"That Old Lady in Dubuque Is Smarter Than You Think"

(Via Hot Air Headlines) The above being the title of a New York Times piece by Clyde Haberman that suggests that hey, maybe some of the folks from the Other Side are getting a little tired, too of their largely self-imposed gag order.

You know, they even get it in Dubuque.

Better delete the word “even.” Some might find it patronizing. You don’t want to say anything that might give anyone reason to be offended. These are hypersensitive times, and so many people are just waiting to pounce. Take umbrage? Some practically hold it hostage.

This is, of course, part of the flap over the New Yorker cover – a controversy which has been oddly persistent; if a conservative magazine had done the cover the outrage might have started to fade by now* – and while Mr. Haberman is probably not going to be voting McCain this year I still give him credit for getting a few zingers off, usually at his (assumed) ideological compatriots who scorn places like Dubuque, Iowa even though they probably can’t find it on a map. Haberman, who apparently can find the state on the map, and who can even look up the area code, was able to find somebody from a magazine over there who was able to reassure Haberman’s readers that yeah, Iowans get that it was a joke. Which, given that we’re at the point where the Democrats referring to this as “one of the most malignant, vicious covers of a magazine I have ever seen” include the legally blind, is probably a head’s-up that really needed to be made.

I was going to give the last three paragraphs as the punchline – evocative of Groucho Marx’ brutally classic takedown of anti-Semitism, it was + – but go read it over there, instead.

Moe Lane*Perhaps they’re still waiting for us to say whatever lines we’re supposed to be saying.

  • Groucho Marx was trying to join a country club, and doing well at it – this was after he got famous – until the club manager found out that Groucho was Jewish. Said manager says, point-blank: “I’m sorry, Mr. Marx, but we don’t let Jews swim in our pool.”

Groucho jumps right back in with “What about my son: he’s only half-Jewish, can he go into the water up to his waist?”