Friday, July 10, 2009

Peggy Noonan, Thou Art Loosed...

For Peggy Noonan to describe Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate as "political bullshit" was an understatement.

Though she expressed her reservations about Palin's qualifications as a one a heartbeat away from the reins of the Presidency, now that she tendered her resignation as Governor of Alaska, Noonan unleashed a scathing editorial in the Wall Street Journal' pointing out how unfit and unqualified Palin really was:

"In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn't thoughtful enough to know she wasn't thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. "I'm not wired that way," "I'm not a quitter," "I'm standing up for our values." I'm, I'm, I'm.

In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying."

Noonan goes on to add, "She is a complete elite confection...she might as well have been a bonbon," and "She makes the party look stupid, a party of the easily manipulated."

Needless to say, it took Tina Fey's satirical evisceration of Palin on Saturday Night Live to show how unfit and how way over her head and out of her depth Palin really was. And given the relentless critiques offered by blogger Shannyn Moore -- who is now being threated with legal action by Palin, who likewise threatened the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, MSNBC, and other media outlets who dared to attack her.

Ironically, the harshest criticism of Palin herself came from conservatives themselves: Kathleen Parker, Richard Cohen, Andrew Sullivan, and even Peggy Noonan have consistently attacked Palin's qualifications and whether she had the capacity to function as the nation's chief executive.

And finally, Noonan offers a critique -- and some sage advice -- that makes perfect sense given the dominance of the GOP by its wingnut fringe:

"Here's why all this matters. The world is a dangerous place. It has never been more so, or more complicated, more straining of the reasoning powers of those with actual genius and true judgment. This is a time for conservative leaders who know how to think.

Here are a few examples of what we may face in the next 10 years: a profound and prolonged American crash, with the admission of bankruptcy and the spread of deep social unrest; one or more American cities getting hit with weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source; faint glimmers of actual secessionist movements as Americans for various reasons and in various areas decide the burdens and assumptions of the federal government are no longer attractive or legitimate.

The era we face, that is soon upon us, will require a great deal from our leaders. They had better be sturdy. They will have to be gifted. There will be many who cannot, and should not, make the cut. Now is the time to look for those who can. And so the Republican Party should get serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party—a party that deserves to lead—would do.

It's not a time to be frivolous, or to feel the temptation of resentment, or the temptation of thinking next year will be more or less like last year, and the assumptions of our childhoods will more or less reign in our future. It won't be that way.

We are going to need the best.

And what does the GOP have to offer? Sarah Palin? Michele Bachmann? Bobby Jindal? Mark Sanford?

Can you guess as to why some national nightmares never seem to end?

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