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Sunday, November 07, 2004

Maureen Dowd's back to her old self

When I first started reading the NY Times onlie about three years ago, I think I was impressed with the first one or two Maureen Dowd columns that I read. Then she ran off a string of too-cute columns, where all meaning and information in the column was subordinated to cutesy little phrases. Lately, however, MoDo has written some really pithy, to-the-point columns. Until today. Here's the paragraph that destroys today's column for me:
W. and Karl played up western movie stereotypes. After 9/11, the rugged frontier myth, the hunter/Indian-fighter hero in a war of civilization against savagery worked better than ever. But this White House's frontier is not a place of infinite progress and expansion, stretching society's boundaries. It doesn't battle primitivism; it courts primitivism.
Granted, she uses the word "myth," but I don't think that is nearly enough to shield her from a justifiable charge of racism. Native American civilization was not savagery, and it was not primitivism. Us white folks were the primitives who invaded their beautiful country and stole it from them, treating the land with a disrespect they would never have dreamed of. Many Native American societies had highly-developed forms of government (it is said that the drafters of our Constitution based parts of it on the Iroquois' governing system).

Anyway, I'm sure that Native American groups will be all over Dowd for this BS, and they should be. Her next column will likely be an apology. It's too bad, because what she was saying in today's column was very important. She just killed the message on the way.