The last time I subbed for Ed I wrote about a characteristically poor Maureen Dowd column. Since it’s Sunday, and political coverage seems, at least for the moment, relegated to Rick Santorum’s chest hair, I see no reason not to don the wetsuit and snorkel and dive back in.

The hook for today’s offering is a strained metaphor about the renovation of Mitt Romney’s home. Apparently, the furnished basement is a reminder that Romney is “an out-of-touch plutocrat and that his true nature is buried where we can’t see it.” (I’d have gone with an iceberg, but c’est la vie.) There is perhaps a good column to be written on that idea, but this isn’t that column.

In fact, Dowd seems to have gotten a hold of the Romney oppo book and The Book of Mormon, dropped both in a blender and hit puree.

I’ve condensed it for you:

Celestial Kingdom … the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms … baptized anyone and everyone, including Anne Frank, Gandhi, Hitler, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and Elvis. … Mormon feminists … celebrities and Holocaust victims … Ann Romney’s Welsh dad … Elie Wiesel … baptized over 600,000 Holocaust victims…. “Poor Anne Frank. As if she didn’t suffer enough.”

I left out the part where Dowd compares Romney to Al Gore — both of whom, according to the Pulitzer-winning columnist, are “animatronic.” They’re in good company: In December, Dowd wrote, “Like another animatronic candidate, Michael Dukakis, Romney uses his wife as a way to convey passion…”

I have two hopes for the Times op-ed page: That Gail Collins eventually drops her obsession with the Romney family dog, and that Maureen Dowd stops treating her column like Mad Libs.