Friday, October 16, 2015


Peggy Noonan looks at Donald Trump's continued dominance of the Republican presidential race and finds a culprit: Barack Obama.
The only thing I feel certain of is how we got here. There are many reasons we’re at this moment, but the essential political one is this: Mr. Obama lowered the bar. He was a literal unknown, an obscure former state legislator who hadn’t completed his single term as U.S. senator, but he was charismatic, canny, compelling. He came from nowhere and won it all twice. All previously prevailing standards, all usual expectations, were thrown out the window.
Oh, right -- prior to Obama, we never elected a president who was unknown and obscure (Carter), or inexperienced (Lincoln), or youthfully charismatic (Kennedy, Clinton), did we?

But, of course, Trump wasn't unknown or obscure before he entered this race. He didn't come from nowhere. He's decades older than Obama was when he first ran, he's white rather than black, he hasn't mastered the issues in the way Obama had by 2008 (nor has he shown any interest in mastering them) -- and, where Obama was dignified and mostly soft-spoken, Trump is a trash-talking loudmouth and a buffoon. But other than that they're two peas in a pod, right, Peggy?

Who really lowered the bar? I'd say it was the party that not only reveres an ex-actor and insult comic named Ronald Reagan but seriously considered him as a possible presidential candidate when he'd been in elective office less than two years. I'd say it's the party that put George W. Bush and Dan Quayle on two tickets each. I'd say it's the party that gave respectful consideration to presidential aspirants such as Pat Robertson, Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain. And I say it's the party that made Sarah Palin its vice presidential candidate, then made her a superstar.

If the bar's low, Peggy, your party's voters are the reason.


mlbxxxxxx said...

Seems like Cruz and Rubio have more in common with Obama's path to the presidency than Trump.

Nefer said...

"Who really lowered the bar?"
How about the party that welcomes Noonan's gin-soaked addled ruminations on the state of affairs in this country?

Ten Bears said...

That's chutzpa. I gotta' admit, I kinda' admire what those kind have done. Think about it: they started two, maybe three chicken-shit wars and derailed any thought of Peace for at least a couple of generations; put not just the nation but the world economy into the Greatest Recession since the Great Depression while simultaneously bailing out the International Bankers and Insrirers (Usarers), a process which has exponentially accelerated income inequality around the globe; all of which be paid for by my grandchildren... and they blame it, successfully, on the black called I'm to clean up the mess. That, is Chutzpa.

Unknown said...

I believe it was George Will who called Donald Trump a "bloviating ignoramus" a few years back....So Trump isn't a total waste...He gave Will a chance to be right about something.

Yastreblyansky said...

The "literal unknown" was a best-selling author with powerful praise from Tony Morrison, Philip Roth, Joke Line (in Time), and Michiko Kakutani, and the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in 2006. His keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention was a sensation. What does Peggy say about Marco Rubio, who's served in the Florida House for 8 years, the US Senate for 4, and achieved national recognition with a comparable speech where the sensation was not what he said but his desperate dive for a water bottle?

This, most recently:
Peggy Noonan: “Marco Rubio was fresh, crisp and poised. Hillary Clinton, he said, won’t be able to lecture him on living paycheck to paycheck because ‘I was raised paycheck to paycheck.’ He has successfully staked out the future as his theme—one that of course is underscored by his youth.” (Peggy Noonan, Op-Ed, “Fireworks at the Republican Debate,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/7/15)

• Noonan: Marco “has successfully staked out the future as his theme.” (Twitter, 8/7/15)