June 16, 2013

Reemerging twinges of lust for our old boyfriend, Bill Clinton.

That's the post title I've written for this quotation of the first 2 sentences and the last 2 sentences of Maureen Dowd's new column. Read with me, and then let's talk about it:
Not  only is President Obama leading from behind, now he’s leading from behind Bill Clinton.

After dithering for two years over what to do about the slaughter in Syria, the president was finally shoved into action by the past and perhaps future occupant of his bedroom....

The less Obama leads, the more likely it is that history will see him as a pallid interregnum between two chaotic Clinton eras.

Nature abhors a vacuum. And so does Bill Clinton.
If you want to talk about what's actually going on in Syria and what the United States ought to do about it, please go to the earlier post on the subject. This new post is for talking about those 4 Maureen Dowd sentences. I'll start off the conversation with a list of 10 things.

1. The phrase "leading from behind" has always seemed funny to people. If you're behind, you're not in front, so how is that leading? Those who like Obama think it's clever/intriguing. Those who are literal-minded — and notice imagery — focus on the word "behind."

2. To take "leading from behind" and then put Barack behind Bill is to demand that we picture the 2 men in a physical position and — particularly with the amusing phrasing and because we're talking about Bill Clinton — to experience the sexual innuendo.

3. Said innuendo is violently intensified by the phrase: "shoved into action by the past and perhaps future occupant of his bedroom."

4. If Barack is behind Bill, then how did Bill shove Barack? Maureen is not fully in control of her imagery.

5. Got to give Maureen points for the poetic proximity of the verbs "dither" and "slaughter."

6. The dithering is Barack's. The (unlinkable) OED says "dither" originally meant, in dialect, "to tremble, quake, quiver, thrill."

7. "Pallid" means " Lacking depth or intensity of colour; faint or feeble in colour; spec. (of the face) wan, pale...." That's quite something, saying that history will remember The First Black President, Barack Obama, as pale-faced!

8. Barack is pallid compared to Bill. Maureen is taunting Boyfriend Barack: He's not as manly as Boyfriend Bill, who might just get to be her boyfriend again.

9. Pallid interregnum. "Pallid" is a poetic word, and Maureen is doing various poetic turns. I know what "interregnum" means, but I also hear near-puns, and we've got leading from behind and shoving in the bedroom and 2 boyfriends, one of whom is portrayed as subordinate.

10. And that brings us to "vacuum," an empty space. One might say a hole, which you know Bill Clinton feels compelled to fill.

87 comments:

Mark O said...

Oh, my. You are a naughty girl today.

Pogo said...

I need a cigarette.

Pogo said...

"...history will see him as a flaccid phallus between two chaotic Clinton eras." is what she means, I think.

Rhythm and Balls said...

10. And that brings us to "vacuum," an empty space. One might say a hole, which you know Bill Clinton feels compelled to fill.

Yeah. That's exactly what I felt inclined to say!

As for Dowd's grasp on the makings of vision and leadership, she might want to hear actual strategists like Fareed Zakaria out. Not everything needs to be bang-someone-over-the-head-blatant (so to speak) to be effective.

rhhardin said...

Maybe Obama's ship of state is a biplane, which you fly from the back seat.

Or a J-3 Cub.

Bob said...

You watch and see: Newark mayor Cory Booker will run, based on Obama's example, and will leave Hillary in the dust, just as Obama did. The DNC, knowing what sort of turnout they can get with a black candidate, will quickly endorse him.

AprilApple said...

No one can satisfy Maureen Dowd politically except her old perspicuous playboy.

rhhardin said...

Vacuums are never empty. They're just in the ground state.

There's virtual particle creation and destruction going on in there.

Nature gets her way.

Meade said...

Pogo said...
"I need a cigarette."

Barack quit. How about a cigar?

edutcher said...

If Choom is behind Willie's behind, given Choom's alleged taste in men, Willie either better watch out or he's nowhere near the ladies' man he's supposed to be.

Rapist, but no ladies' man.

And Choom better also remember Willie's big intervention and how it turned out.

EDH said...

4. If Barack is behind Bill, then how did Bill shove Barack? Maureen is not fully in control of her imagery.

Obviously, Althouse has never visited the "Champagne Room" for a lap dance.

Meanwhile, that dog in Russia pushing the bike was pretty close to leading from behind.

Despite Bill Clinton's bona fides as a pussy-eating champ, would he have second thoughts about MoDo given Michael Douglas's experience?

edutcher said...

Speaking of lust, ever notice how Willie's non-rape conquests always seem to be the kind of woman who couldn't catch a man if she had a bear trap baited with bacon and free beer?

Mitchell the Bat said...

Nobody tried to sexualize Reagan, in keeping with the long view.

Pogo said...

A seegar? Sure!

Wait a minute.....

Dante said...

Ann had an article in which the idea there are many qualified people to be members of the supreme court was offered up. I, on the other hand, think the best of the best ought to be used.

Using that logic, it amazes me how so many on the left, in particular so called feminists, continue to swoon over Bill Clinton. We know enough about what the guy did to women. He groped Kathleen Whiley's breast. He exposed himself for a blow job to a low level worker in Arizona. And, he's an alleged rapist, exhibiting the kind of serial sexual deviancy one would expect from a rapist (meanwhile, his victim shows the same pattern as someone who was raped).

And according to Christopher Hitchens, he should have been tried for war crimes for blowing up that Sudanese pharmaceutical plant, as the decision can be traced to Bill Clinton, and his desire to get Monica off the front page. That was the only factory that produced anti-malarial drugs in that region: Hitchen's concern was that there could be tens of thousands or more of deaths on account of that.

Bush the Sr. was right: The man has a Character issue, and in my view that character issue is now a problem for the entire country, particularly feminists. How can anyone idolize this man? He seems to me to be the epitome of everything feminists rail against.

rhhardin said...

Imus on Clinton's intervention real audio April 6, 1999.

dbp said...

I seriously doubt that Dowd intended all of this sexual imagery but it is clearly there in abundance.

Conclusion: Dowd needs a good psychiatrist or a non-virtual boy-friend. Stat!

The Drill SGT said...

"leading from behind"

The Army phrase is:

"Lead!, Follow!, or Get the Hell out of the way!"


The other military philosophy that seems applicable to both Barack and Syria would be:

"An 80% solution, implemented immediately, and with vigor"

always beats the Barack solution:

"A perfect solution (e.g. studied to death by wonks), implemented late, and without conviction"

The Drill SGT said...



except two thoughts and three words

"bad boy"

"Democrat"

Phunctor said...

And all of it just framing for the artfully backgrounded inevitability of !Hillary!.

edutcher said...

Dante said...

Bush the Sr. was right: The man has a Character issue, and in my view that character issue is now a problem for the entire country, particularly feminists.

No, the issue was he has no character and it astounds me that the Bushes, pere et fils, could have worked so hard to rehabilitate this creep.

How can anyone idolize this man? He seems to me to be the epitome of everything feminists rail against?

Because they're hypocrites?

Gloria Steinbrenner said it, as long as he pushed their agenda, he could rape anybody he wanted.

dreams said...

Notice who is getting screwed, the American people.

Valentine Smith said...

Dowd needs to get off of her sybian machine when she writes her column.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Lead WITH My Behind. It is How I Dance. Then I sit in my Short Yellow Skirt and Type Words Girlishly into the Computer. Tap Tap Tap, I Pretend my Fingers are Little Bunny Rabbits Prancing About.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes I Lay in Bed with My Giant Pink Pillows and Plush Toys and Write Notes for My Columns. I have a Special Pink Pen with a Pink Pom Pom on the End for Writing These Notes.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

When I Write a Special Wonderful Line I Kick My Feet in the Air and Wriggle like a Happy Earthworm.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Like To Write Happy Thoughts about Mr. Obama: it is a Dream to Write About Someone so Dreamy. I would Make Him a Cozy Nest of Over-sized Pillows where He Could Hide From the Day.

Astro said...

The less Obama leads, the more likely it is that history will see him as a pallid interregnum between two chaotic Clinton eras.

MoDo seems to have forgotten the 8 years of W sandwiched in there, too. A Freudian slip? Or unconsciously equating W and BO as a continuous presidency?
Except it really can't be considered that. W, for all his faults, took action and accepted responsibility when confronted with catastrophe and conflict.
BO keeps positioning himself in the bleacher seats of his own administration.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Like To Dress Like a Schoolgirl When I Write My Column. Sometimes I Pretend Mr. Obama is My Own Special Teacher and I Raise My Hand Shyly with an Answer to His Question. It Makes My Day When He Calls on Me. It is Why I Am Here.

cubanbob said...

Unless Bill has a permanent and untreatable case of ED what would make anyone believe he really wants Hillary to be president? Especially if thousand of NSA analysts can spy on him at will? Hillary isn't as smart as Bill, isn't as politically astute as Bill and isn't as flexible. She is simply a more competent Obama.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Do Not Like To Picture Mr. Clinton behind Mr. Obama; that is Our Special Dance that I Dream About. I have Written About this in Dozens of Heartfelt Letters that I Have Never Sent. They are in a Shoebox of Dreams under my Bed.

betamax3000 said...

RE: "Hillary isn't as smart as Bill, isn't as politically astute as Bill and isn't as flexible."

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

My Girlfriends and I are Much More Flexible than Hillary. We Can Touch our Toes in High Heels and Skirts.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

My Girlfriends and I are Take Great Effort to be Effortlessly Pallid. Are Thighs are Creamy White. I Still Have Thigh Gap if I Try Real Hard.

Big Mike said...

When the man who polled where to take his summer vacation and whether to tell the truth about his affair with Monica Lewinsky tells you you’re a captive of polls, you’d better listen up.

Nice little piece of snark from MoDo. She may be in love with the great Bill Clinton, but she does see some of his faults. Yet at the same time she's downplaying her lover-boy Bill's faults a bit -- as in "he was bad but my new guy is even worse." Or maybe "wuss."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Leading from behind seems to be a version of the feminine stereotype...."Behind every strong/great man is a strong/great woman". The power behind the throne. The whispering in the ear of power to affect the outcomes. Bed talking.

I think that there is a good deal of truth in this as there usually is in many stereotypes.

I find it interesting that Obama and others would attribute such a feminine tactic to Obama who is supposed to be such a 'great leader' but operates in such a feminine manner. Not only leading from behind, but also his vindictive, grudge holding, petty actions, emotionally charged thinking and actions and speech without thinking through the consequences.

Conclusion: Obama is a pussy.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes I Pretend I am Sitting on Mr. Obama's Lap in My Short Yellow Skirt when I Type My Column. He is Very Professorial: He doesn't Even Wriggle a Little.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

No One Should Ever be Shoved into Action: that is What Tickling is For, Silly.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

When I Feel a "Twinge of Lust" I Think About Baby Rabbits until the Feeling Goes Away. Then I Dance About the Room in my NYTimes Underwear. It is Innocent Fun.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

The past and perhaps future Occupants of My Bedroom are My Plush Stuffed Animals. Yellow, Blue, Red and Pink, they are All My Special Friends. Mr. Plushy Pink Beaver Sees Everything, but He Keeps it Our Secret.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes I Pretend that I am Writing my Columns Specifically for. Mr. Plushy Beaver: He is Quite Smart for a Plushy Toy.

cubanbob said...

RE: "Hillary isn't as smart as Bill, isn't as politically astute as Bill and isn't as flexible."

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

My Girlfriends and I are Much More Flexible than Hillary. We Can Touch our Toes in High Heels and Skirts."

You have a point. If we are going to have a woman president screwing us then from a male perspective I would much prefer she be a hottie. At least I could imagine having some wild-crazy sex with her. A Sarah Palin or even a Michelle Bachman are plausable. Hillary? Not plausable even in the lifespan of the universe.

betamax3000 said...

Re: ""Nature abhors a vacuum. And so does Bill Clinton."

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Mr. Plushy Beaver Hates the Vacuum. I Let Him Hide Under the Bed when it is On. Mr. Clinton Could Hide there, Too! Then I Clean, Clean, Clean the Carpet: you Can Never Have a Clean Enough Carpet.

AprilApple said...

perspicuous ?

wtf?

Promiscuous.
lol.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Like to Keep My Personal Carpet Groomed, Too: It Makes Me Feel Young and Fresh, and Then I can Be a Bare Bunny at the Keyboard and Tap Tap Tap.
Sometimes I Wish the Exclamation Point was an Exclamation Carrot.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes I Pretend that I am Having a Dignified Dinner Party with All My Plush Animals and Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton. Mr. Clinton Always Offers Me a Special Pony Ride: he is Very Generous That Way.

Clyde said...

Re: "Leading from behind" makes me think of Larry Niven's Ringworld series with the Pierson's Puppeteer aliens whose leader is called the Hindmost. The Puppeteers placed a high value on cowardice, and only an insane one would actually interact with other species.

MCD said...

This Syrian business cannot end well. If we wanted to help the rebels, we should have got in before Al Qaeda joined them. Now the outcome is between a fractured rebel group losing leadership to AQ and an Assad regime backed by Hezbollah, Iran and Russia. Massive State Department failure.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

My Girlfriends and I Do Not Like to Think about Slaughter in Syria, We Wish-oh-Wish We Could Dance It Away.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Maybe if Mr. Obama Joined Us We Could Really Dance It Away. And We Could Have Fighter Jets Vooosh-Vooosh Over Syria and Drop Plush Animals to the People Below. I Bet Then Everyone Would Be Happy.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

At the Dinner Party Mr. Clinton asked Mr. Plushy Pink Beaver if There Was a Mrs. Plushy Pink Beaver. He seemed Genuinely Saddened That Mr. Plushy Pink Beaver was Alone, but it is OK: Mr. Plushy Pink Beaver Has Friends, and Friends are Like Sunshine that can Smile.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Try to Put A Smile in Every Column I Write. Sometimes I Push my Thighs Together While Doing This. I am Proud of My Girlish Enthusiasm!

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes the Boy Columnists Look Down on Me Because of My Girlish Enthusiasm. They Don't Realize that Their Frowns Turn Their World Upside-Down. It Makes Me Sad for Them, and it is Sad to be Sad, even if it is About Mr. Krugman and Mr. Friedman.

Nichevo said...

DBQ 10:42...


"Some of these homos make the worst killers."

--Ian Fleming

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

If "dither" originally meant, in dialect, "to tremble, quake, quiver, thrill" then Me and My Girlfriends LOVE to Dither! It Gives Me the Goosey Bumps Just Thinking about It!

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Mr. Clinton Would Love Watching Me and My Girlfriends Dither: He Said it Helped Him Keep America Safe, and That Brought Joy to Our Hearts.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes My Editor wants Me to Revise a Sentence or Two, but That is Not Fair: I Wrote what I Wrote, So I Give Him the Big-Eyed Pouty-Lip Face Until he Gives In.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Think Mr. Obama should Give the Big-Eyed Pouty-Lip Face to the Syrians Until They Give In. My Girlfriends and I will Dance Energetically Behind Him With Pouty Faces, too, Just to Get the Point Across.

madAsHell said...

She is simply a more competent Obama.

I dunno. That's too close to call.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes I Need a Special Bubble Bath to Wash a Bad Day Away.

Mr. Yellow Plastic Duck will Float By and I Always Feel Much Better. Bubbles can't Help But Make you Bubbly.


betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Think All of the Politicians Should Have a Big Pillow-Fight in Their Pajamas Until Everyone Falls Down Giggling and Wriggling. This Would Make Them Play Along Together Better.

Then they Can Tickle-Fight.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Sometimes I Dream that Mr. Obama Let's Me Feed Him Moist Pink Cake, and the Frosting Gets Everywhere.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Think of my Columns as Sunflowers Bursting with Seed. Mr. Clinton Once said that He Felt Bursting with Seed, Too! Pinky Friends!

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

Mr. Clinton Would Love When Me and My Girlfriends Danced About in Short School Skirts and Knee-Pads: We Would Pretend to Play LaCrosse and then Fall onto the Grass and Wriggle.

AllenS said...

leading from behing = back seat driver

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Guess I am Just Naturally a Giggly, Wriggly Girl: I Hope That Comes Across in My Columns. Its Sad, because in the Newspaper you Can't See the Hearts I Draw in The Margins.

AllenS said...

If you stand behind BJ, you might get the cigar treatment.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

None of my Male Plushy Toys Have Boy Parts, and They are Happy as Can Be: I Should Write a Column About That.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

When Me and My Girfriends Dance in Our Short Skirts and Flash Our Trim Tummies Paul Krugman is Always Looking at His Shoes Instead. I Wish Mr. Krugman would Be More Happy.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

At Night I Dress in My BatGirl Pajamas and Write Stories About How I Could Save the World. Then I Paint My Toenails Bright Blue.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

My Girlfriends and I All Have Learned to Juggle. We Can Keep Many Balls in the Air. We Have Red Balls and Yellow Balls and Green Balls. Mr. Clinton said He Had Blue Balls but We Told Him He Should Keep Them -- Perhaps He Could Find Someone To Juggle Them For Him.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

We Think Smoking is Bad, So when We Saw Mr. Clinton with a Cigar we Felt Very Sad. He Then Told Us He Doesn't Actually Smoke Them and -- Whew! -- We Felt a Lot Better.

betamax3000 said...

Ann Ruined Me with That AKB48 Video Yesterday. I Think I am Now Trapped in the Body of a Young Japanese Girl, and Have the Strong Urge to Buy Knee-High Socks.

betamax3000 said...

I'll Have to See if I Can Buy the Knee-High Socks through the Althouse Amazon Portal...

William said...

In the midst of these scandals about the IRS and EPA overstepping their bounds, Maureen reflects how awful it would be if the NSA's snooping powers should fall into the hands of another Cheney. Not a record but give her a pretty high mark for hypocrisy......What we need is some idealistic NSA analyst to release the contents of her emails with Michael Douglas.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

My Girlfriends and I often Need an Interregnum between Dance Routines. In this Interregnum We Chew Strawberry Bubble Gum and Watch for Rabbit Clouds.

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

My Girlfriends and I Dance When we Want to, But We Do Not Leave Our Friends Behind: If Our Friends Don't Dance They Can Still be Our Friends, Just Not Dancing Friends. People Make it Harder Than it Needs to Be.

Titus said...

Althouse and Dowd are similar.

They are both bitches. I love bitchy women.

Althouse wants to be Dowd, def.

Meade said...

Althouse is not a bitch.

But someone has become a pig.

MB said...

Clyde said...

Re: "Leading from behind" makes me think of Larry Niven's Ringworld series with the Pierson's Puppeteer aliens whose leader is called the Hindmost. The Puppeteers placed a high value on cowardice, and only an insane one would actually interact with other species.

This is also what I though of. I don't think the analogy ends there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierson's_Puppeteers

"Foreign policy[edit]
The general foreign policy of Puppeteers consists of attempts to control the universe around them to ensure their own safety. As Puppeteers try to expose themselves to as little risk as possible, they try to use other beings as agents, utilizing a combination of bribes and blackmail to encourage cooperation."

While not classically xenophobic, they prefer herding with their own. They are seen as clever, manipulating others for their own purposes, giving arise to their name.

viator said...

This guy was pretty good at filling vacuums....

LA Times

betamax3000 said...

AKB48 Maureen Dowd Robot says:

I Hate It When the Boys Just Want to Have Vodka and Candy Cigarettes...

Rich Rostrom said...

"In enterprise of martial kind,
When there was any fighting,
He led his regiment from behind--
He found it less exciting.
But when away his regiment ran,
His place was at the fore, O..."

- the prescient W. S. Gilbert

Ken Mitchell said...

In the "Known Universe" series of science fiction stories by Larry Niven, the race called "Pierson's Puppeteers" are cowards who get their way by bribery and manipulation. The leader of the Puppeteer civilization "leads from behind" and bears the title "Hindmost", because he's as far back from the action as he can be.

Obama is a worthy Hindmost.

Titus said...

When I say someone is a bitch it's a term of endearment.

Imgagine Althouse on the primest newspaper piece of Real Estate in the world as the NY Times.

The possibilites would be endless and the audience huge.

kentuckyliz said...

Leading from behind always suggested two things to me--where the top is in back (you know, fudgepackers), or pushing a rope. Neither are positive images, so it seemed like a very poor sales pitch. The former may lie a little closer to reality if the rumors are true.

Of course it would be a lefty calling Obama pallid. A rrrraaaaacissssssst would never do that. Sounds too much like pale.

Carl said...

Isn't it always thus? The best ones are always already taken or gay. *Sigh* What's a girl to do?

Sweetbriar said...

If Obama is more pallid/pale faced than Clinton, then she is calling Clinton more Black than Obama. Obama doesn't identify internally with African Americans because there is that pesky "American" thing attached, he is a Citizen of The World. Obama uses the racial identifier for election purposes only.