Without a Dowd
Richard Cohen has, I guess, taken the Maureen Dowd Method Seminar. In it, columnists learn from The Mistress Herself how to take two icky things at random, and paste a column together around them. Read and learn how it's done:
Another hanging chad has dropped. His name is John G. Roberts Jr., and he undoubtedly will turn out to be opposed to abortion rights, affirmative action, an expansive view of federal powers and a reading of the Constitution that takes a properly suspicious view of the state's embrace of religion. In these and other matters -- the death penalty, for instance -- he is expected to substantially reflect the views of George W. Bush, the man who nominated him to the Supreme Court, because that was what the election of 2000 and its sequel were all about. You hang enough chads, and you get to change the Supreme Court.
I'm not going to fisk Cohen, but one little bitty teensy tiny little detail does need pointing out. The results of the 2000 election became moot on November 7, 2004. In the four year prior, Bush - hanging chads or not - didn't appoint a single Supreme Court justice. The Democrats had a chance to unseat Bush in 2004, but failed - and without a single dangling chad.
However, Cohen is using the Dowd Method. Hanging chads were icky. John Roberts (or Robert Johns or whatever) is icky. Therefore, hanging chads and Robert Johns (or John Roberts) must be somehow related.
Wouldn't Cohen have been smarter to blame it all on Ohio, which decided the most recent election?
Smarter? Sure. But far less Dowdy.