Sunday, November 28, 2004

MoDo and her brother: psychoanalyzing the psychoanalyzer 

This blog does not normally comment on Maureen Dowd's columns, leaving those fun and games for others. However, today's column is an exception, partly because it was substantially written by her brother. Basically, MoDo reports back from Thanksgiving, having spent it with her decidedly "red state" family:
I've been surprised, out on the road, how often I get asked about my family. They're beyond red - more like crimson. My sister flew to West Virginia in October to work a phone bank for W.

People often wonder what our Thanksgiving is like.

It's lovely - if you enjoy hearing about how brilliant Ann Coulter is, how misguided The New York Times's editorial page is, and how valiant the president is as he tries to stop America's slide into paganism.

Well, you have to agree that Ann Coulter is brilliant, at least in the "brilliant!" sort of British sense of the word.

In any case, this morning she published an amusing email of her brother, which has a lot of suggestions for the various courses of action disappointed Democrats might take ("To Bob Shrum: Cut your fee" being the most obvious and least obnoxious of the lot). Various bloggers have suggested that the "Times hired the wrong Dowd" [UPDATE: A point echoed on Imus this morning.] and that MoDo should "split her fee." All well and good. Who could be against some kudos or even some lucre for brother Kevin?

I wonder, though, if we have not finally gotten a glimpse into the Dowd psyche. She, more than any other pundit with a comparable megaphone, delights in explaining the behavior of politicians -- particularly Republicans of the Bush persuasion -- in terms of their alleged psychological demons. Dubya had to exorcize his father's fatal decision not to march to Baghdad, or live down the rumor that it was brother Jeb carried the family's hopes and dreams, and so forth (not being a big Dowd cataloguer, I may have picked poor examples of this tendency, but I am correct in substance).

Is turnabout fair play? Is it now possible to wonder that the liberal Dowd with the "red state" family is vanquishing her own demons? Is Ms. Dowd projecting? Is it that she is warding off her own family every time she puts her fingers on the keyboard, so that she (naturally) assumes that others go to war for the same reason?

She buried the lead.


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