Maybe it?s time for me to stop writing a column. After all, I can?t write with the best of them.
Who represents that unreachable ideal? Maureen Dowd.
That?s right. Dowd ?is the most influential columnist of our time,? as Michael Kinsley claimed in the March 20 Washington Post. Luckily, Dowd also had a column that day, her usual Sunday New York Times offering. Here?s a sample of what Ms. Influential had to say:
Size matters, so some experts have suggested that in 10 million years or even much sooner -- 100,000 years -- men could disappear, taking Maxim magazine, March Madness and cold pizza in the morning with them.
Dowd was writing about the genetic differences between men and women. Scientists have apparently proven that the Y chromosome -- the thing that makes a man a man -- is slowly disintegrating. Dowd seems overjoyed that, some day, the human male may evolve out of existence.
She?s visited this topic before. In July 2003 Dowd wrote, ?What if nature played a cruel trick and demoted men, so they had to be judged merely by their appearance, pliability and talent for gazing raptly at the opposite sex, no matter how bored?? Influential opinion, indeed.
Some might wonder what would happen if the editors of the New York Times played a cruel trick and actually judged a columnist on the quality of her ideas. For example, on Jan. 9 Dowd wrote:
The Iraqi election that was meant to be the solution to the problem -- like the installation of a new Iraqi government and the transfer of sovereignty and all the other steps that were supposed to make things better -- may actually be making things worse. The election is going to expand the control of the Shiite theocrats, even beyond what their numbers would entitle them to have, because of the way the Bush team has set it up and the danger that if you're a Sunni, the vote you cast may be your last.
Maybe Dowd?s not as influential in the Middle East as she is on the op-ed pages.
Since the Jan. 30 election, the Sunnis who boycotted the Iraqi election have begged to be allowed to have a hand in forming a new government, and the majority Shiites have agreed. Freely elected Iraqis are governing Iraq for the first time, well, ever.
Good news seems to be breaking out all over, perversely ignoring Dowd?s wisdom.
An elected Palestinian government is sitting down with an elected Israeli government to discuss their differences. Egypt?s president says he?ll willingly face a challenger in the next election. Still, Dowd still seems surprised that the ?Bushies like the results of their war,? as she wrote on March 17. Go figure.