Kerry totally muffed it up by falling for this ridiculous trap that Bush set up. Bush taunted him, in essence, saying if you ... knew then what we knew now that there was no evidence and no weapons, are you man enough to say you'd still go to war? I mean, that, in essence, was what he said and Kerry fell for it and said Kerry didn't want to be a wimp and he didn't want to be a flip-flopper, so he fell for it and said, yeah, I would still authorize you to go to war, even if there was no threat to us, no weapons, you know, no evidence. And at that moment, not only did he show that Bush had outfoxed him--Bush and Cheney immediately began chortling--but it also completely castrated his ability to make the case against war.
RUSSERT: So what does that mean for his candidacy?
DOWD: I think it was a devastating week for him. I just think it was one of the lamest things I've ever seen a politician do.
Dowd never tires of conceptualizing things in terms of a man's struggle to salvage his masculinity, does she? That conceit works quite nicely when the slam is: in your struggle to prove your manhood, you showed not power, but weakness. I'm surprised she hit Kerry though, because her hostility to Bush is so evident. And has the "flop" in "flip-flop" ever seemed so clearly to refer to the male anatomy as in that quote of hers?
UPDATE: Striking personal revelation by Dowd: "I was so paralytically shy."
ALSO, of special interest to bloggers: Dowd talks about learning to Google, and how it is now necessary for a NYT columnist to Google: "You have to go on Google, you know, for a column so now because there's so much opinion, and this Tower of Babel and bloggers and cable. You have to kind of check and make sure that someone hasn't made a joke or used a line or image before you have a chance to put it in the paper, because it's not like the days of Reston where everyone was waiting days to hear Olympian pronouncements."