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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Peggy Noonan; the Willard of Washington

Timothy Birdnow

I saw this comment from Peggy Noonan at the Patriot Post:

"Somewhere around 2004 the Republican Party broke in a new way. The GOP had been riven before -- Taft-Eisenhower, Goldwater-Establishment, Reagan-Ford -- and always healed back. But the split that grew after 2004 was different. Trust broke, and in a time not of peace and prosperity but of crisis. Which made the impact deeper. What is called the tea party is the rightward part of the conservative base. They became angry that they had trusted the Republican establishment during a Republican presidency, only to see that establishment run up huge debt, launch foreign wars, contribute to the surveillance state, and refuse to control America's borders. What made the anger deeper is that they were angry at themselves. They felt complicit: They had not rebelled, they had trusted the party: 'They're the GOP establishment, they must know what they're doing.' What the conservative base had learned by 2008 is: Don't trust the Republican party. Don't trust its establishments. ... The Republicans' challenge now: holding together, and breaking 20th-century stereotypes. They should distance themselves from government even as they prove they can govern, and not only oppose but propose. They should put themselves apart from the rigged, piggish insider life of Washington. And try not to look nuts while they're doing it."


Well, well well. Peggy "loins a-quiverin' for Obama" Noonan is starting to figure things out. Well, not really, but she has to make a show of figuring things out, because she has to remain a voice in the CONSERVATIVE movement (the liberals don't want to let her in) so she has to appeal to the people she largely considers rubes. Yet even here she misses the boat - almost spectacularly, in some ways.

First, she disregards the '90's, where the GOP establishment, after storming Congress, allowed the Democrats to whittle away at their power through accomodation. Forgotten by Noonan is the impeachment of Bill Clinton, where the GOP controlled Senate, terrified by Clinton's popularity, refused to conduct a real trial. (I remember the end of the trial where Chief Justice Rehnquist was thanked by Trent Lott; Rehnquist had a look of total disgust on his face, disgust born of presiding over what was obviously a sham.) They also feared an incumbent Al Gore, which was foolish, considering Gore would have taken much of the blame for the Clinton Administration (what was he going to do? He would have pardoned Clinton as surely as Ford pardoned Nixon, and paid the same price). So Lott and the other cowardly establishment types designed the trial so as to end swiftly with an acquittal. Testimony was limited, witnesses were limited, the scope of options limited BY THE GOP SENATE. In the end, President Clinton lied under oath to a federal judge (and had his law licence revoked for it by said judge), lied to Congress, obstructed justice, and got away with it because the GOP was frightened.

The base of the GOP watched as the Democrats leeched power from the GOP in the Senate, as the GOP supported RINOs and eventually offered a "power sharing" arrangement - an arrangement that they had no reason to offer as they still held a plurality. We watched as the GOP played a "duck and cover" strategy that cost them seats in the off-year election of 1998, a strategy that any fool should have understood wouldn't work but which Newt Gingrich confidently championed. We watched as the Republicans who had taken power in '94 broke their promises, promises of term limits, of control of spending, of standing on principle. As a result, they lost the Senate and the House margins shrunk. The Republicans appeared little diferent from the Democrats.

That was in the 1990's; the 2000's were even worse, as the GOP would not buck it's titular leader who would have been happier had he been a Democrat in the 1970's just prior to McGovern.

But let us continue with Noonan's piece.

Pegs calls the Tea Party the rightward part of the conservative base. No, it is not; it is the fiscally conservative populace without allegiance to the GOP. It is not necessarily right wing. There are people who hold some pretty liberal views who nevertheless understand that we are facing a financial armegeddon if we continue to waste money. And "Big Government Conservatism" was always an oxymoron, a way to say "liberal Republican" without the stigma. George W. Bush may have held some conservative principles, but in the end he resembled what used to be called liberal Democrats - men like John Kennedy. There used to be Democrats who were socially liberal, fiscally irresponsible, but strong on defense, and that pretty much sums up W. Bush. He believed government could perfect the world - as does the establishment inside the GOP.

And while our girl is correct in identifying anger in the base over huge deficits and open borders, she is flat wrong about anger in the base over "foreign wars" and "the surveillance state". The base would have been furious if Bush HADN'T invaded Afghanistan (I remember how angry everyone was he took some time before launching the invasion) and Iraq had some conservative detractors but was mostly supported by conservatives. We wanted something done, to take the initiative against our enemies, not huddle in our bunkers hoping the enemy doesn't show up. What soured the base on Iraq was it's execution; the insufficiency of troops, the emphasis on "winning hearts and minds" instead of first winning on the battlefield, the WEAKNESS displayed by our side over issues such as bringing Bibles into Iraq, or any other of the many acts of Dhimmitude committed during this engagement.

Ditto the "surveillance state". The powers given by the Patriot Act have been abused, granted, but nobody was upset at the time. In point of fact, what we are upset about is the way they are used against us and not the enemy. We frisk little old ladies in airports and let men walk past in bedsheets because we don't want to "profile". We let the flying Imams get away with causing trouble then let them sue. We strip search little children while allowing Abdul with the knife-scar down his cheek to get on planes unmolested. We've got the government reading our e-mails about our sick grandmother, yet all hell broke loose when it came to light that the Bush administration was checking where telephone calls of suspected terrorists were going (they weren't listening in, mind you, just watching where they were going.)

It has never been about surveillance but about the stupid execution of surveillance. And that really has never been a beef of the Tea Party anyway.

Oh, and YOU Peggy have been a staunch supporter of open borders, I might add.

Also, you say;

"What made the anger deeper is that they were angry at themselves. They felt complicit: They had not rebelled, they had trusted the party: 'They're the GOP establishment, they must know what they're doing.'"

Yes; YOU told us this very thing! YOU pushed us into keeping silent, into accepting assurances from those on our side who claimed we needed to give them just a little more power. We listened to YOU when Arlen Specter was up against Pat Toomey and you supported Specter, for instance.

And now you come to us with your "sage" advice, suggesting the GOP distance itself from Washington (well, duh!) even while you try to worm your way into the party set. Oh, and we "mustn't look kookie while doing it"; this illustrates your insider view to a T. To the insiders, the Tea Party ARE a bunch of kooks. Looking like a kook means going against the status quo. Ronald Reagan looked like a kook to the establishment before he became President. I was there; I remember. Your advice would mean we would have nominated George H.W. Bush, or Bob Dole, or Lowell Weicker, or Howard Baker. These were the "non-kook" candidates in the race (along with a few more).

It's time we stopped listening to YOU, dear!

Barack Obama tapped into a fundamental desire in this country; people know instinctively that the system is broken, and are looking for a way out. Obama promised "change" without specifics, and people were desperate for some new leadership. Much like a used car salesman Obama waxed glowingly about his "new" agenda which turned out to be a dilapidated old wreck that had been detailed and waxed to look new. His idea of new was to bring back the 1970's. But his failure doesn't mean the public isn't searching for more. People want leadership - and not the same old politics. They want honest men in power. They want people unlike a Peggy Noonan who hangs around year after year like toenail fungus, feeding off the droppings of the ruling class. This explains the popularity of Herman Cain, for example; Cain is clearly not a polished insider politician. His numbers have been rising during this whole "sex misconduct" scandal precisely because of his inept response. He is GENUINE. A career guy would have had a team of lawyers on top of this immediately, with slick sound bytes and canned responses. Cain appears to be an honest man; his inept handling of this bespeaks someone who was completely blindsided. That is what America wants; a guy who reacts rather than plots.

And this is the same for the Occupy crowd of 99 centers; they want an honest SOCIALIST. They are tired of creeping around, hiding their beliefs, of triangulation, of hidden agendas. They want to parade their lunacy publicly. Granted, their movement is organized and funded by Soros and the White House, but the foot soldier is seeking honesty as surely as the Tea Party. People are tired of acting polite to the enemy's face while knifing him in the back.

But Peg-O-my-spleen thinks concepts like honesty are silly notions. She believes we should continue to pander, to triangulate, to feed the cockroaches that infest the halls of power. She just wants those cockroaches to be our cockroaches and not theirs. Oh, and she wants to be among them.

Perhaps rats would be a better metaphor. Anybody remember the movie Willard?

In the end, the elites have failed us because they have sought power for their own sakes and not for the good of the country. The American People understand this, and are starting to realize that they are the true rulers of this nation. A Peggy Noonan may honestly believe in the lie perpetrated by the media of the great moderate middle, but more than likely she simply likes to ingratiate herself to the cocktail party set.

In the end, if she bucks the rats they will eat her. I think she knows that.

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