Friday, January 04, 2013


Peggy Noonan is grumpy because, in her opinion, the president of the United States didn't play nice in the fiscal cliff negotiations:
After the past week it seems clear Mr Obama doesn't really want to work well with the other side. He doesn't want big bipartisan victories that let everyone crow a little and move forward and make progress. He wants his opponents in disarray, fighting without and within. He wants them incapable. He wants them confused.

... I doubt now he has any intention of working with [Republicans] on big reforms, of battling out a compromise at a conference table, of having long walks and long talks and making offers that are serious, that won't be changed overnight to something else. The president intends to consistently beat his opponents and leave them looking bad, or, failing that, to lose to them sometimes and then make them look bad. That's how he does politics.
Yes -- and that's really awful, because Republicans are trying so hard to be reasonable. Right, Peggy?

Well, in fact, Noonan acknowledges that they aren't:
Mr. Obama's supporters always give him an out by saying, "But the president can't work with them, they made it clear from the beginning their agenda was to do him in." That's true enough. But it's true with every American president now -- the other side is always trying to do him in, or at least the other side's big mouths are always braying they'll take him down. They tried to capsize Bill Clinton, they tried to do in Reagan, they called him an amiable dunce and vowed to defeat his wicked ideology.

We live in a polarized age. We have for a while. One of the odd things about the Obama White House is that they are traumatized by the normal.
So, to sum up Noonan's point: Obama is trying to crush his opponents. That's horrible and dangerous. Obama's opponents, in turn, are trying to crush him. That's perfectly OK -- hey, what did you expect, you silly Democrat? That's just the way things are.

And if Obama responds to people who want to crush him (a reasonable desire) by trying to crush them instead (a depraved desire), it's because he and his team "are traumatized by the normal." (Because the traumatized combatant always beats the untraumatized combatant, right?) Whereas his opponents want to crush him because ... well, we never actually find out why Noonan thinks they want to crush him, except that that's just the way things are now. He's a frog and they're scorpions. Of course they have to sting him. It's their nature.


Victor said...

Just when you think Nooner's has written the stupidest feckin' thing in her long, useless, and pedantic feckin' life, she mixes herself another min gouble dartooni, and tops herself.

Bulworth said...

"Long walks and long talks." That's gold, Jerry, gold!

aimai said...

This is like panning for gold in a sewer. There's really no logic in any of Peggy's columns because theya re stream of conciousness from a supremely unconscious woman. However, she has grasped something that a whole lot of Kossacks don't seem to grasp: President Obama, like any other politician, doesn't mean half of the nice things he says. Probably he doesn't mean any of them. When he says "bipartisanship" Peggy and the Republicans know he means "I'll grind yoru bones to make my bread and make you lok bad in the process." This is really not rocket surgery (sic).


BH said...

PN's piece does seem remarkably incoherent, even for her. For one thing, even if BO wanted to take those long walks and have those long talks, with whom is he supposed to do so? Boehner, who - although again the Speaker and thus the nominal boss of the chamber wherein lies the GOP's current power base - apparently has no real authority to negotiate? McConnell, the Minority Leader in the chamber where BO's own party has the majority, who likewise can't guarantee that he even speaks for all the GOP Senators, much less the House GOP? Whether BO wants the GOP to be fragmented (and no doubt he does for most purposes, as do I) or not, it is so largely by its own doing - most notably its myopic agitation of its know-nothing base and the resulting elections of the likes of Allan West & Louie Gohmert.

The New York Crank said...

To paraphrase a spokeswoman for American Indians (I forget her name and exact language, but there's a space devoted to her at the Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan:

"When you murder our people and destroy our villages you are brave patriots. When we murder your people we are savages."

Peggy has learned that lesson in reverse.

Oh, and one more thing: When she goes on TV would she please drop that whine-y voice. I want to throw up.

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank