The president should try candid; wistful and petulant aren’t getting him anywhere. The Republicans who are putting partisan gain above solving the country’s problems deserve a smackdown.Oh, please. That deserve-a-smackdown sentence is typical of what Obama's been saying for months. It's the very "wistful and petulant" that's not "getting him anywhere." And saying that a smackdown is deserved is perfectly passive. There's no solution there.
Is "try candid" a solution? It's very funny to say "try candid." Try. See if it works, because that other thing you've been doing hasn't worked. Candid is another means to an end, to be tried after dissembling has failed. Try it. For what end? Obviously not for its own sake or you wouldn't say try. The end must be partisan gain. Or... no, partisan gain is that terrible end sought by Republicans. Democrats are about solving the country’s problems.
How much attention does Maureen Dowd pay to her writing? I suspect that she giddily spins out colorful sentences. She's got a knack. But then she doesn't look at them critically. For example, that sentence I put in the post title:
The onetime messiah seems like a sad sack, trying to bounce back from a blistering array of sins that are not even his fault.Speaking of a blistering array... that's quite an array of images. And what's a blistering array? It's like the rays of the sun got into array and caused a second-degree sunburn. But the oldest meaning of the word "array" is military — soldiers lined up for battle. It's not really anything that sins do.
But Sad Sack has a military connotation to some of us who remember the old comic book character:
Sad Sack was "an otherwise unnamed, lowly private experiencing some of the absurdities and humiliations of military life. The title was a euphemistic shortening of the military slang 'sad sack of shit,' common during WWII."
I doubt if Dowd meant to associate Obama with a sack of shit, but she asks us to picture this sack bouncing. Bouncing back from an array of sins. So the sins are arrayed in military formation — perhaps in the sun, with second-degree sunburns — and the sack of shit (which was once a messiah) is trying to bounce, as if bouncing is a good response to an organized military attack.
Seems like a sad sack, trying to bounce back... I take it that's an accidental rhyme, just one more