So rarely does the universe provide such an enlightening conflation of shallow facile consensus political wisdom, along with elitist literary snobbery as we have in this column by Maureen Dowd. Dowd has gotten the memo, that Christine O’Donnell is the designated political chew toy for this political cycle. O’Donnell is the acceptable target. After all, she was the idiot who spoke aloud some doctrinaire religious ideas about sex on MTV when she was in her twenties, and had the bad sense to admit to Bill Maher that she dated a neo-pagan in high school. But, you see, Ms. Dowd is a writer, and a writer needs a theme. So what original aspects of designated clown O’Donnel does she decide to make fun of this time?
The fact that she likes Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Really. This is cause for her to question someone’s mental stability and connection to reality, the fact that O’Donnell decides to praise one of the major writers of the 20th century for his treatment of women.
“Look at the significance that he gives to Eowyn, the Lady of Rohan,” O’Donnell said on C-Span in 2003. “She was a warrior spirit and, to me, that’s who I love. I mean, I aspire to be soft and gentle like Arwen, but realistically, I’m a fighter, like Eowyn.”
O’Donnell said she liked Tolkien’s outlook on gender: “On the one hand, there’s the attitude that’s normally on the conservative side — as a conservative woman, I feel I can say this — that stifles women. There’s almost the stereotypical attitude of, to be a true woman, you have to stay at home. And I’ve actually had people say to me, ‘Why do you choose a career over marriage?’ Honestly, I’ve had only a few significant relationships, and they’ve broken up with me. And one of the things I’ve been told is, ‘If you weren’t so strong, you’d be married by now.’ ”
That passage is apparently worthy of Dowd’s mockery, more so than O’Donnell’s views on masturbation. (Which my wife has had a field day with. And which, in the video I saw, had a lot in common with a Playboy interview with a certain infamous ex-president, including use of similar language. Of course, given the results of that guy’s election, it probably is a disqualification on its face.) Apparently, if you are a fantasy geek of any stripe, you need not apply to the hollowed halls of seriousness that admitted this guy.
Worse, she decides to bring up C. S. Lewis:
“We’re rowdy, we’re passionate,” she told the enraptured crowd. “It reminds me of the C. S. Lewis Narnia books, where the little girl asks someone about Aslan the lion, who represents God, and she says with a little concern over such a fearsome lion, ‘Is he safe?’ And her friend says, ‘Safe? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.’ ”
Yep, that disqualifies her right there.
You know, in policy terms I probably have as as little in common with Christine O’Donnell as I do with Charlie Rangel. And I agree with all of the critiques of her on tactical grounds, as the woman has had a colorful history, and a lot of it has been in front of the TV cameras. I agree on a lot of the critiques of her on policy grounds. (As opposed to the knee jerk critiques of her because of her scary religious background. Please remember the guy who first popularized the term “lust in my heart” during a political campaign.) But just because you’ve decided to professionally despise the woman does not mean that dissing both Tolkien and C.S.Lewis does not make you a prime asshat.
And by the way, the above thesis was so frighteningly thin that Ms. Dowd had to downshift midway into the article and and start talking about how Obama is the first African-American President and those Tea-Party people are all mostly white. Thanks for the stunning original insight, I have been waiting with baited breath for someone to come up with that analysis.
Lastly, you don’t get to use the phrase, “We the People in the Ruling Class Elites do think O’Donnell comes across as alarmingly loopy,” in an ironic fashion unless there are actually people out there that think you are part of the “Ruling Class Elite,” and after viewing the drainage from this intellectual abscess, I think everyone is only looking on with sad bemusement.