The closest Dowd comes to just saying it is to quote James Carville kvetching about “stupid wokeness”.
Here’s what she could have said: Goaded and justifiably alarmed by Donald Trump’s racist, dog-whistled taunts during the ‘15 and ‘16 campaign, doubly freaked by his defeat of Hillary Clinton, jarred by “The 1619 Project” (launched in August’19) and then carried along by the agonized George Floyd protests of May ‘20, Democrats embraced the woke progressive agenda lock, stock and barrel.
The time had come to not only push back against 300 years of systemic racism but to embrace anti–white racism as a counterweight. The tables had to be turned, and whites had to not only be confronted but condemned for a bedrock biological poison in their bones a la Robin DiAngelo. Which required stringent anti-racist education in not just colleges but public schools, and in some cases with young kids being taught this doctrine.
This led to suburban parental perceptions that wokesters had overplayed their hand — that the basic educational thrust in schools was that people of color are sainted figures and hothouse flowers and needed to be treated with scholastic kid gloves (equity vs. “racist” meritocracy) and that European-descended Anglo culture is rooted in cruel, dismissive, anti-persons-of-color attitudes.
Nobody has any arguments with frank teachings about the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow and systemic governmental prejudice and neglect, but instructing kids that whites are infected with a fundamental evil gene was a bridge too far, and telling parents not to try and mess with school curriculums (as Terry McAuliffe did) was rubbing salt in the wound. Hence the decisive victory of Glenn Youngkin last Tuesday.
That’s what Dowd could have said.