Maureen Dowd Is Right

… well, about practically nothing. But even a broken clock is right twice a day. Her time has come:

The Oval Office was done over by chi-chi decorator Michael Smith, who was paid $800,000 to refurnish the lair of the former Merrill Lynch C.E.O. John Thain to the tune of $1.22 million — an effort that featured the notorious $35,000 antique commode.

My first reaction was — $800,000 for that! And she’s right, you know, the place looks pretty bleh. And really brown. She doesn’t care for the rug either:

The cream-of-wheat colored rug is made of 25 percent recycled wool and features 100 percent recycled quotes around the border that have significance for President Obama. (Which means, of course, that the next chief executive will want to carpet copy-edit and put his or her own special quotes on the Oval rug. If the Tea Party triumphs, it might be “Don’t Tread on Me.” If Sarah Palin ascends, it will no doubt be a mama grizzly bear rug, personally bagged by her.) …

Sidetracked by the mosque fight and now admirably plunging into brokering a Middle East peace, Obama clearly needs a reminder about what really counts as the Democrats prepare to get their clocks cleaned. The rug should quote James Carville’s famous admonition: “It’s the economy, stupid!”

(OK, the bear rug would be cool. But I personally think Palin should forgo any animal heads on the walls.)

Dowd thinks the message is off-key:

The recession redo, paid for by the nonprofit White House Historical Association, was the latest tone-deaf move by a White House that was supposed to excel at connection and communication. Message: I care, but not enough to stop the fancy vacations and posh renovations.

Listen, it’s not taxpayers’ money, so I suppose people can give cash for whatever they want. But it does sort of reinforce the impression that the man doesn’t know the value of a dollar.