Monday, September 07, 2009


I wrote a post on Friday about Peggy Noonan's most recent column, but I wanted to make another point about the column, in which Noonan referred briefly to Van Jones, in a surprisingly restrained way:

At a speech in Colorado someone asked if I was concerned about some of the appointees to the Obama administration. The questioner was referring obliquely to conservative dismay at Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs on the White House environmental council.

... Mr. Jones is not my concern. All early administrations draw to their middle and lower levels a certain number of activists from the edges -- flakes. But because they are extreme, they become controversial, and because they are controversial, they become ineffective. In its way the system works.

Hmmm ... why would Noonan not want to put the boot in? Um, maybe she feared throwing stones because her White House was a bit of a glass house? And no, I don't just mean James Watt.

Anyone remember a Reagan administration appointee named Marianne Mele Hall?

(Before resigning, Hall defended herself by saying she had merely edited the book that referred to blacks' "jungle freedoms," so it was OK.)

And anyone remember another Reagan appointee named Eileen Marie Gardner?

Gradner (who resigned soon after her controversial writings came to light) also wrote:

Yeah, as Noonan says, "all early administrations" have appointees like these, and they have to go.

...Oh, no wait -- these weren't early appointees. Hall joined the administration in 1985, after the Reagan folks had been around for four years. Gardner also arrived in 1985.

But Reagan was a great man, right?

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