God, She’s Become Annoying

Here’s Peggy Noonan* at the opening of the Bush library:

“President Obama was more formal than the other speakers and less confident than usual, as if he knew he was surrounded by people who have something he doesn’t.”

Carter, Clinton, Bush 41, and Bush 43 are all so different from one another.  You know, Peggy, the only thing I think they all have that Obama doesn’t is white skin.

Whenever she writes about the President, she really turns into a nasty piece of work.

*  “The Presidential Wheel Turns,” WSJ

Mitt’s Problem in a Sentence

Peggy Noonan says this of Jon Huntsman,* but I think it’s true and telling about Mitt:

“Voters don’t take to you when they know you don’t take to them.”  That’s it, that’s his problem, and it saves a lot of money on consultants and focus groups.

Come November, it will be the epitaph of his campaign.

Speaking of Mitt, Noonan has this to say:

“We learned Mitt Romney is not a greatly improved candidate from four years ago. He has endurance and discipline: He wants this thing. The reason why is still not fully clear. His political instincts and sense of subject matter are not much better than they were in 2008. The awkwardness continues.”  Emphasis added.

*  “It’s Over.  What Have We Learned?”  WSJ

Must Read from Frank Rich on the GOP and Women

Frank Rich has an excellent article, “Stag Party,” in New York Magazine, available at nymag.com.  He writes about not only the GOP’s current war on women, but also the history going back to the Nixon Administration, after years of Republicans supporting women’s rights.   Some excerpts:

“At the very top of the Washington GOP Establishment, however, there was a dawning recognition that a grave danger had arisen — not to women, but to their own brand.  A month of noisy Republican intrusion into women’s health and sex organs, amplified by the megaphone of Limbaugh’s aria, was a potentially apocalyptic combination for an election year.  No one expressed this fear more nakedly than Peggy Noonan …on ABC’s This Week.  After duly calling out Rush for being ‘crude, rude, even piggish,’ she added:  ‘But what he said was also destructive.  It confused the issue.  It played into this trope that the Republicans have a war on women.  No, they don’t, but he made it look that way.’

“Note that she found Limbaugh ‘destructive’ not because he was harming women but because he was harming her party.  But the problem wasn’t that Limbaugh confused the issue.  His real transgression was that he had given away the GOP game….  That’s why his behavior resonated with and angered so many Americans who otherwise might have tuned out his rant as just another sloppy helping of his aging shtick.  It’s precisely because there is a Republican war on women that he hit a nerve.  And surely no one knows that better than Noonan, a foot soldier in some of the war’s early battles well before Rush became a phenomenon.

“GOP apologists like Noonan are hoping now that Limbaugh and Limbaugh alone will remain the issue — a useful big fat idiot whom Republicans can scapegoat for all the right’s misogynistic sins and use as a club to smack down piggish liberal media stars.  The hope is that he will change the subject of the conversation altogether, from a Republican war on  women to, as Noonan now frames it, the bipartisan ‘coarsening of discourse in public life.’  That’s a side issue, if not a red herring.  Coarse and destructive as sexist invective is — whether deployed by Limbaugh or liberals — it is nonetheless policies and laws that inflict the most insidious and serious casualties in the war on women.  It’s Republicans in power, not radio talk-show hosts or comedians or cable-news anchors, who try and too often succeed at enacting punitive measured aimed at more than half the population.  The war on women is rightly named because those who are waging it do real harm to real women with their actions, not words.”


Peggy Noonan on Why Mitt Gives Us the Creeps

“Here’s something Americans intuit about motivations in presidential politics. When a candidate is on a mission to rescue the country, they can tell. When it’s about the nation and not him, they can tell. When he has a general philosophy of government and politics, they will listen, and give a fair hearing.

“But when a candidate says, not blatantly but between the lines, ‘I want to be president because I’m an extraordinary and superior human and want you to see me that way too,’ well, that sort of subliminally gives a lot of people the creeps. They will see you as ego-driven, not purpose-driven. They may elect you anyway, but this year especially they won’t.”

Peggy Noonan, “Kvetch a Sketch,” WSJ

GOP Intellectuals Can’t Stand Newt, the Intellectual Candidate

It’s interesting that Newt Gingrich presents himself as the intellectual in the GOP primary race, and yet party intellectuals (George Will, David Brooks, David Frum, Peggy Noonan, Charles Krauthammer) can’t stand him and are arguing passionately against the passionate one.  They agree that he’s smart, but conclude that scary should make you run screaming from smart.

Peggy Noonan Gets It Backwards

Peggy Noonan’s latest column in the WSJ, “Happy Days Aren’t Here Again,” predictably praises Republicans and dings Dems.  But her own arguments betray her.

She describes Republicans as “The ones who said there actually were limits.  The ones who said you have to know who man is, don’t push him too far.”

But that’s precisely why we can’t have the lack of regulation Republicans support.  If you know who man is, how weak and greedy he is, you don’t allow him to pursue derivatives and credit default swaps without any oversight.  You regulate banking, all banking, and don’t allow an entire shadow economy to exist without any oversight.

It’s not just banking, it’s all industries where Republicans fight regulation, and when they can’t avoid it, appoint foxes to guard the henhouses.  Miners die every year in this country because mine owners cut safety corners to make more money, and the government slaps them on the wrist and doesn’t shut them down, doesn’t hit them where it hurts.

Noonan writes well, but not wisely.