Benny's World

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Peggy's Folly

Nearly every Saturday, I read Fox Street News the Wall Street Journal. I wish I had more time during the week to read it. The bloviations from the editorial hacks staff are comical. And the reason they are comical is because unlike Rush or Glenn Beck, they aren't trying to be entertaining. They take themselves very seriously.

One would think since I'm a strong progressive that I wouldn't bother to read teh Journal. Well, before our new reader NOISE gets his drawers in an uproar, most of BW readers know that I am in a mixed marriage. My spouse is a Ronald Reaganite who like the rest of the GOP pines for someone like Reagan. Back in the 1980's, I was semi-liberatarian and I never liked Reagan. To me, he was an actor, but obviously a good one because the unions didn't care that he busted them, especially in airline safety industry. I had no appreciation for Reagan wanting to dismantle education either. And thanks to Reagan, we have Justice Antone Scalia, who is a very smart man, but cannot interpret the Constitution.

Another person who pines for the good ol' days of the GOP is Reagan's former speechwriter, Peggy Noonan. She's fairly eloquent in her pennmanship, which is why each Saturday, I eagerly await to take the wrapper off the WSJ and open it during lunch (sometimes breakfast) to read her column.

Peggy gushed over Obama when he first took office. She called him a grown-up, which her highest complement to anyone. But now, the charms of Obama are wearing off on Peggy. Today, she said he was "coruscating" on thin ice." Coruscating was an unfamiliar word to me, as it probably would be for many readers, so let me provide a definition from Dictionary.com :

To give forth flashes of light; sparkle and glitter: diamonds coruscating in the candlelight.

I had to laugh.

Obviously, Peggy has not been reading TomP's posts at the Daily Kos, Chris Bowers at Open Left, Desmoinesdem at Bleeding Heartland, Dean Baker at TAPPED, Glen Ford of the Black Agenda or bothered listening to Montana Maven's show on Saturdays. None of them, and I am like them, were ever charmed by Obama as a candidate. I am charmed by his wife and children, and they are the best part of the White House, because they are role models for so many in our society. Difference between Peggy and those of us in left flank is that Peggy imbibed some of the kool-aid but we didn't. But like her, we'd hoped for the best. Maybe we would get at least thing we wanted the most: a public insurance option for health care in which there are no annual caps. We think Obama should have exerted more leadership early on given that he has a legislative branch in which the majority are of his same party. Yes, we know he didn't want to come across as the unitary executive, but sorry he had done so with his decision to increase troops in Afghanistan.

Peggy's flaming of Obama and his administration doesn't particularly bother me. But did bother me was her dishonest thinking about the GOP. Yes, she kind of slapped the GOP a bit today when she reflected about watch Teddy Kennedy's funeral last week:

"... and saw in a clearer way than I had in the past a big cultural difference between the elites of the two parties, or rather the Democratic and Republican establishments. Pretty much the entire Democratic establishment was at the Kennedy services, and the level of shown affection among those in the pews and the audience was striking—laughing, hugging, telling stories, admitting weaknesses, weeping. It was Irish, and old-time. If it had been a gathering of the Republican political and journalistic establishment it would have been less emotive, with little shown affection. Polite laughter, cordial handshakes, a lot of staring ahead. A guy with his head down and you think he's mourning but he's BlackBerrying. They don't especially like each other, they compete against each other, and they don't feel the need to fake liking each other."



I would have almost agreed, except then she finished her thought this way [about the GOP difference]:

They have the old dignity of the old grown-ups. And I suppose their style reflects some of their philosophy: Politics isn't about emotions but thoughts.

Well, as Reagan would say in avoidance, "there you go again", Peggy. How covenient to be like your former boss in forgetting important events. If one believes the GOP has behaved like a bunch of grown ups the town halls Democrats have been holding in the past month, Freepers who write hate mail to Markos, and GOP Representives, such as this one makes these kinds comments in public like this, it is sheer folly to say how "unemotional" they are.

Peggy, perhaps it's time you took off your blinders. Otherwise, I have some great beach front property in Central Illinois to sell you and your ilk, and I'll even throw in a BBQ grill.



(image courtesy of WSJ online)

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1 Comments:

  • In order for her to prove her thesis that liberal elites are raucous and emotional and fun and conservative elites are rational and button down and very grown up, she uses the Kennedys on the one hand and then doesn't mention anybody specific on the other side. She could have talked about the Buckleys perhaps or the Rockefellers. But they are mostly dead.

    Nope, she can't mention specific leaders because they are ....um....dumb and/or crazy. Mitch McConnell, Jim Inhofe, and Dave Vittner won't even read a health care bill. Dumb. Sarah Palin is crazy and dumb. Chuck Grassley is really dumb. And Michele Bachmann is really really crazy and really really dumb. "What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing." Um? Slit wrists? Way dumb.

    So she makes a broad distinction between emotional liberals and sensible conservatives and then says that Obama is cold, aloof, rational. Kind of how she described Republicans. Then she says that won't fly with the silent majority. So my head hurts from her strange schizo column.

    Is she saying that conservatives are grown up and rational, but the center of the country don't find them terribly cuddly? So the Republicans were smart to pick the actor Ronnie Reagan who could pretend to be warm and fuzzy and optimistic.

    And is she then implying that liberals are emotional raucus playful kid, so they needed to pick somebody who looks and sounds like a grownup? They thought they did, but may have got too much of the stern father figure instead.

    I'm actually tired of both Peggy Noonan and George Lakoff trying to pigeon hole liberals and conservatives into sensible conservatives and nurturing goochy goo liberals.

    There are a lot of sensible and mad as hell Americans of both persuasions that are fed up with those inbred elites of both parties whether they are cuddly or cool. We are tired of the act.

    By Blogger MontanaMaven, at 1:51 PM  

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