I think this most recent attempt by Maureen Dowd to tar Barack Obama as Teh Ghey will backfire. It's a classic example of her worst impulse to think that she's speaking for the common man by assuming that the common man is 100% douchebag. This is empathy, you know. Her low opinion of the great unwashed flyover masses really shines in this quote:

After 200,000 people thronged to see Obama at the Victory Column in Berlin, christening him “Redeemer” and “Savior,” it turned out Sarko was also Obamarized, as the Germans were calling the mesmerizing effect.

“You must want a cigarette after that,” I teased the candidate after the amorous joint press conference, as he flew from Paris to London for the finale of his grand tour.

“I think we could work well together,” he said of Sarko, smiling broadly.

Her assumption is that she can make Obama seem queer by suggesting he hangs out with straight men who don't flinch at the occasional off-color joke about homosexual interaction. She fails to understand that 95% of straight American men make these jokes on a routine basis, though. And playing up Obama as so charismatic that everyone---male or female, straight or gay---wants to have sex with him like he's a rock star or something is not exactly the best way to diminish him. Upon reading this column over and chatting about it, Jesse and I determined that this was so going to backfire.

Jesse: the times really could print "democrats are faggy gaytards" every sunday and save modo's paycheck

11:45 AM me: well i think this is going to fail

11:46 AM because even though she thinks that describing someone as so charsmatic that everyone in the audience wants to fuck him makes him Teh Ghey, i think it'll probably just make him seem powerful

or perhaps i'm unduly optimistic this morning

Jesse: i think you're right

11:47 AM i mean, the big thing is, mixing all of the obama attacks together, you get the sense of a guy who's going to be in your bedroom fucking your wife and asking you to freshen his drink before he finishes

11:48 AM me: so james bond

What Dowd fails to understand is that even though, by her measures, James Bond should repulse the great unwashed flyover people, what with his robes and his martinis and his European sensibility that she likes to slur with variations of the "so femme!" bullshit she operates with, there's a reason that Bond films continue to make shitloads of money, even though the franchise lost most of its energy eons ago. (I do like the new Bond, though.)

To make all this worse for the usual media narratives is that McCain is increasingly coming off as the political version of the Nice Guy®---a morally repugnant misogynist who continues to claim entitlement to power by virtue of hanging in as long as he has, who the twittering media assholes can't see as anything but a nice guy who deserves to get some pussy a seat in the Oval Office.* His seething bitterness and general inferiority to Obama is going to really come out during the debates, and it's going to be worse because McCain and the media fanboys that gather around him don't see it. Well, scratch that. The mainstream media does indeed see that Obama's just the all-around winner in these personality wars,** but they're not happy about it, because McCain's such a nice guy. You know, except he's really not.

With that, I'll leave you this lazy summer Sunday with a relevant quote from The Onion:

LANCASTER, PA—According to the latest information provided by the unnamed, impossibly debonair-sounding European man who is now answering all of her calls, your ex-girlfriend, Rebecca Norsten, "don't want to speak to you no more."

The new policy of non-communication, not elaborated upon by Norsten herself, was announced during a phone call to her apartment early Monday morning in the suave, confident tones of an Italian or possibly Portuguese individual of indeterminate height and muscle tone. Phone records indicate the statement was made at 9:35 a.m.—approximately one hour and 25 minutes too early for the speaker to have been a platonic visitor who did not spend all last night giving the love of your life everything you never could.

"Rebecca is no coming to the phone, my friend," reported the exotic-sounding stranger, who rolled his R's in a manner that strongly suggested he can outperform you sexually. "I am condolence for you, but what is to be done? There are many fishes, yes?"

The probable Mediterranean sex god concluded the statement by saying "ciao," after which it can be assumed he returned to his previous task of hand-feeding your ex-girlfriend slices of juicy mango while she reclined naked in a hammock, finally free from the burden of dating you.

Then again, maybe it will work by tapping the resentment vote Republicans often channel so well. For some reason, though, I just don't think the national mood is there right now.

*I have to give credit to J Train for pointing this out to me in email.

**Er, not to mention the other, more important policies and issues wars, which is actually why he's going to win. *cough* Iraq *cough* economy