Maureen Dowd and the Argumentum ad Hominem

Here’s the New York Times columnist, brimming with class and wisdom:

Cheney, who had five deferments himself to get out of going to Vietnam, would rather follow a blowhard entertainer who has had three divorces and a drug problem (who also avoided Vietnam) than a four-star general who spent his life serving his country.

For a refresher on the respect Maureen Dowd affords four-star generals, check out her “Peaches Tightens the Girdle” column from September 12, 2007:

It’s obvious that the Surge is like those girdles the secretaries wear on the vintage advertising show, “Mad Men.”

I guess when you predicate every argument on name-calling, it’s bound to catch up with you.

Of course, for Dowd’s schoolyard analysis of Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and Colin Powell to mean anything, we’d all have to either agree with every general over every divorced entertainer or the other way around. If this is the tone of argumentation in the New York Times, why oh why was anyone taken aback at the personal invective issued by a stand-up comic a few nights ago?