Friday, October 17, 2008

Peggy Noonan's Impalin' Palin

Peggy Noonan holds Sarah Palin in very little regard.

This does not come as a surprise to me. A few days after McCain announced Palin as his running mate, Noonan appeared on MSNBC and while off camera referred to her selection as "political bullsh*@t."

Well, in an article the Wall Street Journal titled "Palin's Failin'", Noonan spreads this idea around. (

Noonan writes, "She was a dope and unqualified from the start."

Tell that to Frank Murkowski. How does a dope defeat a man who served 22 years in the U.S. Senate and the man who was the sitting governor in the GOP Primary in 2006? Tell that to Tony Knowles. How does a dope then go on to defeat a man who served as Governor of Alaska for two terms? Is Noonan suggesting the good people of Alaska are dopes for voting for her? At the very least, Noonan vastly underestimates Palin

Then Noonan compares Palin to Harry Truman:

Mrs. Palin came, essentially, from nowhere. But there was a man who came from nowhere, the seeming tool of a political machine, a tidy, narrow, unsophisticated senator appointed to high office and then thrust into power by a careless Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose vanity told him he would live forever. And yet that limited little man was Harry Truman. Of the Marshall Plan, of containment. Little Harry was big. He had magic. You have to give people time to show what they have. Because maybe they have magic too.

But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the toolss, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office.

Where does one begin? Well, John McCain sure hold Sarah Palin in higher regard than FDR held Truman. In fact, FDR held Truman in such low regard that when he assumed office in April 1945 upon FDR's death he did not know about the Manhattan Project. The only person who probably held Truman is lower regard than FDR was Truman's own mother-in-law.

Noonan refers to the containment and the Marshall Plan. Yet these policies would not be implemented until March 1947 and July 1947, respectively. That's two years into his Presidency. It's worth remembering that few at the time thought Truman had a chance of being re-elected hence the headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman." Noonan speaks of giving people time yet writes off Palin as a dope after seven weeks. If Noonan was alive in May 1945 I am sure she too would have written him off as a dope and titled her column, "Doomin' Truman."

Noonan complains that "it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite." She's neither. She's Sarah Palin. She can't fill their shoes. She can only fill her own.

Finally, the article turns to Christopher Buckley. She claims "he was shooed from the great magazine his father invented." Nonsense. He offered his resignation from National Review. They accepted. But Noonan doesn't let the facts get in the way of her rhetoric. She writes, "In all this, the conservative intelligentsia are doing what they have done for five years. They bitterly attacked those who came to stand against the Bush Administration." Who are they? I want names, Peggy. Most of the National Review writers spoke of Buckley in the highest regards while offering their respectful disagreement. Jonah Goldberg was typical in his reaction to Buckley's endorsement:

I am a great fan of Christopher's. I am proud to call him my friend and I am grateful for his kindnesses. None of that changes because of his decision to endorse Barack Obama. But I think he's wrong. I would very much like to leave it at that.

So where's the bitterness here? Where's the shooing away that she writes of?

Even so is Christopher Buckley suddenly above criticism? If a conservative endorses Obama over McCain on the basis of (amongst other things) that McCain has changed then that conservative ought to be prepared for criticism. And I put forth my two cents. ( Every time I write an article or a blog I am prepared to be told that I am full of it. That comes with the territory. If Peggy Noonan has something to say about what I've written she is welcome to reply.

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