Peggy Noonan: Bush must lead by admitting the anti-war crowd was right

posted at 1:31 pm on August 31, 2007 by Allahpundit

We’ve gotten more comments on the headline for this piece than any other item thus far, which I’ll take as my cue to bring it down here to Broadway. We need some basic consensus going forward, she says, and the first step towards that is Bush sucking it up, acknowledging things are a mess, and asking for help from the left to make the best of it. I think that gives war opponents both too much credit and too little. The hardline Bush-haters will never reconcile with him, a fact she seems here to acknowledge but ultimately, I guess, doesn’t:

From the pro-war forces, the surge supporters and those who supported the Iraq invasion from the beginning, what is needed is a new modesty of approach, a willingness to admit it hasn’t quite gone according to plan. A moral humility. Not meekness–great powers aren’t helped by meekness–but maturity, a shown respect for the convictions of others.

What we often see instead, lately, is the last refuge of the adolescent: defiance. An attitude of Oh yeah? We’re Lincoln, you’re McClellan. We care about the troops and you don’t. We care about the good Iraqis who cast their lot with us. You’d just as soon they hang from the skids of the last helicopter off the embassy roof. They have been called thuggish. Is this wholly unfair?

The antiwar forces, the surge opponents, the “I was against it from the beginning” people are, some of them, indulging in grim, and mindless, triumphalism. They show a smirk of pleasure at bad news that has been brought by the other team. Some have a terrible quaking fear that something good might happen in Iraq, that the situation might be redeemed. Their great interest is that Bushism be laid low and the president humiliated. They make lists of those who supported Iraq and who must be read out of polite society. Might these attitudes be called thuggish also?

They might, just as they might also be called irretrievable and not worth bothering about. For the more principled war opponents, though, what good will flattering their egos do? They don’t want to be told they’re right, they want to get American troops out of what they consider a hopeless situation. Noonan makes it sound like a lovers’ quarrel, where a little cajoling might heal the rift enough to go forward:

His foes feel a tight-jawed bitterness. They believe it was his job not to put America in a position in which its security is imperiled; they resent his invitation to share responsibility for outcomes of decisions they opposed. And they resent it especially because he grants them nothing–no previous wisdom, no good intent–beyond a few stray words here and there…

Would it help if the president were graceful, humble, and asked for help? Why, yes. Would it help if he credited those who opposed him with not only good motives but actual wisdom? Yes. And if he tried it, it would make news. It would really, as his press aides say, break through the clutter.

Exit question: How’s it going to break through “clutter” like this?

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Comment pages: 1 2

I’m going to be lazy and quote myself from the headline comments:

The libs have never accepted that the WOT and the battle in Iraq is a worthwhile endevor. The Dims have never offered constructive suggestions about how we can WIN over there. For the President to say ‘I made a few mistakes, you were right,’ would not get them to hop aboard the wagon. It would only embolden them to go for the kill on the whole effort.

Let the libs say, ‘what we are doing over there is the right thing and we would like to help achive victory.’ Then the President can be concilliatory and admit that he would welcome their suggestions.

Peggy has gone soft on us.

Mallard T. Drake on August 31, 2007 at 1:57 AM

Mallard T. Drake on August 31, 2007 at 1:34 PM

Does she think that if you go up to a strong war opponent and say “You were right. Let’s work through this together, and find a positive solution for Iraq.”, everyone would go skipping off into the sunset?

It’d become part of campaign commercials, Congress would pull troops out of Iraq even faster, Bush would be attacked even more, and Iraq would become a safe-haven for terrorists.

amerpundit on August 31, 2007 at 1:36 PM

No relation. Just sayin’

John from OPFOR on August 31, 2007 at 1:36 PM

I emailed Peggy at the WSJ this morning telling her that she had jumped the shark on this one and sent her the link to check out some of the comments posted here (earlier in the Headlines section). She really breathes rarefied air.

JiangxiDad on August 31, 2007 at 1:37 PM

No relation. Just sayin’

John from OPFOR on August 31, 2007 at 1:36 PM

Heh heh heh wanted to get that disclaimer out early eh…

doriangrey on August 31, 2007 at 1:39 PM

I emailed Peggy at the WSJ this morning telling her that she had jumped the shark on this one and sent her the link to check out some of the comments posted here (earlier in the Headlines section). She really breathes rarefied air.

JiangxiDad on August 31, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Wont do any good, it will just calcify her position…

doriangrey on August 31, 2007 at 1:40 PM

She really breathes rarefied air.

JiangxiDad on August 31, 2007 at 1:37 PM

I think that lack of air is her problem. Her brain needs much more oxygen than it’s currently getting. I haven’t read anything so stupid as that article in a long, long time – although Ms. Noonan wrote something close to the same (low) level of thinking during the surrender of sovereignty debate.

progressoverpeace on August 31, 2007 at 1:41 PM

Show leadership liberals

Admit your mistakes, repent, and come to the dark side

yeah that makes as much sense as this damned article.

Defector01 on August 31, 2007 at 1:43 PM

This is a shame, really. To expect the anti-America, anti-war-on-terror liberals to do anything to “help” is silly. The only thing they’ll do is push even harder for surrender.

jdawg on August 31, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Ms. Noonan is proposing adopting the French strategy of surrendering first and negotiating after.

pedestrian on August 31, 2007 at 1:48 PM

We’ve gotten more comments on the headline for this piece than any other item thus far

Ya’ll should improve the coding of the headlines module, so that if you “promote” a story to the blog, the comments move over with it. That’d be neato.

lorien1973 on August 31, 2007 at 1:48 PM

She thinks like a spoiled little brat who’s never had to get her hands dirty.

forged rite on August 31, 2007 at 1:50 PM

Yeah Peggy, good idea. During an election cycle the libs will be out to help the conservatives. Yeah that will happen, they will probably honor President Bush at their convention.
WTF is she thinking…drinking…smoking?

Even Reid now is backing down a little (and a little is a lot from this arrogant doofus).

right2bright on August 31, 2007 at 1:52 PM

Peggy Noonan is a George H.W. Bush type of Republican completely wishy-washy and virtually indistinguishable from a Democrat. I never cared for her and her writings “A thousand points of light” indeed!

Hilts on August 31, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Bush has said mistakes have been made. It didn’t get him anywhere with the “those who oppose him” crowd. Our loss in Iraq is their political victory, so they think. Giving in on either front would be counter-productive and downright dangerous.

Ordinary1 on August 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM

Another RINO speaks.

Maxx on August 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM

Peggy…..I’m soooo disappointed in you. I used to think she had it all going on, but lately, she seems to have folded up like a cheap lawnchair. Sad……

canvas on August 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Wow. I’m surprised at all the anti-Peggy sentiment.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

JiangxiDad on August 31, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Great call, Dad. I predict a reaction something like “Hot what? Who? Yeah, right…”

Jaibones on August 31, 2007 at 1:57 PM

I think she’s just being naive more than she’s being a squish. Deep down she has to know that the lefty base has become too rabid for the leadership to go along with this. Seems to me she hopes that the elite can work a middling deal by Bush reaching out, hoping they’ll bypass the Nutroots.

I think she’s wrong, and I point to the venom spewed at Rep. Baird recently as proof it will never happen like she hopes it will. The Democrat elite are terrified of their own base.

Bad Candy on August 31, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Peggy,
Honey, I love your writings and what I have seen of you in interviews but the times have changed. There is no longer any meeting somebody opposed to the war or flat out anti war in the middle. Extending an arm in an effort to reach a rationale dialogue will only leave you as an amputee. The left and the anti war crowd are so obsessed with their anti Bush and anything remotely related to this administration hatred that they lack the ability to have rational thoughts or actions anymore. Their hatred is real. In a kindler and gentler time, i.e., the Cold War, such an act could be met with sincere actions from both sides but not today. Gone are the “statesmen” who looked out for America first.
Sorry, but that is the very reason I dislike McCain because he is constantly trying to reach across the aisle. The Dems won the congress and instead of bing gracious in victory they have been nothing of viscious in contining their assault on all things Republican. That is a real good message to send to the youth of America. When you win instead of shaking hands and complimenting the other team, grab some of their players throw them on the ground and rub their noses in the dirt.

LakeRuins on August 31, 2007 at 1:58 PM

So what’s the alternative? Charles Krauthammer’s suggestion this morning that we (in a very Vietnamesque manner) off Maliki and force the outcome in new elections? Ah, Charles, that’s not very consistent with the “spreading democracy” vision that advocates of this war have always relied upon. Quite a diversion from Weekly Standard talking points. Noonan’s right, though she still hasn’t gone far enough. Ed Luttwak says we shouldn’t give a shit about the Middle East, or what he calls, “the middle of nowhere,” because we tend to only make things worse. Ya think?

Drum on August 31, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Allahpundit on August 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

I know. I’m not “anti-Peggy” necessarily, but I don’t blame people for slapping back when slapped. If the nitwit left were inclined to react in the manner she prescribes, then we would never have been in the position we’re in now, anyway.

“George, throw them a bone, and they’ll suddenly be entirely different people.”

This is, at best, quite naive.

Jaibones on August 31, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Wow. I’m surprised at all the anti-Peggy sentiment.

She’s a wonderful columnist and was one of the finest Presidential speech writers ever to grace the West Wing.

I *believe* she scribed Reagan’s beautiful tribute to the Rangers of Point do Hoc on the D-Day anniversary in 1984 (one of the greatest speeches in history IMHO), and invoked the legendary poem “High Flight” after the Challenger Disaster.

But, all that fluff doesn’t detract from the fact that she’s wrong on this issue. Period.

John from OPFOR on August 31, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Wow. I’m surprised at all the anti-Peggy sentiment.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Me too. Though I’m thinking its because they’re reading it as Peggy saying ‘cave to the Nutroots’, and I can see why people would go ballistic.

Bad Candy on August 31, 2007 at 2:02 PM

she says,…..asking for help from the left to make the best of it

Good luck with that Peggy. Can I have some of what you’ve been smoking?

infidel4life on August 31, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Whoa, what happened to Peggy?

N. O'Brain on August 31, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Don’t be surprised, Allah. I was castigated for a rant I did against her awhile back. I haven’t changed my mind. Peggy Noonan is a condescending person. She acts with the “I know more than you could ever know” appearance and snide look.

Peggy, you think you have the intellect and demeanor of William F. Buckley; but you are NO William F. Buckley

MNDavenotPC on August 31, 2007 at 2:04 PM

lorien1973 on August 31, 2007 at 1:48 PM

Yes, that would be pretty slick.

infidel4life on August 31, 2007 at 2:06 PM

oh, and on the topic of D-Day speeches, I carved the following into a walnut block as a parting gift for a fellow Airman:

We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free. ~Ronald Reagan

Reagan said that on Omaha Beach. Not sure if Peggy wrote it.

Either way….wow.

John from OPFOR on August 31, 2007 at 2:07 PM

The Democratic Party have been trying their best to shape the WOT, or at least the Iraq campaign, into a poison arrow pointed directly at Bush’s heart as well as the rest of the Republican Party. They don’t seem overly concerned about how the killing blow will harm America as well, and in fact they’ve probably calculated various ways that it will help their agenda of appeasement and mediocrity.

I think Peggy is underestimating the lure of power that’s driving the Democrat’s today. In a better world her point would be valid, although victory will never come about when cooperating with anti-war types.

If Bush wants to reconcile with a group of people who actually have something to contribute to the war effort, he should start listening to the hawks… and I’m not talking about Neocon hawks, but the old fashioned kind.

I would suggest that both Iraq and Afghanistan are proxy wars, and if we want to have any hope of winning either on our way towards eventual victory in the larger war on Jihad, we need to unveil reality, pull the sheet off of it, and eliminate the “proxy” status of both wars. Limiting or better yet, eliminating, the influence of outside forces in Iraq would go a long way towards stabilization.

The Iraq constitution should be scrapped, or at least the Sharia portions of it. Separation of church and state is integral to democracy unless a country is already religiously homogenous to begin with.

FloatingRock on August 31, 2007 at 2:08 PM

BTW, I still have a comment awaiting moderation in the “headlines,” presumably because it has multiple links to the multiple things W has “admitted” and gotten no benefit for “admitting.” Those are followed by a link to the recent NYT story showing Bush gaining momentum on Iraq now, when he’s not busy “admitting” things.

Karl on August 31, 2007 at 2:13 PM

FloatingRock: Separation of church and state is integral to democracy unless a country is already religiously homogenous to begin with.

Sure, that is unless the democracy in question thinks otherwise. There’s the trouble. Bush should either make the very undemocratic case for conquering all of the Middle East (Israel notwithstanding) or we should get the hell out. Counterinsurgency is like picking up mercury.

Drum on August 31, 2007 at 2:14 PM

And Peggy Noonan has been elected to do what? She is a former insider who no longer gets to sit at the table. With the opinions she expresses, it is easy to see why.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on August 31, 2007 at 2:14 PM

After reading her article, I can’t figure out just what it is that she believes the anti-war crowd was right about, other than that the war has not gone as planned, which is something we all (including GWB) know about. (Which war ever did go entirely according to plan?)

No matter what she thinks needs to be admitted, if she thinks that a humbler attitude by the president will evoke some kind of conciliatory response from the Dems, she’s dreaming. For the most part, the Dems have hated Bush’s guts from the get-go, and while he has previously reached out to them on cabinet members (Norman Mineta) and legislation (No Child Left Behind, etc.), they have often responded with venom. If she thinks that the Dems are going to be nice to Bush now, she’s off her rocker.

Bigfoot on August 31, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Wow. I’m surprised at all the anti-Peggy sentiment.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

I doubt this is accurate, just your attempt at shameless promotion to feed the rabid. Peggy has been waxing nostalgic since the gipper departed and living in her own personal utopia. Her bus left about 3 years ago.

swami on August 31, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Ah, Charles, that’s not very consistent with the “spreading democracy” vision that advocates of this war have always relied upon.

Drum on August 31, 2007 at 2:00 PM

We are in Iraq to serve our security interests, not to bring “democracy” to Iraq. Period. Bush has offered them self-rule with individual liberty and democratic processes, if they can act like civilized people, but that is not why we’re there.

If anyone wants to “bring democracy” to Iraq then one must look at the most successful muslim nation with the system closest to Western “democratic” systems and model that. That is Turkey, and their idea of “democracy” is the best that one can expect from a muslim nation (as Attaturk understood full well) – democracy with the military standing in the wings, ready to take control when the islamists take power. Nothing like Western notions of civilian government, but the best the islamic world has been able to achieve along those lines.

progressoverpeace on August 31, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Wow. I’m surprised at all the anti-Peggy sentiment.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Me too. Not that I agree with her on everything, but I continue to be a Peggy fan.

FloatingRock on August 31, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Surprised? I guess some haven’t been paying attention. Peggy’s been writing these types of pieces for some time now. She’s consistently misread and misinterpreted Bush’s public persona, speeches and comments for some time now and I’m beginning to think its deliberate.

Her prose suggests a certain flighty arrogance and condescension. Some have suggested she’s none to pleased with being shut out of the Bush White House, but that’s probably not fair to her. Nevertheless, she has a fairly large, and ever growing, chip on her shoulder about President Bush and its been evident for at least a year or so now. Maybe more.

Fred on August 31, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Bigfoot: After reading her article, I can’t figure out just what it is that she believes the anti-war crowd was right about

If you presume that the antiwar crowd are either leftists, libertarians, or Birchers, then I guess I can understand your dilemma. On the other hand, if you consider that there are among conservatives those who don’t see much promise of civilization, let alone democracy and stability, arising in the ME this side of dictatorship, you might understand the rightness of their antiwar perspective. Let me go on record as saying that the vast majority (democratically speaking, dontchaknow) of the people of the Middle East can’t handle civilization. Why we expect things to prove otherwise is a mystery to me.

Drum on August 31, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Incredible. I’m trying to make sense of this.

Is Peggy receiving any ching-chong donations?

fogw on August 31, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Actually Noonan began this path of Bush bashing about 3 days after his 2004 Inauguration speech. She had publicly offered her services to the reelection campaign about a year prior. I guess they didn’t take her up on it and she felt slighted.

I agree that the only thing that I grasp from her latest is that she thinks Bush isn’t being gracious enough, last time it was he wasn’t being sad enough, before that he was being humble enough. Makes me wonder if she offered to be a speech writer or his therapist.

Texas Gal on August 31, 2007 at 2:26 PM

What Peggy Noonan says is true if your only goal is to improve the President’s approval ratings, which is what she’s been focused on for a good part of her career.

Ms. Noonan, whom I admire, needs to realize that we don’t need to send George Bush to “finishing school”. We’re in a war, and this war requires things more instinctive and basic- things like grit and determination and resolve.

There’ll be time for baking cookies later, Ms. Noonan. Run along now.

Matticus Finch on August 31, 2007 at 2:28 PM

1) The opposition to Bush is existential and implacable in precisely the quarters that are driving the President’s political opposition. There is no way the DNC wants a release valve installed on the direct mail machine.
2) I’m not sure what Step 2 of Noonan’s plan is. Bush would then have the latitude he needs to … do what, exactly?

DrSteve on August 31, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Let me go on record as saying that the vast majority (democratically speaking, dontchaknow) of the people of the Middle East can’t handle civilization. Why we expect things to prove otherwise is a mystery to me.

Drum on August 31, 2007 at 2:24 PM

That is true, but Saddam had to be taken down. Period. The moment he intentionally dunped 40,000,000 barrels of oil into the gulf and lit just about every oil well in Kuwait on fire – all as he was retreating in one of the most humiliating military defeats in all of recorded history – anyone with a brain understood that he could not be allowed to sit in one of the most strategically important areas of the world.

Saddam had to go, and taking Iraq down was one of the good things that Bush did. His silliness with making Iraq a “democracy” was always a longshot. If it works, the benefits would be immense, to say the least, but most of us know that it wouldn’t work. The risk/reward ration was okay to try, though. Bush’s problem is that he doesn’t want to do the tough things that are required when the Iraqis prove that they cannot be trusted to form a civilized, non-threatening country under self-rule with individual liberty and popular input. That’s because Bush thinks that war is a moral issue, not a security one.

progressoverpeace on August 31, 2007 at 2:31 PM

Would it help if the president were graceful, humble, and asked for help? Why, yes. Would it help if he credited those who opposed him with not only good motives but actual wisdom? Yes. —- Peggy Noonan

Wrong on all counts Peggy. You’ve been around the block plenty of times, how is it that you are still so naive.

Maxx on August 31, 2007 at 2:38 PM

What war are the “anti-war” people willing to fight?

Is the assault on human liberty by the Islamofascistic Jihad not worth battling against?

I see no calls, except the vague and meaningless (Obama’s odd “bomb Waziristan” moment, et al) from the “anti-war” side for any ways to fight this war to our advantage.

They want to “end it”, but fail to consider:

what if the enemy doesn’t?

It takes two to stop fighting.

“Unilateral withdrawal” is the coward’s name for retreat.

“Fighting smarter” is the fool’s name for indecision.

What strategy has the “anti-war” side put forward to defeat the imperialistic, terroristic Jihad?

Other than to pretend it’s a bumper sticker and cringe into a fetal position of navel-gazing impotence?

Peggy needs to ask them what the hell their plan is, not just accept that they could “help”.

Maybe their “help” would only deepen the mess. Because of their unrealistic view of the nature and scope of the fight we are engaged in.

When will the “anti-war” be pro-America?

profitsbeard on August 31, 2007 at 2:39 PM

It’s a battle to redraw the map of the Middle East … again. But so long as the dimwits in America (those Miss Teen S. Carolina was attempting to address) are those to whom Bush is trying to appeal with words like “freedom, liberty, democracy” and “love” then sustaining for the long haul will be impossible. We either bring back good ol’ fashioned feelings of superiority (America and its allies deserve to rule the world) — in a way that removes the embarrassment of the attendant stimata — or we get bogged down in half-arsed attempts at civilizing the world. It’s either pax-Americana, or it’s a pox on America when the attempt at global conquest is a feeble one.

Drum on August 31, 2007 at 2:45 PM

That’s because Bush thinks that war is a moral issue, not a security one.

It’s clearly both. Striking a balance between them is a difficult task.

see-dubya on August 31, 2007 at 2:47 PM

That’s because Bush thinks that war is a moral issue, not a security one.

It’s clearly both. Striking a balance between them is a difficult task.

see-dubya on August 31, 2007 at 2:47 PM

Not for me, see-dubya, and it wasn’t for the Allies of WWII, either. The only true and universal war crime is LOSING.

progressoverpeace on August 31, 2007 at 2:50 PM

i know everyone insists that giving the democrats an inch would turn into them taking a mile…but wouldn’t a simple, “i know its ugly but…” go a long way, rather than, “you’re all defeatists”

ernesto on August 31, 2007 at 2:56 PM

I’m not anti-Peggy; I still like her and would be glad to praise her, but she isn’t helping anymore. She’s just piling on. There are enough people piling on now. She’s free to do so, too, but she shouldn’t expect any praise or support for it.

Kensington on August 31, 2007 at 3:00 PM

“i know its ugly but…”

He acknowledges this all the time; it falls on deaf ears.

Look, few conservatives are as annoyed with Bush as I’ve become, but the left has been, and continues to be, utterly irrational for six and a half years going so far.

Kensington on August 31, 2007 at 3:03 PM

It’s either pax-Americana, or it’s a pox on America when the attempt at global conquest is a feeble one.

Drum on August 31, 2007 at 2:45 PM

I agree with you, but…
I don’t think our allies do anywhere near enough. I would remove our troops from W.Europe, and S. Korea to begin with.
Japan needs to re-arm.

Pax-Americana world-wide without allies pulling their weight won’t happen.

JiangxiDad on August 31, 2007 at 3:04 PM

But they’re not all defeatists. I don’t think most people here are saying they are.

I was watching Jon Stewart getting all aggrieved with Stephen Hayes last night, and he clearly wanted an apology for having his patriotism questioned.

Well, I guess the counterpoint to that is all the folks who think Bush ginned up a war that’s killed thousands of Americans and probably multiple hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for a bump in his poll numbers or a good annual report for Halliburton, and that any of us who supported the war did so only because of Bush and not (say) all those UNSCOM reports and clear statements of threat we got throughout the ’90s. To say nothing of the “argument” that we’re a bunch of stupid bloodthirsty automatons.

Who’s apologizing to us? Any nominees?

DrSteve on August 31, 2007 at 3:05 PM

Bush-haters will never reconcile with him

Could split some Demos off though.
Divide and conquer, especially in the face of the dreaded possibility of ‘good’ news.
Some Demos may want to already be on the ‘war’ side of things when the progress report comes out.

I just don’t have much confidence in the administration moving that quickly or that adeptly.

Speakup on August 31, 2007 at 3:06 PM

told you she was a nut

tomas on August 31, 2007 at 3:12 PM

Peggy Noonan’s writings have always been bizarrely self-important and melodramatic.

Despite her Reaganesque credentials she’s not at the forefront of the conservative movement, nor is she a “great” conservative thinker.

Mike Honcho on August 31, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Would it help if the president were graceful, humble, and asked for help? Why, yes. Would it help if he credited those who opposed him with not only good motives but actual wisdom? Yes. And if he tried it, it would make news. It would really, as his press aides say, break through the clutter.
- Peggy Noonan

Well, du-uh, I’m pretty sure that admitting the liberals were right from the start would make a whole lot of news.

But why in the hell does Peggy Noonan think that’s a GOOD THING? What, exactly, is doing that supposed to ACCOMPLISH?

Bush has compromised on pretty much every issue except this one, and look where that’s gotten him. But now, caving one last time will magically make everyone get along like one big happy family?

The airhead doesn’t make any effort whatsoever to explain that particular part of her scheme. She just sort of babbles something about “summoning grace.” WTF is that even supposed to even mean?

logis on August 31, 2007 at 3:17 PM

Writing a few decent speeches for the Great Communicator two decades ago obviously does not make one knowledgable about anything other than stringing a few words together. Peggy Noonan and others like her, especially most members of the fourth estate, continue to prove that taking one or two political science and history courses (at most) back in college does not make one an expert on war, diplomacy, or military matters. The anti-war crowd in this country could care less about the situation in Iraq, Afganhistan, or any other aspect of the War on Terror. They are out there because of their unbending hatred of George Bush and because they have been brought up to believe that protesting war and the government is the greatest value a person can have. Just like their parents (and in some cases, grandparents) they march not to end the war, but to be a part of the hip “counterculture.” Remember, in 1967 and 1968 the protesters hated Johnson and marched against LBJ’s War (Hey, Hey LBJ, how many kids you kill today!). Once Nixon took office in 1969, those same protesters, marching on the same streets and on the same college campuses, never missed a beat in changing their chants to emphasize their hatred for Nixon and Nixon’s War. For Noonan to believe that the anti-war crowd could offer anything positive or that President Bush could gain anything postive from them is not only simplistic, but downright stupid.

liberator9 on August 31, 2007 at 3:21 PM

All military commanders should admit that the war they are fighting is a mistake. Gosh darn it, it’s just the right thing to do.

Strap a burka on her and call her submitted.

Hening on August 31, 2007 at 3:22 PM

She is like most conservatives lately…big babies when they don’t get there way.

tomas on August 31, 2007 at 3:22 PM

I understand what Mrs. Noonan is saying, I disagree with her about the effect it is going to have with the Democrats. As many have already pointed out here above, this would not produce the desired outcome of unity but would only encourage the bad behavior of the left. As someone else correctly pointed out, the opposition doesn’t want to achieve victory,(which helps explain why they don’t have any constructive criticism to offer), so it’s difficult to come to a common ground when one side says “victory!” while the other says “pull out!”. Where is the middle ground between surrender and victory?

Weebork on August 31, 2007 at 3:23 PM

Many seem to be taking Noonan’s suggestion to mean Bush curls up into the fetal position and says you were right all along. I don’t read it that way.

Neither of the parties really wants to address this in the elections next year, they would rather see it just go away. Now you have key Democrats actually reconsidering their stance. I think what this means is that it will result in a tacit acknowledgement that we need to keep forces there for an extended period of time. But to be fair can we accomplish the mission by pulling back out of the population centers and letting the Iraqis own the responsibility of cleaning up their sectarian strife? Or do we really HAVE to keep our troops in the center of a sectarian fight as convenient targets? Bush has an opportunity to frame the debate in that context. If he doesn’t the Murtha type suggestions will get more steam.

In my opinion Noonan seems to be suggesting that Bush simply extend a little acknowledgement that the debate has helped on some fronts, such as do we surge, do we pull back to strategic positions within Iraq. If the Democratic leadership concedes this point as they seem to be prepared to do, wouldn’t a few kind words from Bush be worth it?

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Peggy is aboslutely right! Those people who were anti-war 30 minutes after 9-11 acted with “not only good motives but actual wisdom”. How could we not have seen the wisdom and temperence in “Bush KNEW!!!” and “Impeach the ChimpHitler!!”

But I’m still a little confused. I keep staring at the obviously reasonable argument summed up in “Chimperor McCheneyHitlerBurton” and for the life of me I can’t spell out “actual wisdom” no matter how I rearrange the letters.

Lehosh on August 31, 2007 at 3:40 PM

In my opinion Noonan seems to be suggesting that Bush simply extend a little acknowledgement that the debate has helped on some fronts, such as do we surge, do we pull back to strategic positions within Iraq. If the Democratic leadership concedes this point as they seem to be prepared to do, wouldn’t a few kind words from Bush be worth it?

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Darksean on August 31, 2007 at 3:40 PM

It’s clearly both. Striking a balance between them is a difficult task.

see-dubya on August 31, 2007 at 2:47 PM

While I appreciate Progressoverpeaces attitude and wish we had a General who shared it, one to be kept in check by higher authorities, I agree that the equation includes both security and morality. However, I think that “balance” is the wrong word. I would order them as follows.

1: Security/survival
2: Morality/cost
3-infinity: Everything else

I think that when threatened, morality comes after survival, however morality costs a lot of money in war. With our technology and the strength of our economy we have the luxury of being able to afford greater latitude in regard to morality than they did in WWII. The important thing is to not allow a situation to arise where while we’re messing around trying to balance morality and cost, we allow our survival to lapse.

FloatingRock on August 31, 2007 at 3:41 PM

Coming from someone who believed invading Iraq was a horrific mistake (only because it was the wrong target), and still does, this really makes no sense.
Obviously some grave errors were made, from the actual invasion to the post invasion restructuring. I’m not saying that Bush shouldn’t acknowledge his mistakes, but to believe that it will pacify the rabid left at this point is naive at best. All it will do is add ammunition to their rhetoric.

SouthernDem on August 31, 2007 at 3:43 PM

Darksean on August 31, 2007 at 3:40 PM

As we discussed in the headlines section. the PR machine in the white house is one of the worst in history. There were so many lost opportunities to sway public opinion. If the goal is to ensure that we maintain a significant force in Iraq because it is related to our national security, he should do whatever he can to convince the Democrats to be realistic and back off the “pull them all out now” sentiments. If he refuses to do this the Dems may feel compelled to make a very bad decision.

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 3:47 PM

She is as delusional in thinking that the anti-war crowd will react constructively to Bush holding out a hand to them as in thinking that God sent dolphins to rescue Elian Gonzalez from danger on his trip from Cuba (also in the WSJ).

Perhaps speech writers tend toward believing the same types of nonsense that artists do.

thuja on August 31, 2007 at 3:48 PM

FloatingRock on August 31, 2007 at 3:41 PM

I can go with that, rock.

I would just add that our “morality” costs lives, too – usually on both sides, in the long run, but definitely on ours in the short run.

progressoverpeace on August 31, 2007 at 3:52 PM

thuja on August 31, 2007 at 3:48 PM

The goal shouldn’t be to win over the “anti-war” crowd. It should be to win over those Democrats in office who want to stay in office and when given a chance to save face will gladly do so. If the heavyweights such as Levin and Durbin for example start to gravitate toward the middle on this, the media follows and the far left stays put.

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 3:54 PM

FloatingRock on August 31, 2007 at 3:41 PM

I would also add that, especially with respect to arab culture, there is a certain level of brutality which is needed for the local leaders there to acquiesce and surrender. Anything less and that culture does not allow its members to surrender to it, by the rules of shame and fighting that are part of the culture. While we might think that fighting with silly post-WWII rules is humane, it ties the hands of many arabs who are unable to surrender to someone who is not killing them en masse. Just looking at arab wars shows this.

It would be like someone beating me at tennis, while holding his tennis hand behind his back and using his toes to hold the racket. That loss would be more embarassing to me than getting whipped 6-0 while my opponent looks like he’s trying. This is hard for many westerners to believe (and impossible for libs, who look down on all other cultures “We will not stoop to their level”) but it is how things are.

progressoverpeace on August 31, 2007 at 4:00 PM

As we discussed in the headlines section. the PR machine in the white house is one of the worst in history. There were so many lost opportunities to sway public opinion. If the goal is to ensure that we maintain a significant force in Iraq because it is related to our national security, he should do whatever he can to convince the Democrats to be realistic and back off the “pull them all out now” sentiments. If he refuses to do this the Dems may feel compelled to make a very bad decision.

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 3:47 PM

And as I alluded to in the headlines section, you insist on this preposterously falacious notion that doing this ONE MORE TIME will fantastically yield a different result. There is NO possibility of this happening. None. His bad PR notwithstanding (of which I agree with you wholeheartedly), taking such a conciliatory step would NOT cause the left to reconsider or even help. The will smell the blood in the water, and their malciousness will increase ten fold. They don’t want bi-partisanship, they don’t want America to win, they want nothing but power. That and the destruction of our president.

Darksean on August 31, 2007 at 4:02 PM

As we discussed in the headlines section. the PR machine in the white house is one of the worst in history. There were so many lost opportunities to sway public opinion.

I don’t think that’s entirely fair. They’re not the cleverest bunch, but the Bush administration has faced a vicious, unrelenting, and pathological demonization over the last six years.

The minute the Bush administration does take its case to the American people it’s torn to shreds by every organ of the mainstream media along with every entertainment nitwit looking to revive a moribound career.

They’re farting against thunder.

Mike Honcho on August 31, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Darksean on August 31, 2007 at 4:02 PM

Then we agree to disagree — killing too much ink over it.

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 3:54 PM

If elections were far off, I’d agree with this. 2008 changes everything. The left is terrified that the nutroots will go crazy, and are desperately pandering to appease them, if they try to make a move to the center, the rabid nutroots powder keg goes off and people are repelled by the leftist crazies during the general election in 2008, they can’t afford to take that gamble, and why would they right now, things are looking fairly good for them.

Bad Candy on August 31, 2007 at 4:05 PM

The minute the Bush administration does take its case to the American people it’s torn to shreds by every organ of the mainstream media along with every entertainment nitwit looking to revive a moribound career.

Mike Honcho on August 31, 2007 at 4:05 PM

The first argument Bush made was that islam was the “religion of peace”, and without any prompting from the left or MSM or anyone.

Case closed.

progressoverpeace on August 31, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Mike Honcho on August 31, 2007 at 4:05 PM

When he was running at 70% approval ratings was when they missed the opportunity. When they failed to refer to the war in iraq as WON in every speech, with a focus on the future being not a war but as protection for the Iraqis as they got their act together was when they let it slip out of the PR office for good.

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Bad Candy on August 31, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Even Levin is hedging his bets. The nuts on the left won’t win the election, the moderates and independents are always the key for any side. The Dems are trying to thread a tough needle they have allowed to happen for the 06 strategy and the goal of maintaining majoriy plus the WH in 08. Too many moderates have or know of neighbors who have sons and daughters in the mideast. Many have been personally touched by the injuries and deaths. It is my opinion that most would be appalled if we really pulled out everyone calling it a failure.

Should be an interesting campaign from both sides.

Bradky on August 31, 2007 at 4:12 PM

Noonsan has been angry she was passed over by the admin on more than one occassion

Her Viterol is impressive – line up her essays you see a creshendo of bitterness and repressed anger emitting

Sad end to a great columnist another casualty of BDS

EricPWJohnson on August 31, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Does anyone really know what steps so far have been a mistake?

Who can say for sure that the Rumsfeld/small foot strategy was the wrong one? Sure, the surge is working now, but would it have worked in 2003? Maybe the surge is working precisely because the Sunnis spent a couple years with AQ as neighbors/overlords and didn’t like the results.

Who can say for sure that disbanding the Iraqi army was a mistake? Would the mainstream Shi’ites have stayed on board if the new Iraqi army was the old Iraqi army that had gassed them, but with new uniforms?

Same goes for De-Baathification, elections, government organization, etc etc. Sure, some things did not go well at all, but that doesn’t mean the alternative would have been any better.

Clark1 on August 31, 2007 at 4:42 PM

You might recall that a column or two back her closing line was something along the lines of …

Well, here it is:

Americans have always been somewhat romantic about the meaning of our country, and the beacon it can be for the world, and what the Founders did. But they like the president to be the cool-eyed realist, the tough customer who understands harsh realities.

With Mr. Bush it is the people who are forced to be cool-eyed and realistic. He’s the one who goes off on the toots. This is extremely irritating, and also unnatural. Actually it’s weird. …

Americans can’t fire the president right now, so they’re waiting it out. They can tell a pollster how they feel, and they do, and they can tell friends, and they do that too. They also watch the news conference, and grit their teeth a bit.

This isn’t a one-off column. She’s got one leg over the fence.

km on August 31, 2007 at 4:44 PM

This citizen and voter will not make a “separate peace” with the left or the Democrats. In fact, the Democrats can go “F” themselves. I will make no accomdation with traitors.

When America needed to be united, so-called “leaders” of the Democratic Party in the Senate worked to sabotage the war effort for political gain.

Four years ago, Fox News put Jay Rockefeller’s memo online. Here it is.

We have carefully reviewed our options under the rules and believe we have identified the best approach. Our plan is as follows:

1) Pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable conduct by administration officials. We are having some success in that regard. For example, in addition to the president’s State of the Union speech, the chairman has agreed to look at the activities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense as well as Secretary Bolton’s office at the State Department. The fact that the chairman supports our investigations into these offices and co-signs our requests for information is helpful and potentially crucial. We don’t know what we will find but our prospects for getting the access we seek is far greater when we have the backing of the majority. (Note: we can verbally mention some of the intriguing leads we are pursuing.)

2) Assiduously prepare Democratic “additional views” to attach to any interim or final reports the committee may release. Committee rules provide this opportunity and we intend to take full advantage of it. In that regard, we have already compiled all the public statements on Iraq made by senior administration officials. We will identify the most exaggerated claims and contrast them with the intelligence estimates that have since been declassified. Our additional views will also, among other things, castigate the majority for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry. The Democrats will then be in a strong position to reopen the question of establishing an independent commission (i.e. the Corzine amendment).

3) Prepare to launch an independent investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation at any time– but we can only do so once. The best time to do so will probably be next year either:

A) After we have already released our additional views on an interim report — thereby providing as many as three opportunities to make our case to the public: 1) additional views on the interim report; 2) announcement of our independent investigation; and 3) additional views on the final investigation; or

B) Once we identify solid leads the majority does not want to pursue. We could attract more coverage and have greater credibility in that context than one in which we simply launch an independent investigation based on principled but vague notions regarding the “use” of intelligence.

In the meantime, even without a specifically authorized independent investigation, we continue to act independently when we encounter foot-dragging on the part of the majority. For example, the FBI Niger investigation was done solely at the request of the vice chairman; we have independently submitted written questions to DoD; and we are preparing further independent requests for information.

Summary

Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public’s concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq. Yet, we have an important role to play in the revealing the misleading — if not flagrantly dishonest methods and motives — of the senior administration officials who made the case for a unilateral, preemptive war. The approach outline above seems to offer the best prospect for exposing the administration’s dubious motives and methods.

Former Senator Zell Miller, himself a Democrat, called this treason or it’s first cousin.

Noonan can go screw herself.

georgej on August 31, 2007 at 4:47 PM

Consider an alternate reality where Gore won the 2000 election and the situation in Iraq is essentially the same. I would certainly be critical of the delay in the UN before going into Iraq and lack of serious pressure on Iran and Syria for their interference. Still, I would not be calling this situation a “disaster”, and would consider over all it pretty good for a dimorat.

Of course domestically:

• The MSM would portray the glass half full rather than bone dry empty;
• Republicans wouldn’t be encouraging the enemy by using cut and run politics;
• Abu Graib would have been dismissed as juvenile pranks and hazing;
• The terrorist wiretapping and financial programs would still be secret;
• Gitmo would be far better treatment than terrorist captives have any right to;
• Valerie Plame would be as secret and covert as she ever was.

There is/was no way for this administration to “force” fairness from the MSM or dimorats’ craven vote for war then backstab for politics. Blame the victim is just another way to “seem” moderate and sophisticated.

When running for president Bush made no pretense about his partisanship or lack thereof. Remember “New Tone”. Remember “Compassionate Conservative”. Remember “No Chile Left Behind”. Remember in Texas he won them over.

Shoulda Coulda Woulda been a Tough Guy? Hit’em Hard, Play the Politics of Destruction? That’s some other fella.

If this war fails and genocidal terrorism ensues it will not be because Bush didn’t win over the craven vandals, it will be because we didn’t stand up to them. Frankly if all you can do is crybaby over blaming Bush, IMO you’re no better than them.

boris on August 31, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Bush must lead by admitting he was misled by the likes of Paul Wolfowitz (and any who agreed with him that 110,000ish troops would prevail).

Initially they did…for COMBAT (as expected). What wasn’t factored in was Iraq’s Sunni population suddenly devoid of their “status” as ruling party.

What Bush needs to say is that he should have taken the reccomendations of an actual Army General over those of a suit and tie. An Army General who knew that COMBAT is not the only phase of a war.

Then he needs to tell the nation that although it will be difficult on the American citizen, he is going to implement the previously ignored information and put 300,000-500,000 boots on the ground.

Why? The BORDERS. I mean absolutely no disrespect to our Army and Marines, but they are being directed to do the impossible. 1) with limited troops, they are told to stop the flow of “adverse materials” into Iraq. 2) they are severly handcuffed in rules of engagement when they are in the middle of door to door fighting.

To address 1), you simply need people. Lots more. At LEAST double the current forces with the surge included. If you cannot physically establish a real front line, the contraband will get through with “acceptable losses” to those providing the materials. Look at the US “War on Drugs.” We have no front line. We have patrols. Nothing more than an annoyance to the Cartels. Occasionally, we score big, but multiply by at least 100 the stuff that gets through.

To address 2) anyone holding a weapon is dead meat while our boys are clearing house to house. No demands to drop the weapon, no holding off on pulling the trigger to let them fire a couple of rounds and then toss down the weapon to spare their own worthless life. The demands to drop weapons come before busting down the door. If no compliance, anyone inside is a target.

Would a rules of engagement change like that be an outrage to anti-military folks? You bet. However, it is necessary. Our faithful Soldiers and Marines and Navy corpsman and Air Force forward observers cannot be expected to enter into urban combat on a daily basis and give the enemy “the benefit of the doubt.” Unless, of course, they “deserve” to be killed because they volunteered.

This country needs to wake up. Since the War of 1812, this nation has had little trouble crushing it’s enemies in direct combat. Our military power hasn’t been in dispute for quite some time. What has been is our willingness to do the right thing to see a war through to it’s end. Iraq, currently, is indeed an extension of Korea and Vietnam just as the Gulf War was…the troops perform brilliantly and are are leashed by politics. When will it end?

American_Jihadist on August 31, 2007 at 6:15 PM

But, all that fluff doesn’t detract from the fact that she’s wrong on this issue. Period.

John from OPFOR on August 31, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Yes, Sir! I’ve always liked her writing style, while not having agreed entirely with her topics, though more in agreement than disagreement. Today she confirmed more than usual her pretty zany side. Perhaps out of idealism…It’s sad when such assumed tough souls go mooshy, for whatever reason.

Entelechy on August 31, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Writing a few decent speeches for the Great Communicator two decades ago obviously does not make one knowledgable about anything other than stringing a few words together. liberator9 on August 31, 2007 at 3:21 PM

I’m sure Peggy Noonan drafted well; just like I’m sure that Reagan’s tailer was highly skilled at his job…

And the two of them had just about the same say in deciding Ronald Reagan’s policies.

Propaganda works. People on both sides of the isle have been influenced by the infinitely repeated “fact” that Ronald Reagan was an empty suit mindlessly repeating whatever any speechwriter happened to hand him from one moment to the next. And, like most propaganda, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.

logis on August 31, 2007 at 7:15 PM

Is she serious ? ? 9/11 never happened did it Peggy.

Pearl Harbor . . . Wasn’t that just a movie ! ! !

Peggy. . . . Peggy.

Texyank on August 31, 2007 at 7:52 PM

I’ve read a few of the anti-Peggy crapola and have to say those commenters should acquire a crowbar to seperate cranium from anus.

Peggy is right on as usual. Are the conservatives in this thread going to ignore Bushs enormous errors over the past 5 years? Well if you can admit them to yourself why shouldn’t the President admit them?

What America wants is progress in Iraq, no matter what Frank Luntz tells you. Now that we are making progress the Democrats are in a precarious position. Do they A) Stick their fingers in their ears screaming “liar, liar liar!” or B) Do they nuance their position to now support the war and finish building Iraq? The latter being the sane choice, the choice Blue Dogs absolutely want to make and the choice that a great many other Democrats want to make. Bush can allow them to more easily make that choice by admitting his own glaring mistakes. That is the smart thing to do. It is common sense. No one and I mean no one admires or roots for the person that is too rpoud to admit they were wrong. We know this in our personal lives what makes anyone think it would be any different on a national scale?

Giving the Democrats room to track right and support the war makes them all the more likely to do so. Isn’t that what you want? Or are we a bunch of vindictive children? We can take the high road to piercing the heart of those we like least… progressives. The sweet, sweet sound of the code pink anguish as the political clout they thought they had dries up like a raisin in the sun. The marginalization of the liberal left is at hand!

Another benefit to conservatives is that we get to run against Democrats with their own rhetoric. How effective a campaign can they run when they spend most of their time trying to nuance their votes and comments about Iraq? Nevada is not as liberal as harry Reid is, remember he got ambushed by some vets? Nancy Pelosi in a head scarf makes for good campaign ads. Conservatives could make Nancy Pelosi such a black eye to the party she might not run for reelection, no way a Republican can win that seat.

Someone’s rumored campaign theme features unity.

Theworldisnotenough on August 31, 2007 at 8:30 PM

TWINE, I would dearly love to see the Kos Kidz stranded on a political sandbar when the current changes, but I don’t see it happening. Everyone over on that end of the spectrum seems to be scared to death of the nutroots.

And WE can admit to errors the President’s made because WE are offering the criticisms in good faith; something notably absent from the howling noise machine he’s faced since before he ever took office.

Ms. Noonan’s not thought this through. She really hasn’t come to grips with what Bush would get from making such a set of concessions, and why any of his opponents would be satisfied by them. Why act conciliatory when you’ve made the man so radioactive you can’t be in the same room with him? There’s no climbing down for the other side, so the bargaining range is degenerate.

DrSteve on August 31, 2007 at 9:02 PM

Wow. I’m surprised at all the anti-Peggy sentiment.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Ms. Noonan lost me forever when she whined about being “tired” because of all the drama and history occurring…this in 2004. While I was many months into my OEF V tour. I came back from an 11 hour foot patrol, one where I got stuck on a #$%&*ing cliffside at Ashrafkhel that was full of mines. I read her snivelling the next #$%& day and about threw the computer across the room. Poor tired baby…

major john on August 31, 2007 at 9:04 PM

It’s Noonan in America.

We either fight the fundamentalist Muslims over there or here. Sorry Peg but you’re wrong on this one.

Mojave Mark on August 31, 2007 at 9:53 PM

Her Highness, Peggy Noonan’s article was published into the first minute of Friday:

Friday, August 31, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

saying: (italics mine)

Would it help if he (Bush) credited those who opposed him with not only good motives but actual wisdom?

Now President Bush had no time to do any of the butt kissing she suggested, but here comes Harry Reid later in the day, conceding:

“I don’t think we have to think that our way is the only way,” Reid said of specific dates during an interview in his office here.

So to the panderers……

Theworldisnotenough on August 31, 2007 at 8:30 PM
Giving the Democrats room to track right and support the war makes them all the more likely to do so.

……just how did that happen?

Maybe the brainy metro sexuals such as the Bradkys of the world could explain that?

Bradsky-slammed-moronic-tools like me are inquiring (“I have marked you as a moronic tool”).

Mcguyver on August 31, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Wow. I’m surprised at all the anti-Peggy sentiment

.

I am more surprisewd at the hateful back biting comments about her and her character…

Again, it’s sounding more like one of those “lib sites” you all condemn….

AprilOrit on September 1, 2007 at 2:49 AM

I am more surprisewd at the hateful back biting comments about her and her character…

AprilOrit on September 1, 2007 at 2:49 AM

Gee, april, why could that be? Could it be because of lines she penned, such as:


What we often see instead, lately, is the last refuge of the adolescent: defiance

They have been called thuggish. Is this wholly unfair?

What is needed is simple maturity

It would certainly require the mature ability to come to agreement with those you otherwise hate, and the guts to summon the help of, and admit you need the help of, the other side.

I think they understand him to be saying, I got you into this, I reaped the early rewards, I rubbed your noses in it, and now you have to save the situation.

Would it help if he credited those who opposed him with not only good motives but actual wisdom?

I don’t see how the president’s supporters can summon grace from others when they so rarely show it themselves.

No one was worse to her than she was to many.

progressoverpeace on September 1, 2007 at 4:25 AM

Wait a minute. Are you talking about Noonan’s Friday, Aug 31 article? How can any thinking person disagree with anything she said?
To the Bush-is-never-wrong crowd:
Mistakes HAVE been made. He is not Reagan. He is not conservative. Admit it. Move on.
Help with the next step – find a conservative to run for the Presidency, and in your state’s Senate and House. Don’t carry this lame duck, don’t apologize for him, and stop acting like he’s right on everything!

tgillian on September 1, 2007 at 8:14 AM

stop acting like he’s right on everything!

Strawmen that large usual are found at Burning Man, aren’t they? NOBODY on this site thinks the President is right on everything, and have quite a few problems with his administration vis a vis immigration, spending, not prosecuting the war hard enough, etc.

Ms. Noonan is suggesting that the one thing he is strongest on, is that which he should cave in and abandon. She has been sighing and affecting a tone of weary ennui since 2004. Why listen to her now if she has been silly for over three years now?

major john on September 1, 2007 at 8:32 AM

Mistakes HAVE been made

tgillian on September 1, 2007 at 8:14 AM

I don’t think anyone ever said mistakes haven’t been made. Nobody ever said the prosecution of the war was perfect. We got our a**es kicked in WWII a couple of times too. The difference was, we didn’t have a large part of the population or the opposition party telling us we needed to pull out, start talking to Hitler, and impeach Roosevelt because he masterminded Pearl Harbor. I’ve believed in the war from the beginning and have despaired at all the missteps we have made. I’ve almost wanted to give up just because of all the politics we’ve injected into it, making our troops suffer because of the indecisive spinelessness of our political leadership. But, I don’t see anything, not one g**damn thing that the anti war left has been correct about. Give peace a chance with a bunch of headchoppers? Retreat from a bunch of 3rd rate cavemen with roadside bombs? Retreat worked real well for us back in 1993 during the Blackhawk down incident, didn’t it? The only reason the left is against this war is because they hate GWB and are indifferent to America. If BJ Clinton had fought it, they would be marginalized and largely silent. President Bush can make a lot of improvements in his Iraq war strategy, but reaching out to the left is not one of them. The only thing I have to extend to the anti war left is my middle finger.

austinnelly on September 1, 2007 at 9:24 AM

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