Saturday, January 10, 2004

Sweaters are not bad
I want to like Maureen Dowd. I know a lot of bloggers want to bash her as just another media whore, but I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. As a regular reader of the New York Times op-ed page, I enjoy her as a breath of fresh air among the solid, pontificating, testosterone-laden males that dominate that page. So I find her latest column about Wesley Clark’s sweaters a bit disappointing. She could have taken a fresh angle on this piece or she could have repeated the Oh-my-God-Al-Gore-wears-brown silliness from 2000. She chose the latter. In case we missed the point, she even repeated the Gore canard, “Al Gore sprouted earth tones in 2000, hoping heathery brown sweaters and khakis would warm him up.” Sigh.

This could have been a very pleasant story about a man who hasn’t had to dress himself since he left his mother, learning how to be a civilian. The current inhabitant of the White House dressed in a uniform he is not entitled to, in order to disrupt the home coming of an entire aircraft carrier full of honorable service members on their way back to their families, for an embarrassingly premature victory dance and photo op. Gen. Clark exposed himself to the intrusive glare of the press while he sheepishly tried to learn the dress of the most honored rank of all: citizen of the republic. He should get credit for this effort, not snide scorn.

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