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Friday, February 17, 2006

Speaking of GOP Blondes That Drive Us Nuts

I'm probably going to attract some friendly fire here, but I gotta say it: Peggy Noonan makes me crazy. I have never understood precisely why she is considered a political sage, and I have never thought her analysis or advice was either valuable or entertaining.

Noonan's only real ticket to a seat at the table is her supposed brilliance as a wordsmith, and even here I have to dissent. She rose to prominence after publishing a memoir of her days as a speechwriter for Reagan and GHW Bush. She specializes in a sort of flowery mystical optimism; her most famous phrase is "a thousand points of light." What the hell is that supposed to mean, anyway, does anyone know? It's just one more empty phrase to be delivered while pretending to gaze over the horizon towards some misty new future. Everything she writes sounds like someone gave William Blake a lobotomy to get rid of the hellish hallucinations and then crossbred him with Madeleine Bassett.

Now Ms. Noonan turns her attention to 28 Gauge-gate, and pronounces Cheney the wounded one. I don't follow.

First, it's not like Cheney is the only "hate magnet" in the Bush administration. If the Kososphere is to be believed, Alberto Gonzales taught Jack Bauer everything he knows about torture and Michael Chertoff's dungeons are full of men who innocently phoned their Croatian great-aunts for the secret family paprikash recipe.

Second, it's not like Cheney did something to earn the title. I have never understood the visceral, subrational hatred the looney left harbors for this man. He's about as frightening as a small-town pharmacist. In fact, he reminds me of many of my high school friends' fathers. Oh, he's more articulate and intelligent, and certainly more powerful, but his small-town laconic regular guy essence is still very, very close to the surface. If he ran a repair shop or a hardware store I'd be his loyal and trusting customer, and I see no reason not to trust him to honorably perform the tasks he ended up doing instead.

Which brings me to third: the people whose hate is attracted by Dick Cheney will construct their own targets, and flushing him will do nothing to encourage a cease-fire.

Dick Cheney has served this country for forty years with uninterrupted dignity and equanimity. In payment he has suffered not just unsubstantiated charges of financial and political impropriety, which are now obligatory. He has endured, silently, the most outrageous attacks on his personal life, from the implication that he impregnated his wife to avoid the draft, to the public appropriation of his daughter's sexuality by his political rivals. If Noonan is by some slim chance correct, and powerful men are whispering his doom this afternoon over lunch at The Palm and Ebbitts Grill, then I say: shame on you, you insufferable maggots. Happily, odds are she's wrong again.


Hunter Baker said...

Ms. Noonan hits quite a few wrong notes these days. I'm quite sure she's wrong about Cheney. He'll be there till the end FOR CERTAIN.

I have a lot of affection for her thanks to the truly great political memoir "What I Saw at the Revolution." I have rarely enjoyed a book in that genre more.

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Kathy, I've also wondered of late what it is about Ms. Noonan that makes her so well respected. It seems that more often than not she's arguring for positions that are distinctly out of the conservative mainstream, which is fine, but how often do you do that before calling yourself a conservative is no longer truth in labeling.

She also doesn't always appear to me to be all there. A little ditzy, to use a sexist phrase. On this Cheney thing she has ditzed right off the edge.

D said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom Van Dyke said...

Peggy Noonan is one of the foxiest women over 50 (and over 40 or 30 or...) on this planet, tho I'm glad she dropped the leather jackets. Plus, Republican men, who are the marrying kind (you could look up the exit polls), are suckers for a hot babe who talks like the Queen of England. You could look that up, too, altho I dunno where. You might have to take my word on that one.

Miss Peggy is a retro-con, sorta like George Will, part of the old-guard country club GOP: patrician, entirely reasonable-sounding albeit quaint to the old-guard FDR/Kennedy establishment, and entirely desirable as an invitee to a dinner party as some "spice" and diversity. (Sometimes, they even pretend to understand baseball.)

In her defense, she is from a different age, a different world: Ms. Noonan is indistinguishable from a JFK Democrat, but then again, so was Ronald Reagan.

Time Out said...

Kathy - (going to attract some friendly fire here)- just a little. At the risk of being accused of casting aspersions would there be a possibility
of a little jealosy? You are a good writer, is why I'm asking...

Of course Tom is absolutely right "one of the foxiest women over 50 (and over 40 or 30 or...) on this planet" and again risking the aspersion angle,
historically women have an inherent competitive thing goin' on regarding physical stuff.

But, more important, I don't read in
this post anything substantive in regard to the content of the article. (The main reason I'm concluding these points.)

I ain't exactly gay, but I'm in love with Dick Cheney. He's, IMHO, one of the best things happening in our politics.

But in the
proverbial "bigger picture" Ms. Noonan may be on to something.

As much of a disadvantage we Conservatives have when it comes to media exposure
again IMHO we need to stick together. Not that we shouldn't have discourse, of course, and FYI this is my first response to a Blog making that point;
just sayin'...

But beyond all that, Ms. Noonan elucidates with avoidance of pander.

Timothy Birdnow said...

I agree with you, Kathy; Peggy Noonan is, at best, a milqtoast conservative, and I have never understood how she commands such respect.

I agree with Tom Van Dyke; she is conservative window dressing for the liberal insider set-and she labors to attain that status.

connie deady said...


I despise Cheney because he lies without blinking an eyelid. We looney leftists believe he's also the architect of the Iraqi war. And he takes a Straussian approach to governing, he's right and everyone else is wrong.