I am trying to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus in an appropriately capitalistic, if secular, fashion. But every time I try to get out, they drag me back in.

Which is to say, I am unable to resist commenting on Maureen Dowd’s column today. Actually, it’s not Maureen Dowd’s column, per se — to give herself a little extra holiday time off, she’s turned over the bulk of her column to her brother Kevin, a man who has apparently learned everything he knows about the world from Bill O’Reilly talking points.

Go back two generations and you will find the real diversity that made our country the greatest in the world. Immigrants brought their customs with them and were accepted. We were taught by our parents to respect the customs and religious beliefs of other people.

Let’s see. Two generations back puts us roughly at 1946. As my wife points out, it was an era of anti-immigrant laws and Jim Crow — not exactly the golden age of tolerance Mr. Dowd imagines.

The rest of the column continues in that vein, a compendium of right wing lies and nonsense:

To the P.C. Elites: The founding fathers guaranteed Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. Please go away, you are making my hair hurt.

To Target: You better check the sales and profit numbers that are CHRISTMAS related before you ban the word.

To Bill O’Reilly: Thank you for dragging the P.C. crowd into the open. Maybe they will learn that America doesn’t want to be de-Godded.

To Judge Jones of Pennsylvania: No Intelligent Design? You are going to be hoping for a Big Bang if St. Peter is checking ID’s.

To President Bush: Stay the Course. The same people that are calling for troop withdrawal were under their beds on 9/12/01 screaming “Kill the Infidels!” Let’s fight them there instead of here and bring our troops home with honor as soon as possible.

I guess most of this pretty much speaks for itself, a kind of Rorschach blot defining whether or not the reader is an idiot. But I really can’t let that last bit pass without comment. Speaking as someone who lived in Brooklyn in September of 2001 — one of many thousands of New Yorkers who witnessed the collapse of the towers firsthand — I can assure you that neither I nor anyone I knew spent the next day under the bed calling for the death of infidels. Actually, now that I think of it — isn’t ‘infidel’ the term we generally imagine al Qaeda to use in reference to us? Either Kevin Dowd is indulging himself with a very sophisticated little piece of satire, imagining America haters hiding under the bed calling for their own deaths, or he’s a complete moron who can’t even keep his Bill O’Reilly talking points straight.

We report, you decide.

I hope Maureen had a lovely day off, but it really is extraordinary that the Times would agree to run something that reads like the deranged rantings of a not-very-bright, seventh-tier wingnut blogger.

* * *

One quick unrelated update: Via Kos, I see that the Little Red Book/Homeland Security story was a hoax. I’m usually pretty good at spotting these things — and in fact, I didn’t post anything on this one when I got the initial email until I tracked down the source of the story. Unfortunately it appears that the newspaper in question didn’t exactly exercise due dilgence themselves.

Of course, the story about the government spying on its own citizens remains all too real.

… the more I think about this, the more it pisses me off. This little lying putz has handed the righties a tailor-made propaganda point, perfectly designed to distract attention from the real issue at hand. Thanks, chief.