From the Ridiculous to the Sublime: Maureen Dowd and Brian Wilson

NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd may have written her most embarrassing column yet. And she’s written more than her share of embarrassing columns.

The thing is: Dowd likes Donald Trump. They’ve had personal conversations. So it makes a bit of sense that she wants to give him the benefit of the doubt. Still, her latest column, “Trump in the Dumps”, is quite surprising. 

Trump jumped into the race with an eruption of bigotry, ranting about Mexican rapists and a Muslim ban. But privately, he assured people [apparently including Dowd] that these were merely opening bids in the negotiation; that he was really the same pragmatic New Yorker he had always been; that he would be a flexible, wheeling-and-dealing president, not a crazy nihilist like Ted Cruz or a mean racist like George Wallace. He yearned to be compared to Ronald Reagan, a former TV star who overcame a reputation for bellicosity and racial dog whistles to become the most beloved Republican president of modern times.

After cataloging what she sees as the pros and cons of his candidacy, she ends with a bang:

Now Trump’s own behavior is casting serious doubt on whether he’s qualified to be president.

Now? As in this week?

Could it be that Dowd likes Trump so much and dislikes the Clintons so much that she’s seriously considering Trump’s strengths and weaknesses? And she’s still on the fence a year after Trump began campaigning?

But then it occurred to me that maybe her conclusion was ironic, a bit of understated humor. I usually don’t read Dowd’s column these days, given the silly stuff she writes, but she can be funny in a nasty sort of way. Perhaps she was merely having fun at Trump’s expense? I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I really don’t know.

In other news, Pet Sounds turned 50 last month and Brian Wilson turned 74 today. In case you don’t know, he’s the tall one with the Beatles haircut on the album cover. So, in his honor, here’s “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” a few times.

First, the instrumental backing track:

Next, just the voices (right after the opening notes):

Finally, the finished product:

I said it was from the ridiculous to the sublime.