A couple weeks back, Harvard announced a new study group hosted by noted space cadet Peggy Noonan. The syllabus, combined with Noonan’s professional history, clearly indicated this class would be a train wreck. Those who follow and appreciate Noonan were quick to point this out, on this blog and elsewhere.
Fortunately, a few enterprising souls at Harvard’s Institute of Politics were good enough to share first-hand observations and quotations. These early impressions and quotations are amazing. Noonan runs the gamut from hazy to incoherent to vacuously tautologous, and comes off as such a weird caricature that it’s difficult to choose a favorite excerpt.
Here are a couple choice quotes:
You know, and the problem with George W. Bush, is that he made the whole world so nervous. Y’know!
My study group is about being a person who thinks things and believes them and turns them into words that convey thoughts and feelings.
But my favorite bit is the doleful note she sounds when she says, “My best advice for you is never feel bad about being a loser.” It is unclear what Harvard’s administrators were hoping to achieve by giving Noonan a classroom. Whatever their intentions, I echo Peggy and advise them to not feel bad about being a loser.