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Peggy Noonan: Liberal Tool?

Thus far I've picked on Simon, Michael Gerson and Charles Krauthammer.

I've said nice things about Mike Huckabee (seriously: I did. It won't happen again.) But I can't recall where.

In the past I've taken shots at Peggy Noonan for her schoolgirl crushes on Saint Ronnie O'Reagan and Cowboy George. But Peggy got it right on Obama.

I thought Barack Obama's speech was strong, thoughtful and important. Rather beautifully, it was a speech to think to, not clap to. It was clear that's what he wanted, and this is rare.

It seemed to me as honest a speech as one in his position could give within the limits imposed by politics. As such it was a contribution. We'll see if it was a success. The blowhard guild, proud member since 2000, praised it, and, in the biggest compliment, cable news shows came out of the speech not with jokes or jaded insiderism, but with thought. They started talking, pundits left and right, black and white, about what they'd experienced of race in America. It was kind of wonderful. I thought, Go, America, go, go.

That's what I thought, too.

Most significantly, Mr. Obama asserted that race in America has become a generational story. The original sin of slavery is a fact, but the progress we have lived through the past 50 years means each generation experiences race differently. Older blacks, like Mr. Wright, remember Jim Crow and were left misshapen by it. Some rose anyway, some did not; of the latter, a "legacy of defeat" went on to misshape another generation. The result: destructive anger that is at times "exploited by politicians" and that can keep African-Americans "from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition." But "a similar anger exists within segments of the white community." He speaks of working- and middle-class whites whose "experience is the immigrant experience," who started with nothing. "As far as they're concerned, no one handed them anything, they've built it from scratch." "So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town," when they hear of someone receiving preferences they never received, and "when they're told their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced," they feel anger too.

This is all, simply, true. And we are not used to political figures being frank, in this way, in public. For this Mr. Obama deserves deep credit.
Just another liberal water carrier, I guess.

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“Peggy Noonan: Liberal Tool?”

  1. Anonymous bookfraud Says:

    thanks for the noonan article -- she's mentioned her crush on obama before, but this was an honest appraisal of his speech.

    did you read the comments on the wsj site on her article? what i found amazing was that most of them were positive regarding obama, with one snotty reference to the krauthammer article. some were from hard-core christian republicans praising it.

  2. Blogger fabius.maximus.cunctator Says:

    Michael Reynolds:

    Mrs. Noonan certainly is a pro when it comes to empty rhetoric, corny catchphrases and phony emotions. She now recognizes a new master at this game and, as cd have been predicted on past form, develops a crush on the new master.

    Remember how “The Sun”, the right wing PRAVDA of the Brit lowbrows went over to Blair when he became a probable winner ? So maybe, in the fashion of a certain class of rodent leaving a stricken vessel, Mrs. Noonan`s new infatuation may help one to make forecasts.

    Well, whatever the queen of schmooze emotes about now, show me sound policy chaps, conservative or not, who root for Obama. Incidentially, I have noticed that Philip Carter of Intel-Dump, an ex-professional soldier and practicing NY lawyer with sound analytical ideas on lots of topics supports Obama. Now that is something.

    A personal feedback: I visit yr blog often and apreciate many of yr posts more than I can say. However, yr Obama comments are so partisan that I more or less glance at them and move on. Well, I do not come here for Ashley. I come here because your posts are often acerbic, snarky and insightful. And when I disagree, as I have done, it forces me to think. So, may I have some more of the catankerous contrarian then, and an Ardbeg, please.