Friday, October 31, 2008


Peggy Noonan today, looking forward with trepidation to non-divided government at a moment of crisis:

What will this mix produce? A runaway train with no one to put on the brakes, to claim a mandate for slowing, no one to cry "Crossing ahead"? Democrats in Congress will move for innovation when much of the country hopes only for stability. Who will tell Congress of that rest of the nation? Mr. Obama will be overwhelmed trying to placate the innovators.

"Stability"? Um, I think some people wanted a little stability back in 1981, when Noonan's ex-boss entered the Oval Office. Instead, we got a radical restructuring of the tax code, the gutting of regulation and the social safety net, and several years of Cold War brinkmanship. Didn't seem to ruffle Noonan's feathers.

But does Noonan actually think Barack Obama will create anxiety by exuding a sense of instability? Does she actually think he'll be overwhelmed? Barack Obama -- clearly the least overwhelmable person on the planet? If he's president, whatever he does is absolutely going to carry an air of steadiness and stability, just because of the way he carries himself and the way he wants change to occur, i.e., with as many people on board as possible.

By contrast, if McCain gets into the White House, he'll be overwhelmed if the batteries die on his TV remote, and he'll probably demand a complete nationwide changeover to steam-powered television transmission.

And he'll probably want the changeover to be overseen by Joe the Plumber.

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