were leaving kids unprotected. Tom DeLay and Bob Ney sneaking out of Congress with dollar bills flying out of their pockets. Denny Hastert playing Cardinal Bernard Law, shielding Mark Foley. Rummy, cocky and obtuse as he presided over an imploding Iraq, while failing to give young men and women in the military the armor, support and strategy they needed to come home safely. Dick Cheney, vowing bullheadedly to move “full speed ahead” on Iraq no matter what the voters decided. W. frantically yelling about how Democrats would let the terrorists win, when his lame-brained policies had spawned more terrorists.
After 9/11, Americans had responded to bellicosity, drawn to the image, as old as the Western frontier myth, of the strong father protecting the home from invaders. But this time, many voters, especially women, rejected the rough Rovian scare and divide tactics.
The macho poses and tough talk of the cowboy president were undercut when he seemed flaccid in the face of the vicious Katrina and the vicious Iraq insurgency.