NOONAN TELLS US WHAT SHE REALLY THINKS…. In September, in one of the presidential campaign’s more refreshing and unscripted moments, conservative columnist Peggy Noonan chatted with NBC’s Chuck Todd about Sarah Palin, when both thought their microphones were off. Palin’s addition to the Republican ticket, Noonan said, was “political bullshit.”
Ten months later, Noonan’s opinion of the resigning Alaska governor seems to have deteriorated further. In her Wall Street Journal column today, Noonan just unloads on Palin, characterizing her, accurately, as everything that’s wrong with Republican politics in the 21st century. She even recognizes conservative claims about Palin, only to quickly knock them down.
“The elites hate her.” The elites made her. It was the elites of the party, the McCain campaign and the conservative media that picked her and pushed her. The base barely knew who she was. It was the elites, from party operatives to public intellectuals, who advanced her and attacked those who said she lacked heft. She is a complete elite confection. She might as well have been a bonbon.
“She makes the Republican Party look inclusive.” She makes the party look stupid, a party of the easily manipulated.
“She shows our ingenuous interest in all classes.” She shows your cynicism.
“Now she can prepare herself for higher office by studying up, reading in, boning up on the issues.” Mrs. Palin’s supporters have been ordering her to spend the next two years reflecting and pondering. But she is a ponder-free zone. She can memorize the names of the presidents of Pakistan, but she is not going to be able to know how to think about Pakistan. Why do her supporters not see this? Maybe they think “not thoughtful” is a working-class trope!
“The media did her in.” Her lack of any appropriate modesty did her in.
Noonan, methodically and thoroughly, simply takes Palin apart, detailing the governor’s inability to be thoughtful, unwillingness to learn what others think, reluctance to explain or even understand her own policy positions, and tendency to say things that are “scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence.”
Noonan concludes that we’re in an era in which the nation needs “conservative leaders who know how to think” and a Republican Party that is “serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party — a party that deserves to lead — would do.”
From Noonan’s keyboard to the party’s ears.