by Jeff Salzman

Last week Bill Clinton went off the reservation and said something positive about Mitt Romney. Predictably, media madness ensued.  Out of the hubbub I noticed the pernicious force of snark once again emitting from the Queen of Mean Green herself, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.  And once again she deeply undermines the progressive agenda.  I recorded some thoughts about it (to listen, click on the player below).  Here are the key ideas …

One of the jobs of green is to de-construct power politics, and to burst the balloon of any kind of grandiosity.  It’s an important job, but it does bring on a certain flaccidity that we need to overcome as we move forward into integral consciousness.

Last week Bill Clinton said a nice word about Mitt Romney.  Literally, one nice word: “sterling” (regarding Romney’s business record).  There was a big to-do, because in our tribal politics we’re not allowed to say that.  

One of the markers of tribal politics is that it is a zero sum game; one tribe conquers the other.  This is a strata of human development that is still very much on line within us.  We play it out now not with guns and clubs, but with words and character assassination.  (Progress!)

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, from the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.  Her thesis statement:  “On Thursday, Bill Clinton once more telegraphed that he considers Obama a lightweight who should not have bested his wife.”

This is in keeping with Dowd’s current characterization of Obama as being feckless, too introspective, aloof, a naif in the White House.  I notice many of my liberal friends buying into this.  

Maureen Dowd conducted this kind of character assassination before, in 2000, with her long series of columns presenting Al Gore as a man getting in touch with his feminine, wearing earth tones, and as having a questionable masculinity that Dowd seems to project on men in general.  

Unfortunately, in 2000 many of my liberal friends downloaded Dowd’s view of Al Gore.  As a result, they were lukewarm about him, they voted for Ralph Nader, or they just didn’t fight the good fight during the election.  As so in one of the closest elections in American history, we elected George W. Bush.  Not the outcome we libs wanted.

I point this out not to denounce Maureen Dowd.  She’s a terribly entertaining writer, I read her faithfully.  Developmentally,  I think it’s safe to say she’s green.  And she also appears to be an Enneagram Four, which exhibits a tragic-romantic orientation where everything has a sexual subtext.  (After all, she wrote a book called “Are Men Necessary?”)  So everything is a psychodrama for her. It’s kind of fun, and there’s a piece of the truth to it; life does have a psychodramatic aspect that we are all enriched by seeing.  But it can also be a negative force in terms of actually promoting the progressive agenda.

Realizing this becomes a point of practice for us integralists, a pushing off point.  We see that “this is where green is, and this a place where I can say ‘that’s not me; I can move beyond that.’” … to a world that is actually more hopeful and whole-hearted, where we can actually get behind somebody without worrying that we are buying into a delusion.  As we face another consequential election, this is a good thing to keep in mind.