Noonan: Where is the competence?

posted at 1:40 pm on May 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

In our earlier thread on Chris Matthews, one commenter asked why we consider the MS-NBC host a barometer of conservative opinion, considering Matthews’ deeply liberal worldview.  It matters because the disillusion of people like Matthews, who sold their audiences on the near-perfection of Barack Obama, are instructive moments to see just how far Obama has fallen in public reputation.  After all, conservatives didn’t fawn over a man who had no executive experience and spent most of his legislative career voting “present” rather than showing any leadership.

Well, most conservatives didn’t, anyway.  At least one who succumbed to Obama’s glamour wonders what happened to the cool competence Obama exuded during the presidential campaign.  Peggy Noonan’s column today in the Wall Street Journal sums up Obama’s biggest political problem — the perception of ineptitude:

I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president’s political judgment and instincts.

There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don’t see how you politically survive this. …

In his news conference Thursday, President Obama made his position no better. He attempted to act out passionate engagement through the use of heightened language—”catastrophe,” etc.—but repeatedly took refuge in factual minutiae. His staff probably thought this demonstrated his command of even the most obscure facts. Instead it made him seem like someone who won’t see the big picture. The unspoken mantra in his head must have been, “I will not be defensive, I will not give them a resentful soundbite.” But his strategic problem was that he’d already lost the battle. If the well was plugged tomorrow, the damage will already have been done.

The original sin in my view is that as soon as the oil rig accident happened the president tried to maintain distance between the gusher and his presidency. He wanted people to associate the disaster with BP and not him. When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way. In any case, the strategy was always a little mad. Americans would never think an international petroleum company based in London would worry as much about American shores and wildlife as, say, Americans would. They were never going to blame only BP, or trust it.

In other words, the President has been voting “present” for most of the first five weeks of the disaster.  It’s not as if it’s the first time Obama tried to avoid responsibility for an issue or refuse to show leadership.  Many of us wrote extensively about Obama’s pattern of avoidance during the election — and suggested that Democrats try Obama in a lesser executive position first, such as Governor of Illinois, before nominating him for the top spot, in order to make sure he was up for the job.

Unfortunately, some conservatives such as Noonan rebutted those arguments, choosing instead to see cool competence instead of complete inexperience and a pattern of avoidance.  One can do that as a legislator with few ill effects, because in the end others will choose to lead.  When that person assumes the top executive job, especially without any experience and seasoning for the job, things fall apart when disaster strikes as they have here.  Only those who willingly allowed themselves to be enchanted by charisma and public relations could possibly act surprised when inexperience leads to incompetence.

I like Peggy Noonan; she was wrong about Obama, and she’s starting to realize just how wrong she was.  She also concludes with some first-class analysis:

What continues to fascinate me is Mr. Obama’s standing with Democrats. They don’t love him. Half the party voted for Hillary Clinton, and her people have never fully reconciled themselves to him. But he is what they have. They are invested in him. In time—after the 2010 elections go badly—they are going to start to peel off. The political operative James Carville, the most vocal and influential of the president’s Gulf critics, signaled to Democrats this week that they can start to peel off. He did it through the passion of his denunciations.

The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration, and that is no cause for joy. It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term. That it is his fault is no comfort. It is not good for the stability of the world, or its safety, that the leader of “the indispensable nation” be so weakened. I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen.

That is precisely why we shouldn’t have elected a man with no executive experience to the toughest executive job in the world.  We need strong leadership, especially in times of crisis, not a man who prefers to vote present rather than lead.  And we probably wouldn’t have elected Obama or even nominated him this time around if the national media had done half of the job vetting Obama that they did with Sarah Palin, an atrocious failure documented best by John Ziegler in his film Media Malpractice.

As I said earlier, I like Peggy Noonan, and I’m glad to see that the scales have fallen from her eyes — but she still gets a Captain Louis Renault award for being shocked, shocked! at the incompetence of Barack Obama:


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“Welcome to the party, pal!”

Y-not on May 29, 2010 at 1:42 PM

In 2008 many of us pointed out any hack who comes out of the Daley machine is just that, a hack.

rob verdi on May 29, 2010 at 1:43 PM

It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term.

No, no. That`s exactly where we want him. Unable to do anything. Look at what he`s done so far, no more please!

ThePrez on May 29, 2010 at 1:43 PM

I totally agree, and I disagree with the idea that we need to or are supposed to bash the woman now forever because she made a bad mistake. Whatever faults Noonan may have had with her failure to recognize what Obama was properly, she deserves credit for coming around to recognize his presidency for what it is now, and the article above is truly an excellent read and analysis.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 1:44 PM

It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term.

But it was fine when Bush was treated as an illegitimate president for virtually his entire term?

Cry me a river. This administration needs to toughen up.

Y-not on May 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Y-not on May 29, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Ah…my favorite quote from my favorite Christmas movie! :)

ladyingray on May 29, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Anyone who took one look at Zero’s resume would realize this incompetent Socialist couldn’t run a lemonade stand let alone the world’s only superpower. Now we let this loser loose on the American economy for 4 years and look what damage he has created to our country.

His actions are reprehensible, repugnant and arguably corrupt.

SeniorD on May 29, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Competence, Peggy? The only “competence ” he ever showed was reading words off a teleprompter. And they weren’t even his words, but a speechwriter’s.

Wethal on May 29, 2010 at 1:49 PM

I totally agree, and I disagree with the idea that we need to or are supposed to bash the woman now forever because she made a bad mistake.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 1:44 PM

I totally disagree. She and Brooks and Buckley and other camp-followers are forever discredited in my book. The choice in 2008 was pretty stark. They couldn’t put aside their snobbish disdain for Palin long enough to realize that Obama was an incompetent left-wing arriviste. Instead they treated us to sickening paeans to Obama’s “coolness” and “intellect”. They can go take a flying you-know-what at a doughnut.

ddrintn on May 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term.

No, no. That`s exactly where we want him. Unable to do anything. Look at what he`s done so far, no more please!

ThePrez on May 29, 2010 at 1:43 PM

While I agree with what you say, his weakness is seen by the entire world and as a result, we are less safe.

ladyingray on May 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

^ I guess I should say “I totally agree” or something. LOL Anyway, Noonan is pfffft.

ddrintn on May 29, 2010 at 1:51 PM

It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term.

For God’s sake, Peggy. Have you been drunk for the last 4 years?

Feels crappy to be a wh0re, doesn’t it. You’ve finally realized they don’t like you for you, and when you get old, there’s always another one to take your place.

BacaDog on May 29, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Awwww…. poor Peggy . I guess Barry didn’t leave cab fare on the night stand before he split .

Now do the walk of shame and repent and maybe we will forgive you .

DeweyWins on May 29, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Sorry, Noonan, Buckley, Parker and their ilk are not conservatives, they are idiots who are part of the one party system that have screwed this country up royally.

The condemnation of the Tea Parties from both sides is indicative of how their is no difference between the two party system that has a lock on the spoils of middle class America.

rickyricardo on May 29, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Rara avis my ass.

John on May 29, 2010 at 1:52 PM

shut up piggy noonan!

moonbatkiller on May 29, 2010 at 1:54 PM

While I agree with what you say, his weakness is seen by the entire world and as a result, we are less safe.

ladyingray on May 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Maybe…

But he’d be weak even if we all went to the White House and professed our profound allegiance.

Real leaders can sense weakness. There’s nothing we can do about it.

BacaDog on May 29, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I stray a little from topic here, but Noonan in her day was an absolute hottie!

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/melissajoanhartreagan.jpg

Archimedes on May 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Don’t worry everyone, I’m sure we’ll soon see a column from Chrissy Buckley on how we are too stupid to understand the greatness that is the Obami.

Lance Murdock on May 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM

She drops her nose level for a split second and realizes this. I’m sorry but to those Beltway people who after the election rode Obama’s nuts and then acted shocked when they see the obvious. I’m not giving her credit for anything.

Her stature in Manhattan and Washington DC is what matters to her the most. Not if what she’s writing is right or wrong because if it was Noonan would be seconding the “I hope he fails” notion that Limbaugh proclaimed before he was even sworn in.

Chrisin206 on May 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Peggy Noonan’s column today in the Wall Street Journal

Her column comes out on a friday… and you usually can get it thursday night…

ninjapirate on May 29, 2010 at 1:58 PM

I will give Peggy a little credit. Of the Big Five of Snookered Conservative Pundits (Noonan, Frum, Brooks, Parker and Coddington VanV) who got all squishy about Obama and disdainful of the troglodytes on their right who couldn’t see the epoch-changing nature of the rookie Senator and the idiocy of Sarah Palin, Peggy is the first to come out of her stupor and realize she was bamboozled, and has started going after Barack more than either continuing to deny that the rubes in flyover country were smarter than she was (Brooks, Parker and Buckley — Frum gets how bad Obama is, but is still more obsessed with proving himself smarter than everyone else on the right and deserving of being the movement’s intellectual emperor).

That still doesn’t devalue Noonan’s qualifications as an analyst — if Clem down at the warehouse in Podunk could figure out Obama 24 months because Peggy why should people take any future controversial pronouncements without skepticism — but at least she’s sort of following in the William Safire tradition, who savaged Clinton by mid-1994 after being suckered into voting for him in 1992.

jon1979 on May 29, 2010 at 1:59 PM

ladyingray on May 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

I thought about that after. But don`t they already see him as weak?

ThePrez on May 29, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Noonan was hypercritical of Bush during his tenure as president. I wonder how she would contrast the levels of competence now.

It’s too difficult to excuse Noonan this easily. She should have had enough experience and intelligence to see beyond the facade and weak resume ObaMao brought to a major executive leadership position.

onlineanalyst on May 29, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Ms. Noonan,

How could someone of your intellect be sooooo naive concerning Obama. Pray tell darling, what in his background of achievement gave you any clue as to this guy’s executive talent level? And Ms. Noonan, what in the world did you not hear when The Messiah proclaimed, “We are the ones that we have been waiting for”…..hmmmmmmm?

I would like to say thanks for coming around, but in reality I just want to say, “PUT A SOCK IN IT!!”

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on May 29, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Hey Peggy….I’m what most media elites would consider a backwoods bitter clinger and I knew Barry was an incompetent boob. Your paid to do political analysis….how could you not see what everyone else here could?

Big Orange on May 29, 2010 at 2:05 PM

“Noonan: Where is the competence?”

On vacation…

Seven Percent Solution on May 29, 2010 at 2:05 PM

I am going to see a few more critical columns by Ms. Noonan before I believe she has realized her mistake.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2010 at 2:07 PM

These journalists owe American citizens an apology for looking the other way and pouring the praise on an ineffectual, inexperienced, incompetent fool which essentially paved the way for him to enter the WH. And what did we get when we expressed concern about his inexperience? We got called racists and were told we were Anti-American. I’ll never forget that, it’s never happened in my whole life and it’s despicable. Too bad you were wrong Noonan, I have no respect left for you.

scalleywag on May 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Real leaders can sense weakness. There’s nothing we can do about it.

BacaDog on May 29, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I know, and it is truly frightening.

ladyingray on May 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Peggy is a positive, kind-hearted, glass-half-full sort of person. I think she is absolutely BRILLIANT. Yes, she was 100% wrong about Obama. She has tried to see the best here, when there wasn’t any there. I admire her, and I respect her, even in her wrong-ness she writes extremely well and argues points that SHOULD be brought up. Maybe she’s doing the legwork principled liberals should, but regardless, it’s not a bad thing that she has done even in her wrongness. Sure, it makes me crazy. SURE, it makes me frustrated. BUT, Peggy Noonan is a great force of good in the world of commentary and analysis.

WashingtonsWake on May 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Gee Peggy, its nice to see you wake up and smell the Arugula. Better late than never, I suppose.

If only you could have picked up on some of those subtle clues that so many of us saw in this bumbling, jumped up community organizer over 2 years ago. You know, like the fact that he never held a real job and never had to, you know, manage something. Perhaps a more shrewd observer could have noted that his track record as a die-hard, ultra-leftist commie scum bag might have not been the best qualification for the office.

MJBrutus on May 29, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Ed wrote

That is precisely why we shouldn’t have elected a man with no executive experience to the toughest executive job in the world.

I think of many who before they became Prez were tested by fire or at least had a wealth of real-world experience beforehand. Even those we consider lightweights like GW, Clinton, or Carter led states as a Gov. Truman led troops in ferocious battles in WWI. JFK was heroic in WWII. GW 41 a WWII war hero. What has Obama ever led, or done? You have to dig deep for that. Led a business, in charge of people in some way, suffered a personal loss, anything, something that molded him. For awhile he was the man of the house growing up with a single mother. That doesn’t count.

Paul-Cincy on May 29, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Now that Carville’s criticized Obama, Queen Peggy feels brave enough to quote him? Snort. Crawl back into your martini, dear.

Thank goodness our betters saved us from the horror of having that Wasilla snowbilly as our Vice President, huh?

funky chicken on May 29, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Peggy is a big government RINO. If she was ever a conservative, she left the reservation long ago.

Labamigo on May 29, 2010 at 2:12 PM

WashingtonsWake on May 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM

lol

funky chicken on May 29, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Where is the competence?

Peggy, that’s what conservatives were asking about you a couple of years ago.

ray on May 29, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Noonan: Where is the competence?

Love the double entendre.

ElectricPhase on May 29, 2010 at 2:15 PM

One begins to wonder about Ms. Noonan’s competence, too. Latter-day revelations that were transparently clear to anyone who looked closely aren’t reasons to celebrate her awakening.

She’s just a little slow.

EMD on May 29, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Gee, Peggy, I don’t you. You tell us. You were the one with the vapors over him.

What a dipsh*t elitist. I’m so sick of these people. And by the way, Peggy: you’re speeches were overcooked treacle. Now go write a book about how “shrewd” Obama was as a campaigner, since you haven’t told us enough already.

With each day I’m more convinced that the only thing that will save this country is a whole lot of good old boy and girl Alaskans taking over in 2012 and dredging out that Washington swamp. Bet Peggy will love that!

rrpjr on May 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Peggy, go away. You chose. You lost. You are now damaged goods. We don’t want you back. Suicide might be an option to consider though. I’d respect that out of you.

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

That winch whined about Bush constantly. These writers only feel strong when they are opposing people.

leftnomore on May 29, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Once again, another rube

Hummer53 on May 29, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Peggy we have known this sense day one.People like you,Frum,Brooks and the rest of you elite airheads just go away.We don,t listen to the likes of you anymore.

thmcbb on May 29, 2010 at 2:21 PM

The reason we have to leave Noonan permanently at the kid’s table is that there is a threshold below which one’s failure of judgement renders that judgement forever suspect.

It would be one thing if Obama had had in his political history some evidence that he was a strong leader; that he was willing and able to reach across the aisle; that he was not a hard-left neo-Marxist ideologue. It would be one thing if he gave reasonable people evidence that he was going to be a competent leader, and turned out not to be. There are plenty of examples throughout history – plenty of examples just among American presidents – where that was the case.

But we had his voting record. We had his association with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers… with racist demagogue Jeremiah Wright… with Fr. Pfluger… with Tony Rezko… with the whole filthy Chicago machine.

We knew of his upbringing among committed Marxists… we knew of statement after statement after statement that indicated his disdain for capitalism, for American exceptionalism, for American military power. You name it: Anything that Noonan is pointing to now as proof of his ineptitude, we had copious evidence for well before the election.

And she failed to connect these very easily-connected dots. Dots that were so easily connected, that one’s failure to connect them must forever call into question’s one’s abilities in this area.

The Renault clip is okay, but a better example would be the friend who insists that you go eat at a certain restaurant. You pull into the parking lot and there is a foul smell wafting out through the front door. You say to your friend that you don’t think this is a good place to eat, but they insist that it is. You walk through the parking lot past the carcasses of cats, surrounded by the root ends of carrots and onions. You say to your friend that you don’t think this is a good place to eat, but they insist that it is. As you walk through the front door, two people stumble into the parking lot, vomiting. You say to your friend that you don’t think this is a good place to eat, but they insist that it is. As you walk past the kitchen, you see the chef picking his nose. You say to your friend that you don’t think this is a good place to eat, but they insist that it is. You take your seat and notice that the utensils are filthy. You say to your friend that you don’t think this is a good place to eat, but they insist that it is.

You refuse to eat, but your friend gobbles it all down.

The next day she’s violently ill. She calls you, stunned and amazed that she got food poisoning.

Does your friend ever again get a chance to make the decision about where you two go out to eat?

Not for me. I can still be her friend, but I won’t be listening to her restaurant recommendations any more.

greggriffith on May 29, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Her column comes out on a friday… and you usually can get it thursday night…

This one has today’s date. It was probably available last night, but it’s dated today. Maybe it’s an extra essay.

Ed Morrissey on May 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Let’s see. In under two days we saw Cwishy Matthews lose that tingling feeling, James Carville go into total freak-out mode and now Peggy Noonan humbles herself and admits her grave error. Rather than chastise these folks, I think that we should thank them for waking up and speaking out.

We have a new name for our precious waters. The Gulf of Oilbama.

Key West Reader on May 29, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Peggy Noonan’s column today in the Wall Street Journal sums up Obama’s biggest political problem — the perception of ineptitude:

The PERCEPTION? of ineptitude?! Dude. The man is in the middle of HOW many scandals?

AZ illegal immigration

oil spill–can’t cap the well, don’t want to help with the clean up, don’t want to give anyone permission to stop the oil from getting to shore, shows up for a press conference and says, “We were there DAY ONE”… and “It’s BP’s responsibility” in nearly the same breath.

Sestak and illegal bribe (or ineligible offer or whatever we’re calling it now)

And he goes on VACATION in the middle of this for the SECOND TIME IN 40 days…

Ed, this is no longer a “perception.” It’s REALITY!

UnderstandingisPower on May 29, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Ah, the “soft” support that Obama had is starting to really show.

That was one wicked column.

AnninCA on May 29, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Everyone knew President Obama was incompetent. Even his own supporters realized it. Whenever they were asked what kind of proof they had that he could hold down a fob like this they fell back to “he has won several elections.”

The president was elected because he could BS his way into people (like Noonan’s) hearts. He’s been able (with the help of the MSM) to hide from most that his BS powers aren’t working in international relations, and he’s been able to massage the numbers to hide (from some) that his economic policies aren’t helping America. But you can’t BS an oil spill and can’t eloquence away things that directly impact people’s lives.

Welcome to the party Peggy, I hope that pie you brought has enough crow in it, if you want to sit at the table with the big kids again you’ll be eating it for quite some time.

29Victor on May 29, 2010 at 2:25 PM

RIP Dennis Hopper

Lance Murdock on May 29, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Maybe…

But he’d be weak even if we all went to the White House and professed our profound allegiance.

Real leaders can sense weakness. There’s nothing we can do about it.

BacaDog on May 29, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Not to defend Noonan too much since I think any conservative who supported Obama should be forever banned from the movement, but I think that’s her point. Obama is weak, he has made his presidency weak, and we will suffer for it. Just like we suffered and are suffering for the mortal damage the media and democrats were able to inflict on Bush (with some help from him admittedly, but no where enough to do it on his own like Obama).

jarodea on May 29, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I believe Peggy helped saddle the country with a person she knew to have an ideology harmful to the long term interests of the nation. She bares responsibility. If she admits that and apologizes, then my opinion of her might change. Until then, I don’t care what she thinks.

As for the idea that somehow she’s a barometer of the changing opinion of Obots, that is wrong, I think. Peggy knew better from the start. I don’t think she supported him because she was a believer. I think she did it more for selfish – social reasons.

If she was in fact taken in by him, then her opinion and judgment is forever tainted and there’s no coming back from a mistake of that magnitude, imho.

TheBigOldDog on May 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Let’s see. In under two days we saw Cwishy Matthews lose that tingling feeling, James Carville go into total freak-out mode and now Peggy Noonan humbles herself and admits her grave error. Rather than chastise these folks, I think that we should thank them for waking up and speaking out.

Key West Reader on May 29, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Sorry, no. I’ll never forgive people like Peggy for the harm they have done to my country. They are, quite simply, enemies and should not be tolerated.

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM

“I like Peggy Noonan”.

And you are willing to admit that? I don’t see any reason to like a two faced liar who supported the most far-left president in the history of the Republic. She was warned and refused to listen, she deserves no respect.

It is going to take years to unravel the mess Obama has created, and Noonan was a willing participant in this until suddenly she had a change of heart after ignoring the obvious for months. Her and people like Chris Buckley should be ignored – FOREVER.

echosyst on May 29, 2010 at 2:31 PM

No, no. That`s exactly where we want him. Unable to do anything. Look at what he`s done so far, no more please!

ThePrez on May 29, 2010 at 1:43 PM

To look at it a bit differently than I did above, part of the reason Obama is weak is because of what he is doing. The people are stupid (they did elect him amongst other proof) but not that stupid. True at this point the best we can hope for is a weak Obama, but only since he won’t take stock of the situation and adjust ala Clinton. That doesn’t mean it’s where we should want a US president.

Ed, this is no longer a “perception.” It’s REALITY!

UnderstandingisPower on May 29, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Perception IS reality, no need to go further from a macro perspective.

jarodea on May 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM

I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen.

 
This is the part that disturbs me. Our president’s anger and contempt towards US citizens and their will has bubbled up here and there before (healthcare, AZ law), but it is going to be more and more visible now that his supporters are failing him (and that’s exactly what he sees). We’re in for a rough two years until ’12. And Putin, Kim, Chavez, et al aren’t going to wait for him to figure out how to tie his borrowed workboots. They’ve already got their shovels out. They’re ready. We’re not.

rogerb on May 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Noonan is again wrong, this time saying that it is not good to have a president in “this position, weakened . . . .”
We need Obama to stripped of all ability to accomplish anything, because he only wants to do damage to our once great country.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 29, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Peggy, go away. You chose. You lost. You are now damaged goods. We don’t want you back. Suicide might be an option to consider though. I’d respect that out of you.

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

That’s just childish and wrong.

And we DO want her back, and people like her. We want them back if we want to win this fall and in 2012. You don’t win elections by turning your back and shoving away the Peggy Noonans of the world.

Ronald Reagan would not tell Peggy Noonan to get lost.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 2:40 PM

I totally agree, and I disagree with the idea that we need to or are supposed to bash the woman now forever because she made a bad mistake. Whatever faults Noonan may have had with her failure to recognize what Obama was properly, she deserves credit for coming around to recognize his presidency for what it is now, and the article above is truly an excellent read and analysis.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Are you kidding? Noonan is one of the elite cows that went on a jihad against Sarah Palin, trashing her daily leading up to the election. Noonan, and others had a huge impact on how America saw Sarah, and it was all based on lies and hatred.

Noonan lost all credibility and should be forever scorned.

gary4205 on May 29, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Ed Morrissey says: She also concludes with some first-class analysis:

It’s not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term. That it is his fault is no comfort. It is not good for the stability of the world, or its safety, that the leader of “the indispensable nation” be so weakened.

I couldn’t disagree more. The sooner Obama becomes a lame duck the sooner he will lose his capacity to destroy America. And the notion that a strong Obama has the first clue about how to make this a more stable world is hilarious.

All we needed to know about Obama to know that he would be an incompetent president is that even as Anbar Awakened and the Surge was working he was still agitating for Iraq to be conceded to Iran and al Qaeda.

And the suggestion that he’s made only 3 major mistakes is ludicrous. Noonan is a buffoon.

Basilsbest on May 29, 2010 at 2:42 PM

ddrintn on May 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

To you, and to others who suggest that Noonan, Buckley, et al need to be permanently exiled, I’d suggest that we find a way to bring the prodigal back to the family.

If they begin to thoughtfully critique this administration (which is, after all, the proper job of the fourth estate…

AND

If they acknowledge that they had erred in their judgement of candidate/President Obama…

THEN

We could begin to welcome them back into the fold, keeping a bit of an eye on them, until they earn back the lofty positions they forfeited.

One strong rebuke = not enough.

Consistent principaled criticism = you’re on the path to redemption.

massrighty on May 29, 2010 at 2:42 PM

rogerb at 2:32
You are right re Obama’s contempt for US citizens. He met with, had a presser with, and had a huge dinner for Mexico’s president, all at taxpayer expense, but he does not have time to meet with Arizona’s governor. Obama is a disgrace to our country.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 29, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Remember when the media decided in the same week that Obama’s brilliance at “running” his campaign was all the proof they needed that he would be a good President? And then when the financial crisis hit, how his “coolness” showed that he could handle any crisis? I think Noonan actually was one of those people. They willfully suspended disbelief to justify electing the first black President, just so they could all assuage their liberal guilt. It was all such a crock of baloney.

rockmom on May 29, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Are you kidding? Noonan is one of the elite cows that went on a jihad against Sarah Palin, trashing her daily leading up to the election. Noonan, and others had a huge impact on how America saw Sarah, and it was all based on lies and hatred.

Noonan lost all credibility and should be forever scorned.

gary4205 on May 29, 2010 at 2:42 PM

No I’m not kidding. I remember what Noonan said about Palin. She blew it big time. But I believe in Grace.

And, like I said above, we need the Peggy Noonans of the world to come back if we want to win this fall and in 2012. Ronald Reagan would not turn his back on Peggy Noonan.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Noonan is an “airhead” with the knack for a “well-turned phrase” although by the fourth paragraph of a Noonan column, most people start looking for a barf bag.

The simple fact is that she is much more interested in the opinions of the cocktail circuit that what’s best for the country.

bw222 on May 29, 2010 at 2:46 PM

rockmom: Don’t forget the role elitism plays in support for Obama. Harvard, etc.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 29, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Ed, Ed, Ed. Poor Peggy is not a conservative. She’s a floater.

But, if she wants to tell the truth about Obama, I welcome that.

faraway on May 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Ronald Reagan would not turn his back on Peggy Noonan.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 2:45 PM

You sure of that? Did you know Reagan personally?

bw222 on May 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Peggy Noonan humbles herself and admits her grave error.

Key West Reader on May 29, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Where does she do either?

She didn’t even release her criticism until it was safe – until people like Carville had already publicly done so.

The scales aren’t falling from her eyes. They were never there to begin with. She knew what she was getting but lacked the courage of her convictions. She did the socially safe thing and even now continues to do so.

TheBigOldDog on May 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM

She and Brooks and Buckley and other camp-followers are forever discredited in my book.

ddrintn on May 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Forever.

SlaveDog on May 29, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Hey, Peg? have a nice steaming hot cup of STFU!! You, Chris Buckley, David Brooks and the rest of the eastern elite sicken me.

And MikeknaJ, we don’t need the Noonans of the world back. She’s been trying to get back in step with a reality-based ascendancy that began, oh, about 30 minutes after OBozo was sworn in. She is completely irrelevant to the turnaround that will begin to occur in November.

dhawbake on May 29, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Competence? No.

Flatulence? Pretty sure.

High-handed arrogance? Definitely.

hillbillyjim on May 29, 2010 at 2:52 PM

the big problem with Obama is that it’s all about messaging to him. his staff think they’re on “West Wing”. Nobody ever talks about real issues, just about how they’re conveyed.

Phoenician on May 29, 2010 at 2:53 PM

1. I don’t think Noonan gets the Renault award, because she was a genuine believer back then.

2. I don’t see how she could write a column about Obama’s incompetence, and not mention the three terrorist attacks on our soil this year, as well as his diplomatic buffoonery.

3. I don’t think voting present is a strong enough analogy for what Obama has been doing. Especially over this last month of watching the spill, it seems he hasn’t even been present. The set-up photo op was an insulting joke, and sending Napolitano out to blame everything on BP and promise to hold them accountable has got to be the worst presidential PR performance I can recall, far worse than even GWB’s worst open press conferences.

paul1149 on May 29, 2010 at 2:54 PM

That’s just childish and wrong.

And we DO want her back, and people like her. We want them back if we want to win this fall and in 2012. You don’t win elections by turning your back and shoving away the Peggy Noonans of the world.

Ronald Reagan would not tell Peggy Noonan to get lost.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Uhh, no, I don’t want her back. I’d be willing to USE her if there was some benefit in doing so, but we lost the last election by listening to people like Peggy, and you, trying to get us to be Dem lite. Screw Peggy, and you too, if you think that is goingto work again.

I don’t know what Regan would do if he weere here today. He had a lot of good ideas, but he was not perfect.

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM

I don’t care how thick were the scales over her eyes before now, her second look at Øbama is a killer. This article is devastating.

petefrt on May 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM

I totally disagree. She and Brooks and Buckley and other camp-followers are forever discredited in my book. The choice in 2008 was pretty stark. They couldn’t put aside their snobbish disdain for Palin long enough to realize that Obama was an incompetent left-wing arriviste. Instead they treated us to sickening paeans to Obama’s “coolness” and “intellect”. They can go take a flying you-know-what at a doughnut.

ddrintn on May 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Well said.

RJL on May 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM

I don’t care how thick were the scales over her eyes before now, her second look at Øbama is a killer. This article is devastating.

petefrt on May 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Do you understand what devastation IS? If this were devatating to Obama, there would be a grand jury meeting today to prepare for his arrest.

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

And MikeknaJ, we don’t need the Noonans of the world back….

dhawbake on May 29, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Yes, we do. We need all of them back, if we want to win. I know way too many people in this world who are my friends who became Peggy Noonan-like in 2008. They are smart, kind individuals – but naive (or whatever) enough to be taken in by the Hopeful Obama. They may not be “true Conservatives” but they have conservative values at their heart and are natural Republican voters. We need these people to vote Republican again and re-affirm their core conservative values. We need them if we want to win.


We WILL NOT GET THEM if we just throw stones at them while they attempt to make their way back to the GOP ballot box.

Would you go back to a team that belittled you, mocked you, and thew stones at you?

And for you Christians out there, how about showing a little bit of grace, as was shown to us by our God?

Let’s be realistic. We can all have our principles and we can all stand firm in our conservative values. But if we want to win again – and if we want to actually be politically effective – we have to let bygones be bygones.

You sure of that? Did you know Reagan personally?
bw222 on May 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Yes, I’m sure of it. Because Reagan knew how to build a big tent GOP.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

That it is his fault is no comfort.

It’s not Obama’s fault that he is not fit to be President of the United States. It is the fault of the people who voted for him and, more than anything, it’s the fault of the media who created him and his image. It’s your fault Peggy.

pitythefool on May 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Peggy, seeing as it took you this long to figure this out about Barack Obama, I’d say you wouldn’t know competence if it bit you in the butt.

Daggett on May 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Once again, another member of the elite chattering class gets schooled by the average Joe.

Take a hike, princess.

artist on May 29, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Another “let them eat cake” moment from the libtards.

Mojave Mark on May 29, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Uhh, no, I don’t want her back. I’d be willing to USE her if there was some benefit in doing so, but we lost the last election by listening to people like Peggy, and you, trying to get us to be Dem lite. Screw Peggy, and you too, if you think that is goingto work again.

I don’t know what Regan would do if he weere here today. He had a lot of good ideas, but he was not perfect.

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Where did I ever say I wanted us to be Dem-lite? I never said that, and I certainly don’t want that.

But I want the votes of people who will support conservative candidates, or at least want to vote against Obama. That’s why I want Peggy Noonan back.

Screw me? Wow. Just screw all the voters who don’t meet your personal purity test. See how many seats you win this fall.

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Peg, Buckley, Frum, Brooks, you can all help out by starting to suck on the oil in the gulf.

Her’s is NOT “first-class analysis.” In fact, it’s pathetically weak analysis. Just because she’s finally waking-up to what anyone with the slightest amount of brains knew and could predict about oBozo before Election Day 2008 does not qualify her as an intelligent commentator. OBozo never even ran a cash register in a 7-11 before he was elected to the most powerful position in the world. Who couldn’t have predicted complete failure? Don’t step forward so quickly, Peggy.

dhawbake on May 29, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Many of us wrote extensively about Obama’s pattern of avoidance during the election — and suggested that Democrats try Obama in a lesser executive position first, such as Governor of Illinois, before nominating him for the top spot, in order to make sure he was up for the job.

And you were roundly dismissed as (racist) idiots by the “intelligent” people on the Left.

Unfortunately, some conservatives such as Noonan rebutted those arguments, choosing instead to see cool competence instead of complete inexperience and a pattern of avoidance.

Had to edit this part, Ed.

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2010 at 3:08 PM

So ironic since Peggy was the early clarion call on the GOP self-destruction by abandoning conservatism.

Oh, and thanks for working Saturday ob a holiday weekend, Ed.

Valiant on May 29, 2010 at 3:09 PM

What are we really learning about this article? Has Noonan finally become what Rush Limbaugh has been all along about Obama? Rush Limbaugh treated Obama with color blindness, Rush viewed Obama by the content of his character, and reviewed Obama’s history, or lack of a record simply as a man, but Noonan, and a majority of her pundit peers factored in the color of his skin. Fearing the political correctness of being accused a racist played quite a role in Obama’s passage and acceptance with the Noonan’s, Buckley’s, and Brooks. Has Noonan rediscovered her objectivity bearings? I’m missing the point of Noonan’s current headline, can she cite for all of us where Obama has demonstrated competence during his political career? I hope she continues to see Obama as just a man, and leave the forces of being political correct out of it.

Americannodash on May 29, 2010 at 3:09 PM

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Yup, we shall see. You seem to think if this as a game, even using the term “team”. This is a war for the future of America, and as far as I’m concerned people who work hard to get our side to go soft on the enemy deserve no quarter. If the GOP elites don’t begin to understand that they are not going to get people like me back, they are going to find themselve up against a 3rd party. And they may lose, and we may all lose. I’d rather lose fighting than to surrender early to avoid having to fight.

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 3:12 PM

MikeknaJ: I agree with you that we need to appreciate people who supported Obama changing their minds about him. It does us little good to reject them and their ability to influence others to change their minds as well.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 29, 2010 at 3:21 PM

The problem with Noonan and the other “conservative” columnists to do their homework about the candidates for president in 2008 is that even now, they continue to offer their belated recognition of the obvious as some kind of original insight.

Perhaps a column regretting the sneering condescension toward the great unwashed in flyover country might repair their reputations more than will relaying what these allegedly less-educated people have fully realized for two good years.

Chuckles3 on May 29, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Sorry, typo:

The problem with Noonan and the other “conservative” columnists who failed to do their homework about the candidates for president in 2008 is that even now, they continue to offer their belated recognition of the obvious as some kind of original insight.

Perhaps a column regretting the sneering condescension toward the great unwashed in flyover country might repair their reputations more than will relaying what these allegedly less-educated people have fully realized for two good years.

Chuckles3 on May 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Sorry, Ed…couldn’t get the preview button to work.

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM

MikeA on May 29, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Having said Noonan’s article is powerful, I’d question which is the more damaging to the country, Øbama’s incompetence or Øbama’s radical ideology. I’d say his ideology is damaging us more, because it is virulently anti-American, and his incompetence may not be all a bad thing.

We need Obama to be stripped of all ability to accomplish anything, because he only wants to do damage to our once great country.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 29, 2010 at 2:33 PM

But the incompetence meme is already gaining public traction. It’s easier to sustain than the issue of ideology, and I think she sustained it well.

petefrt on May 29, 2010 at 3:23 PM

“…even though the federal government in our time has continually taken on new missions and responsibilities, the more it took on, the less it seemed capable of performing even its most essential jobs. Conservatives got this point—they know it without being told—but liberals and progressives did not. They thought Katrina was the result only of George W. Bush’s incompetence and conservatives’ failure to “believe in government.” But Mr. Obama was supposed to be competent.”

Says who? His creased pant-leg?

Peg got carried away by the dream of a healing black president and, as a speechwriter, seduced by the oratory. She should have known better, but the fault still lies with McCain, who for years chased two rabbits at once, and ended up catching neither.

As Steyn writes today,

Almost every problem we face today arises from the vanity of Big Government. Why has BP got oil wells 5,000 feet underwater in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico? Because government regulated them off-land, off-coast, and ever deeper into the briny.

True, BP went along. Its initials stand for “British Petroleum”. You may not be aware of that if you’ve seen any of their commercials in recent years: “BP — Beyond Petroleum.” They were an oil company ashamed of their product, and advertising only how anxious they were to get with the environmental program. And a fat lot of good that did them.

BP, not to mention its customers, would have been better to push back against government policies that drive energy suppliers into ever more unpredictable terrain in order to protect the Alaskan breeding grounds of the world’s largest mosquito herd. Instead, we’ll do the opposite. There’ll be even more government protection of “the environment,” and even more government regulation of the oil industry, and BP will be drilling for oil in that Icelandic volcano.”

In an effort to redistribute wealth, liberals used Fannie and Freddie to force banks into making bad loans. Was anybody really helped when the Socialized Mortgages all blew up? Now they’ve passed ObamaMoney Reform. Guess what–it lets the Feds force banks to make bad loans again!

BP was out in Mile-Deep water because of Socialized Energy policy. BP was so focused on moving beyond petroleum that now the petroleum is moving beyond BP. Is the problem too little government regulation as Democrats always claim? Or is it too little of the right kind and way too much of the wrong?

Noel on May 29, 2010 at 3:24 PM

MikeknaJ on May 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

The GOP’s path to success can be as a middle class party that represents the values of average Americans (who are virtually unrepresented now). Not a party that follows the advice of East Coast elitists. What does Noonan bring to the party? The 2010 version of Reagan Democrats, Tea Party members and most conservatives don’t read her.

bw222 on May 29, 2010 at 3:25 PM

When does Peggy Noonan apologize for using her influence to build up this moron, and for using her influence and disdain to malign and condemn Sarah Palin?

DiogenesLamp on May 29, 2010 at 3:25 PM

petefrt at 3:23
Yes; I was trying to make the point that it is to our benefit for Obama not to be able to accomplish anything that he wants to accomplish.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM

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