With Apologies to Cicero

When, O Maureen, do you intend to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now? Does not the biweekly mockery of the populace—does not the laughter throughout the city—does not the scorn of the people, and the union of all good men and women—does not the precaution of writing behind a firewall—do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present, have any effect upon you? Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge which every one here possesses of it? What is there that you wrote last night, what the four nights before— where is it that you were—what demented muse that you summoned to meet you—what design was there which was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted?

Shame on the age and on its principles! We are aware of these things; we see them; and yet this woman lives and writes. Lives! aye, she even appears in public! She takes a part in the public deliberations; she is watching and marking down and checking off for sub-mental analysis every individual among us. And we, gallant men and women that we are, think that we are doing our duty to the republic if we keep out of the way of her frenzied attacks.

You ought, O Maureen, long ago to have been led to retirement by command of the Ochs-Sulzbergers. That destruction which you have been long plotting against us ought to have already fallen on your own head.

What? Did not that most illustrious man, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, the Pontifex Maximus, in his capacity as the newspaper’s publisher, put to death Howell Raines and Gerald M. Boyd, for but slightly undermining its reputation? And shall we, who are the readers, tolerate Maureen, openly desirous to destroy the whole world with bile and snark? There was—there was once such virtue in this republic, that brave men and women would repress mischievous columnists with severer chastisement than the most bitter enemy. For we have a resolution of the people, a formidable and authoritative decree against you, O Maureen; the wisdom of the republic is not at fault, nor the dignity of this body. We, we alone,—I say it openly, —we, the people, are waiting in our duty.

[Cross-posted at Booman Tribune]

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.