Sometimes you have to admit defeatPosted: October 28, 2011
I tried to write a proper analysis of Peggy Noonan’s latest emission. I labored through her evocation of a red and white and purple-prosed America that I suspect only ever existed in Peggy’s wildest gin-dreams:
…The things that divide us are not new, yet there’s a sense now that the glue that held us together for more than two centuries has thinned and cracked with age. That it was allowed to thin and crack, that the modern era wore it out.
What was the glue? A love of country based on a shared knowledge of how and why it began; a broad feeling among our citizens that there was something providential in our beginnings; a gratitude that left us with a sense that we should comport ourselves in a way unlike the other nations of the world, that more was expected of us, and not unjustly—”To whom much is given much is expected”; a general understanding that we were something new in history, a nation founded on ideals and aspirations—liberty, equality—and not mere grunting tribal wants. We were from Europe but would not be European: No formal class structure here, no limits, from the time you touched ground all roads would lead forward. You would be treated not as your father was but as you deserved.
I chuckled at the bit where she called Obama a negative, self-obsessed, divisive hater of the rich:
Where is the president in all this? He doesn’t seem to be as worried about his country’s continuance as his own. He’s out campaigning and talking of our problems, but he seems oddly oblivious to or detached from America’s deeper fears. And so he feels free to exploit divisions. It’s all the rich versus the rest, and there are a lot more of the latter.
then was entirely discombobulated when Peggy
became seemed briefly coherent*:
Specifically it is the story of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage insurers, and how their politically connected CEOs, especially Fannie’s Franklin Raines and James Johnson, took actions that tanked the American economy and walked away rich. It began in the early 1990s, in the Clinton administration, and continued under the Bush administration, with the help of an entrenched Congress that wanted only two things: to receive campaign contributions and to be re-elected.
The story is a scandal, and the book should be the bible of Occupy Wall Street. But they seem as incapable of seeing government as part of the problem as Republicans seem of seeing business as part of the problem.
but then realized it was all an excuse to insert her tongue slowly into Paul Ryan, and then gently pull it out and wiggle it around a bit, tickling the little hairs with the tip the way he likes:
Which gets us to Rep. Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan receives much praise, but I don’t think his role in the current moment has been fully recognized. He is doing something unique in national politics. He thinks. He studies. He reads. Then he comes forward to speak, calmly and at some length, about what he believes to be true. He defines a problem and offers solutions, often providing the intellectual and philosophical rationale behind them. Conservatives naturally like him—they agree with him—but liberals and journalists inclined to disagree with him take him seriously and treat him with respect.
My brain didn’t really start to hurt until the end, where I discovered that Paul Ryan thinks the rich and politicians are evil too:
“Why have we extended an endless supply of taxpayer credit to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, instead of demanding that their government guarantee be wound down and their taxpayer subsidies ended?” Why are tax dollars being wasted on bankrupt, politically connected solar energy firms like Solyndra? “Why is Washington wasting your money on entrenched agribusiness?”
Rather than raise taxes on individuals, we should “lower the amount of government spending the wealthy now receive.” The “true sources of inequity in this country,” he continued, are “corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.” The real class warfare that threatens us is “a class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society.”
although apparently it’s not negative, divisive or rich-hatey when he says it.
I tried to read the whole thing again, and pick it apart in detail for your delectation. And frankly, I just gave up. I’m neither sober enough, nor drunk enough, to care.
So, in lieu of that, I bring you my new favorite biscuits (cookies, for those of you not of Blighty born):
Who doesn’t like a nice fruity cock or two with their morning tea?
* ETA: Yes, I know that Peggy is only coherent here for a particular value of coherent, namely “not very”. As commenter geg6 noted at Balloon Juice: “To blame everything on Freddie and Fannie, as she does in the paragraph you highlight, is not coherent. It is the babbling of every Teabagging, conspiracy nut, Grover Norquist knob gobbling asshole on the right.” At least Peggy got all the words in the right order. That must count for something.