Friday, August 07, 2009

Obama Not A Man

At firedoglake.com, blue texan quoted her as writing "the health-care protesters have to make sure they don’t get too hot, or get out of hand. They haven’t so far, they’ve been burly and full of debate, with plenty of booing. This is democracy’s great barbaric yawp." He/she concludes

This is the first time I've seen racism and death threats described as 'great.'

Media Matters.org recognized that

she whole heartedly defends the mini-mobs and berates Democrats for having the nerve to push back rhetorically (and) ignores the death threats issued to at least one Congressman. She ignores that members of Congress now routinely have to be escorted to their cars by police after mini-mobs unleash their wrath (and) lectures the White House that nobody in the administration--nobody--should be using Nazi references in the context of the health care debate. Ever. This, of course, one day after Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck both accused the White House of acting like Nazi's (sic).

At his Daily Dish blog, the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan noted

She is not terrified by massively escalating healthcare costs, which are bankrupting the government and the private sector. She doesn't mention these once in her know-nothing column. She just channels the "feelings" of others and wants that to guide public policy. She does not mention the crises on many people's lives because of our current healthcare system. In fact, there is not a scintilla of a constructive proposal in the column - just an amorphous sense that anything that costs money shouldn't happen now....

And who is the "she" they are referring to? None other than Wall Street Journal columnist and former President Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, having penned an opinion piece on August 7, 2008, invoking all the usual villains to rationalize the angry mobs which have disrupted town hall meetings called by Democrats in their home districts last week. Nancy Pelosi (the favorite Repub target), the Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, the AFL-CIO, and even Noonan's favorite Democrat, Barack Obama.

Funny, though. Criticizing Pelosi for criticizing demonstrators for criticizing Obama, Noonan charges "for normal people, it's not all about Obama." Later, she upbraids the President, who should

should call in his troops and his Congress and announce a rethinking. There are too many different bills, they’re all a thousand pages long, no one has time to read them, no one knows what’s going to be in the final one, the public is agitated, the nation’s in crisis, the timing is wrong, we’ll turn to it again—but not now. We’ll take a little longer, ponder every aspect, and make clear every complication.

The President, she seems to be saying, is weak- he hasn't been able to "call in his troops" and order them to do as they should. There is a faint odor about this coming from Ms. Noonan.

From New York Magazine, "Looking For Mr. Right" is a compendium- as of mid-2004- of Peggy Noonan's Greatest Hits, and below a couple of quotes, the first in the longer version about President Reagan, the second about Reagan and President George W. Bush that didn't make the list.

But you know, that’s how I think a lot of people felt when Reagan was in the White House: Daddy’s home. A wise and brave and responsible man is running things. And that’s a good way to feel.

The charismatic figure Mr. Bush follows is the last big American president, the last who had the massive presence of a battleship, Ronald Reagan.


There is an obvious pattern in Noonan's elegant prose, including “Men are back. Manliness is once again being honored and celebrated in our country ... I am speaking of masculine men, men who push things and pull things and haul things and build things ... Manliness wins wars.”

Noonan loves masculinity. Hard, muscles ripplin' masculinity. And unless President Obama reins in those wimpish, liberal, renegade Democrats, he just doesn't cut it for her.

Obama is unlikely to demonstrate such manful manliness. He doesn't need to. He has Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to do that, as Jane Hamsher points out. And with Emanuel, the President aims to go 14-0 on legislation. Even if he has to sacrifice genuine health care reform to do it.

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