Golfer Phil Mickelson (annual income: more than $60 million) recently whined about his tax bill. Peggy Noonan was impressed:
... his complaint came as kind of a relief. It was politically incorrect.... And it was unusual: Most people in his position are clever enough not to sound aggrieved.Yes, Peggy Noonan is right -- rich people never complain about being overtaxed or persecuted! You were just imagining that they do it all the time. It was a hallucination!
You know what else was a hallucination? Republican lockstep thinking. You just think they all think alike and vote alike and utter exactly the same Fox/talk radio talking points in exactly the same language. Totally not true, according to Noonan!
Conservatives on the ground are angry with [congressional Republicans] after the Benghazi hearings....Right -- it just seemed as if Republicans all asked the same questions. It just appeared as if Senator Rand Paul saying he'd have fired Clinton if he were president bore an uncanny resemblance to Congressman Jeff Duncan wondering why Clinton still has a job. You're missing the subtle differences!
The senators weren't organized or focused, they didn't coordinate questions, follow up, have any coherent or discernible strategy....
All this looked like another example of the mindless personal entrepreneurialism of the Republicans on the Hill: They're all in business for themselves. They make their speech, ask their question, and it's not connected to anyone else's speech or question. They aren't part of something that moves and makes progress.
Minority parties can't act like this, in such a slobby, un-unified way.
All this comes from a Noonan column titled "Lessons Conservatives Need to Learn." And you know what's another lesson conservatives need to learn, according to Noonan? This:
[Barack Obama] means to change America in fundamental ways and along the lines of justice as he sees it....That's right -- all those people who said he was a Marxist hell-bent on redistribution and reparations? Dinesh D'Souza? Newt Gingrich? Rush Limbaugh? According to Peggy Noonan, everyone else in the GOP should talk like those guys! And the Romney campaign, which ripped "You didn't build that" out of context, and spent weeks with the quote as the centerpiece of Romney's quest for the presidency? The Romney people were right! The GOP should spend even more time focusing on that quote and that idea!
He is certain he is right in what he's doing, which is changing the economic balance between rich and poor. The rich are going to be made less rich, and those who are needy or request help are going to get more in government services, which the rich will pay for.... The point is redistribution.
The great long-term question is the effect the change in mood he seeks to institute will have on what used to be called the national character. Eight years is almost half a generation. Don't you change people when you tell them they have an absolute right to government support regardless of their efforts? Don't you encourage dependence, and a bitter sense of entitlement? ...
"You didn't build that" are the defining words of his presidency.
This has been a dispatch from Peggy Noonan's Bizarro World.