Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Noonan on Palin -- "A Clear and Present Danger to the American Left"; UPDATED and bumped

We have always enjoyed Peggy Noonan. From time to time she goes off the rails, but she is genuinely appreciated here. Today, she lays it out for all to see why the Left is so bat$hit nuts to try and get rid of her from this campaign:

Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to a future Obama candidacy.

She could become a transformative political presence.

So they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick.

And it's going to be brutal. It's already getting there. ...

I don't think the most powerful attack line will be, in the end, inexperience. Our nation appears to be in a cycle in which inexperience seems something of a lure. "He's fresh, he's new, he hasn't appalled me yet!" I don't think it's age. While Palin seems to me young, so does Obama. I freely concede this is a drawback of getting older: you keep upping your idea of what "old enough" is. But only because when you're 50 you know you're wiser and more seasoned than you were at 40, or should be.

America, even as it ages, loves youth and admires its strength.

I think the left will go hard on this: Fringe. Radical. What goes on in her church? Isn't she extreme? Does she really think God wants a pipeline? What does Sarah Barracuda really mean? They're going to try and make her strange, outré, oddball. And not in a good way.

In all this, and in its involvement in this week's ritual humiliation of a 17-year-old girl, the mainstream press may seriously overplay its hand, and court a backlash that impacts the election. More on that in a moment.

I'll tell you how powerful Mrs. Palin already is: she reignited the culture wars just by showing up. She scrambled the battle lines, too. The crustiest old Republican men are shouting "Sexism!" when she's slammed. Pro-woman Democrats are saying she must be a bad mother to be all ambitious with kids in the house. Great respect goes to Barack Obama not only for saying criticism of candidates' children is out of bounds in political campaigns, but for making it personal, and therefore believable. "My mother had me when she was eighteen…" That was the lovely sound of class in American politics. ...

That was a long way of saying: Dig deep into Sarah Palin, get all you can, talk to everybody, get every vote, every quote, tell us of her career and life, she may be the next vice president. But don't play games. And leave her kid alone, bitch.

Palin's friends should be less immediately worried about what the Obama campaign will do to her than what the McCain campaign will do. This is a woman who's tough enough to work her way up and through, and to say yes to a historic opportunity, but she will know little of, or rather have little experience in, the mischief inherent in national Republican politics. She will be mobbed up in the McCain campaign by people who care first about McCain and second about themselves. (Or, let's be honest, often themselves first and then McCain.) Palin will never be higher than number three in their daily considerations. They won't have enough interest in protecting her, advancing her, helping her play to her strengths, helping her kick away from danger. And – there is no nice way to say this, even though at this point I shouldn't worry about nice – some of them are that worst sort of aide, dim and insensitive past or present lobbyists with high self-confidence. She'll be a thing to them; they'll see the smile and the chignon and the glasses and think she's Truvi from Steel Magnolias. They'll run right over her, not because they're strong but because they're stupid. The McCain campaign better get straight on this. He should step in, knock heads, scare his own people and get Palin the help and high-level staff all but the most seasoned vice presidential candidates require.

Hammer. Nail. Head. She's right on target, and that's saying a lot seeing as how the attacks have only just begun. She has been the vice presidential candidate for all of six days and the Left, with their willing minions in the media, have tried to hit her on everything from her supposed inexperience (she's more experienced than all three men running), to her motherhood (she juggled four kids and a job as mayor and governor), to her supposed values (you can lecture kids, but they're going to make mistakes), to her backwoods upbringing (America loves heartland, authentic types). Nothing is sticking. And nothing will stick because there's nothing there. It's time for the Left to wake up, and realize that they're not going to tear her down.

Going after Sarah Palin is the wrong way to go. It'll result in a backlash the media and the Left aren't prepared for. It's already happening. Read Beldar, Michelle Malkin, Ace & Crew, and especially Hugh Hewitt and see that there is a severe push-back on the media for their inane attacks on Sarah Palin. (Do read Hugh's site for the last few days and read the e-mails he's getting from women around the country; they're not amused by these attacks.)

The media and Obama surrogates should be focusing on John McCain. They're not. They're scared of Sarah Palin so they're going all out on her. It's a strategic blunder on their part, and they're too damn stupid to realize it. And by the time they do, it'll be too late. By then, John McCain and Sarah Palin will be taking their oaths of office, and the media will wonder what they did wrong.

What did they do wrong? They attacked the first female GOP vice presidential nominee, and America wasn't pleased. And when the country isn't happy, they make people pay, in spades.

Publius II

UPDATE: I'm not doing this because I want to. I'm doing this because I have to, otherwise readers would think I'm just sweeping this under the rug, and ignoring that it happened. Allah picked this up this afternoon and it really ticks us off. Politico's Michael Calderone has the video, and what one could call a "transcript" of the comments Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy had on a hot mic about Sarah Palin:

Former McCain adviser Mike Murphy and the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan were caught on a hot mike today on MSNBC, giving their true feelings about Sarah Palin. Murphy said the pick's "not going to work," and Noonan said, "It's over."

Chuck Todd asked about whether it's insulting to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Murphy said that Palin's not the most qualified woman.

"The most qualified? No." Noonan said. "I think they went for this — excuse me — political bullsh** about narratives."

Noonan continued: "Every time Republicans do that — because that's not where they live, and it's not what they're good at — they blow it."

"You know what' really the worst part about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism," Murphy said. "And this is cynical."

OK, first things first. If that's Peggy Noonan's beliefs, then why bull-sh*t readers with the piece above that I cited. It appears that she's not being truthful with her readers, and that sends a bad message to a lot of people, like ourselves, that have a good deal of respect for her. Or, in our case, had respect for her. After this, she's just another lying columnist in the MSM. Way to go Peggy. Your credibility in our book just hit rock bottom; even lower than Barry's and Joe's.

Secondly, no one said she was "the most qualified woman" he could have chosen. What Murphy and Noonan miss, apparently, is that he picked her for her reform-minded credentials. If he's running on the concept of reform and change -- putting the nation's interests first -- then why go the Barry O route and pick a Beltway insider who will fight him on changing things because it threatens the status quo? Given the relative stupidity of those two, it's clear they never bothered to ask that question.

Also, Ms. Noonan misses the point that narratives do work. It worked for Bush and Cheney in 2000 when they were proving that they were the better ticket. They had to PROVE that to the voters. How do you do it? You use a narrative. When Sarah Palin delivers her speech tonight, I hope she makes these two rubes eat their words.

Lastly, how many times do pundits have to be reminded to make sure the mic is off before they open their mouths and insert their foot? This is beginner-level broadcast rules. And given the fact both have been on TV several times, they ought to know better.

Publius II


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