FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Some of The Sleeping Awaken; Some Still Loudly Snore…
I can ignore the extent to which I oppose our current President’s policies and deplore many of his disingenuous thug tactics when evaluating his ability to light up an audience with his rhetoric. President Obama has a talent to accomplish two seemingly contradictory goals. He fires up the radicals while simultaneously lulling the moderates to a trusting sleep.
Now all is not well in the kingdom of Hope and Change and those who believed in his promises must face a decision. They can take a leap of faith and write off email@example.com as a necessary evil to accomplish vital reform. Or, they can wake up and smell the asphalt; as citizen protestors are accused of being Astroturf Nazis.
Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker seem to typify this contingent of sleeping moderates. In the past, each espoused a moderate conservatism that included a willingness to accept and experiment with what they deemed to be the “good” or the “smart” aspects of liberalism. Each grew uneasy with Republican leadership that they viewed as “too extreme.” Each seemed to break substantially with the GOP in the last election and clearly preferred Barack Obama to John McCain. One remains entirely happy with her decision.
Peggy Noonan no longer seems to be satisfied with her choice to support Obama. That may not necessarily mean she wishes she could rewrite the script and get McCain elected instead. However, it shows that she has made a rational evaluation of what she sees President Obama doing, and wonders if it serves America well. Her moment of reevaluation seemed to coincide with Barack Obama’s poorly-executed healthcare news conference.
Her reaction to this fiasco of a political event was a column entitled “Common Sense May Sink Obamacare.” She detected an anger, with remarkable incite and prescience, that has threatened to alter the current political dynamic with sudden and volcanic kinetic force. Some of Mrs. Noonan’s best journalistic work in years follows below.
The final bill, with all its complexities, will probably be huge, a thousand pages or so. Americans don’t fear the devil’s in the details, they fear hell is. Do they want the same people running health care who gave us the Department of Motor Vehicles, the post office and the invasion of Iraq?
She continues to decry the potential cost and fear of functional viscosity; stemming from State-run inefficiency that comes baked into the governmental cake. Her most damning compurgation involves the issue that has really begun to explode. As cited below, she nails with perfection the sense that we no longer have a Republic, and drift instead on treacherous seas, towards the shark-infested reefs of Orwellian Fascism.
Every time I hear Kathleen Sebelius talk about “transitioning” from “treating disease” to “preventing disease,” I start thinking of how they’ll use this as an excuse to judge, shame and intrude. So this might be an unarticulated public fear: When everyone pays for the same health-care system, the overseers will feel more and more a right to tell you how to live, which simple joys are allowed and which are not. Americans in the most personal, daily ways feel they are less free than they used to be. And they are right, they are less free.
Noonan fires for effect concerning President Obama’s reaction to this shift in public affection towards his political programs. In today’s effort; “You Are Terrifying Us”, she hones her words to sharpness and hardens her meaning to a brutal bluntness in keeping with the tone of her title.
The passions of the protesters, on the other hand, are not a surprise. They hired a man to represent them in Washington. They give him a big office, a huge staff and the power to tell people what to do. They give him a car and a driver, sometimes a security detail, and a special pin showing he’s a congressman. And all they ask in return is that he see to their interests and not terrify them too much. Really, that’s all people ask. Expectations are very low. What the protesters are saying is, “You are terrifying us.”
What has been most unsettling is not the congressmen’s surprise but a hard new tone that emerged this week. The leftosphere and the liberal commentariat charged that the town hall meetings weren’t authentic, the crowds were ginned up by insurance companies, lobbyists and the Republican National Committee.
On the other hand, Kathleen Parker has made a Kierkagardian leap of faith, athwart the empirical evidence laying in front of her. She chose to support Barack Obama, she has opted to believe in Barack Obama and will seemingly fall hard on the sword if necessary to defend her decision.
As much as I disagree with the decision she has taken, I can respect her for persevering in her beliefs. What Kathleen Parker should take careful stock in, is where those beliefs are leading her thoughts and behavior.
Unlike Peggy Noonan, who has put together a respectable analysis of where the fight over nationalized healthcare is now leading America, Kathleen Parker has chosen a different route to argue what she believes. She has chosen a carefully planned and arbitrarily malicious route of denigration.
Golly she’d just luuuvvv to still be a Republican. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but….. In a totally enlightened, and non-condescending piece entitled “Them Dang Southerners” she spews up bile worthy of the poor, demon-haunted child in The Exorcist.
Whatever Voinovich’s sound effects were intended to convey, his meaning was clear enough: Those ignorant, right-wing, Bible-thumping rednecks are ruining the party.
Alas, Voinovich was not entirely wrong. Not all Southern Republicans are wing nuts. Nor does the GOP have a monopoly on ignorance or racism.
I cut it off there. I didn’t want to publically display her quaint, little riff on Southerners and Birfers. In it she quotes a Daily Kos Poll as a source of pure, unbiased demographic information. This makes her slightly less moronic than Lincoln Chafee joining a 9/11 Truffer group as therapy for the loss of his Senate Seat in 2006.
Sadly, I’m just going have to delve further into her hateful piece, I now move on to La Belle Dame Parker’s pais de resistance.
When Lyndon B. Johnson predicted in 1965 that the Voting Rights Act meant the South would go Republican for the next 50 years, he wasn’t just whistling Dixie.
A telling anecdote recounted by Pat Buchanan to New Yorker writer George Packer last year captures the dark spirit that still hovers around the GOP. In 1966 Buchanan and Richard Nixon were at the Wade Hampton Hotel in Columbia, S.C., where Nixon worked a crowd into a frenzy: “Buchanan recalls that the room was full of sweat, cigar smoke, and rage; the rhetoric, which was about patriotism and law and order, ‘burned the paint off the walls.’ As they left the hotel, Nixon said, ‘This is the future of this Party, right here in the South.’ “
That same rage was on display again in the fall of 2008, but this time the frenzy was stimulated by a pretty gal with a mocking little wink. Sarah Palin may not have realized what she was doing, but Southerners weaned on Harper Lee heard the dog whistle.
So she’s had to go there to justify her continued loyalty to the man she voted for in Election 2008. The whole White Woman/ Black Man Race Card gambit put her exactly where she belonged – The Chris Matthews Show.
Thus, the last month or so of healthcare debate has forced self-proclaimed moderates, supporting Barack Obama, to make a choice. The road hasn’t so much forked as it as come to a T which stops at a hard, brick wall. They can examine facts on the ground, and at least criticize certain aspects of Emperor Obama’s proposal and dictatorial conduct, or they can swallow a few lies and try not to sweat.
The choices made tell people a lot about Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker. They tell us which “moderates” are actually moderate and which ones can’t quite stifle enough shame to admit to being Democrats.