A true, verbal smackdown
You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. But it's not the normal kind of jealous, the kind reserved for girlfriends who can squeeze into size 2 jeans. No, it's the kind of jealous that hurts, that grabs your gut and twists, that has you howling with rage into your pillow in the middle of the night, screaming "It's not fair" like a two-year-old denied another piece of cake. It is Sarah Palin jealous...and it is consuming you.
You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. You are a card-carrying member of the intellectual conservative elite, a PBS-anointed expert on family values who worked for both Ronald Reagan and Dan Rather, a talented speechwriter and wordsmith. And you are fuming: Sarah Palin refuses to be yesterday's news. You just can't get her out of your mind. And, what's worse, everyone continues to talk about her. You've tried everything, using your mainstream media platforms, your Wall Street Journal columns, and powerful friends -- so many of them -- to savage her, to give her a rhetorical beating so fierce that it would bring a smile to the face of Vince McMahon -- if you knew who he is, and if you had ever watched a WWE wrestling match, which he heads. "She is a complete elite confection. She might as well have been a bonbon," you wrote, your $300 manicured fingers shaking on the keyboard.
You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. So you loosed a multi-column primal scream: Palin is an idiot who is "out of her depth in a shallow pool", a woman who has no sense of personal limits because she is not even smart enough to realize she is "a ponder-free zone." Whoa-good one! The rhetorical equivalent of the chickenwing camel clutch, where you come up behind and twist her arm behind her back, and then force her face to the mat. Or, in her case, to the snow. That's what they have in Alaska, don't they? You don't know, of course-Martha's Vineyard is about as far north as you venture, and then only to observe humanity-you know, the common folks-from "a little pier" before strolling over for dinner with two of the more brilliant stars in your friends firmament, television personalities Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric.
You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. You pal around with Sawyer and Couric, Jane Fonda, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin -- the world is your aging oyster -- and The New York Times (which is sort of iffy on your writing) admires you for the company you keep. The Manhattan and beltway salon denizens love you. Brian Williams even said he'd nominate you for a Pulitzer, calling your writing "sparkling." Yes, THE Brian Williams, He Who Anchors NBC News, who had an audience with President Obama, to whom he bowed when leaving.You hang with the grandees, and they understand the world. Unlike Sarah Palin, who uses a pier simply to fish and wouldn't know a winsome observation if it jumped into her net. And you just don't understand the crowds, the admiration for someone who owns the kind of fishing boat that is not equipped with a champagne cooler. Oh, the unfairness of it all!
You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. You don't understand it. Sure, maybe she has accomplished a few things (like the $26 billion dollar natural gas pipeline deal, restructuring Alaskan government, and taking an ice pick to corrupt politicians). But she has no style, no pizzazz -- she just does stuff. But so do you -- and you can't understand why you don't get the same adoration. After all, didn't you go before the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission and not just protest, but elegantly protest -- so said The New York Times -- a 16-story tower a developer wanted to build in your ritzy Upper East Side Manhattan neighborhood? Sarah Palin wouldn't have done that; she's not brilliant enough to understand preservation. She probably would have looked at the jobs the construction would create and given it a déclassé "Hell yeah!"
Like her or not, Sarah Palin is an extremely popular individual, and not just on our side of the aisle. The MSM has deemed her such with the incessant stories done about her, the virtual third-degree given to her family, and the seemingly endless demands by "Excitable" Andy Sullivan that she and her son Trig submit to paternity tests to finally determine who the little guy's real mom is.
Snark doesn't begin to cover the attitude Ms. Noonan displays towards Sarah Palin. Mr. Schwartz is right to call it jealousy because it is just that. For some odd reason her columns on Sarah Palin reflect a jealousy that she's never displayed before. And I think I know why. See, up until Sarah Palin came onto the national stage last year Ms. Noonan was the "go-to conservative woman." After all, she worked for our hero, and clearly the best president from the last century. She had to have some of his conservative bona-fides in her blood to be working for him. Sure, Reagan "worked across the aisle" (but never to a detriment to his party, unlike today's Republicans who hand the Democrats the knife to stab them in the back with) but she was a speechwriter for him.
Yes, we're biased. We like Sarah Palin, a lot. And we will continue to defend her against scurrilous, biased, uncalled for attacks. And if that means we have to go after a conservative, we'll do it. Ms. Noonan earned this smackdown. She brought this on herself. But given her Beltway snobbery, she'll click her tongue, and declare Mr. Schwartz a neanderthal, and then compare him to Sarah Palin.
That's snobbery that is quite gauche, and shows those who treat her word as gospel truth that she's really no different from the liberal media that drew a target on Governor Palin. They tried to destroy her, and we knew they would. It's much different when it's someone on your own side trying to fillet you.