Tag Archives: Peggy Noonan

Noonan to Palin: Reagan was a Great Man and You are a Nincompoop

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin at a recent 2010 midterm election campaign event.

Conservative columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan doesn’t like people demeaning the Gipper’s legacy, not even Sarah Palin, and not even if she’s only talking about the former president’s Hollywood career.

She writes in her latest column of a recent incident in which Sarah Palin attempted to explain away a Karl Rove criticism over her “reality show” by drawing parallels to former president Ronald Reagan’s silver screen career, including his roles in movies such as “Bedtime for Bonzo, bozo or something”:

… “Conservatives talked a lot about Ronald Reagan this year, but they have to take him more to heart, because his example here is a guide. All this seemed lost last week on Sarah Palin, who called him, on Fox, “an actor.” She was defending her form of political celebrity—reality show, “Dancing With the Stars,” etc. This is how she did it: “Wasn’t Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn’t he in ‘Bedtime for Bonzo,’ Bozo, something? Ronald Reagan was an actor.”

Excuse me, but this was ignorant even for Mrs. Palin. Reagan people quietly flipped their lids, but I’ll voice their consternation to make a larger point. Ronald Reagan was an artist who willed himself into leadership as president of a major American labor union (Screen Actors Guild, seven terms, 1947-59.) He led that union successfully through major upheavals (the Hollywood communist wars, labor-management struggles); discovered and honed his ability to speak persuasively by talking to workers on the line at General Electric for eight years; was elected to and completed two full terms as governor of California; challenged and almost unseated an incumbent president of his own party; and went on to popularize modern conservative political philosophy without the help of a conservative infrastructure. Then he was elected president.

The point is not “He was a great man and you are a nincompoop,” though that is true. The point is that Reagan’s career is a guide, not only for the tea party but for all in politics. He brought his fully mature, fully seasoned self into politics with him. He wasn’t in search of a life when he ran for office, and he wasn’t in search of fame; he’d already lived a life, he was already well known, he’d accomplished things in the world.

Here is an old tradition badly in need of return: You have to earn your way into politics. You should go have a life, build a string of accomplishments, then enter public service. And you need actual talent: You have to be able to bring people in and along. You can’t just bully them, you can’t just assert and taunt, you have to be able to persuade.

Americans don’t want, as their representatives, people who seem empty or crazy. They’ll vote no on that.

It’s not just the message, it’s the messenger.”

One Vote Palin Won’t Get

Mike Murphy is a Republican political consultant who has advised such nationally prominent Republicans as John McCain, Jeb Bush, John Engler, Tommy Thompson, Spencer Abraham, Christie Whitman, Lamar Alexander, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mike Murphy is a Republican political consultant who has advised such nationally prominent Republicans as John McCain, Jeb Bush, John Engler, Tommy Thompson, Spencer Abraham, Christie Whitman, Lamar Alexander, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Republican strategist Mike Murphy has never been a timid talker, and he unloaded on Sarah Palin during NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Addressing the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee’s chances of getting her party’s nod in 2012, he acknowledged that she has a constituency. But he said, “She’ll never be the nominee. It would be actually a disaster if she was the nominee.”

He joined conservative columnist David Brooks in trashing talk show hosts such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and their efforts to steer the GOP’s direction. “The noisiest parts of the conservative media machine have far less influence than the mainstream media machine that covers the Republican world thinks they do,” Murphy said. “These radio guys can’t deliver a pizza, let alone a nomination,” he added.

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Op-Ed: Sarah Palin Should Just Go Home

The Alaska governor embodies America’s obsession with made-up facts, self-pity and celebrity
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in Miami last November 2008.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in Miami last November 2008.

July 16, 2009 | “The rise of Idiot America … is essentially a war on expertise … In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a scientist, or a preacher, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.

— Charles P. Pierce, from “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free”

Pity the poor “real Americans,” because they sure feel sorry for themselves. Self-pity appears to be the latest national craze. Not that we haven’t got real troubles, but everywhere you look and listen these days, some big crybaby’s blubbering about how people like him or her get no respect from (take your pick) “Ivy League elitists,” the “scientific establishment,” “so-called sophisticates,” the “mainstream media” and so on.

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Peggy Noonan Goes Off On Sarah Palin In Column: “Horrifying”

Peggy Noonan is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the best selling author of seven books on American politics, history and culture.  She is considered a political conservative.

Peggy Noonan is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the best selling author of seven books on American politics, history and culture. She is considered a political conservative.

One of the most refreshingly honest moments of the 2008 campaign came when Peggy Noonan, a columnist and former Republican speechwriter, was caught on a live mike calling the choice of Sarah Palin to run on the Republican ticket “political bullshit.” She smoothed over her harsh remarks in a subsequent column, saying she liked Palin even if she wasn’t sure the selection would be successful. But now that Palin has announced her plan to resign as Alaska Governor, Noonan apparently feels free to speak openly.

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GOPers Draw Line: If You’re Against Palin, You’re Dead To The Party

Journalist Jason Linkins, writing for the Huffington Post, reports on the implosion of the GOP party surrounding the choice of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and the excommunication of many lifelong Republicans now considered to be anti-Palin.

With the GOP looking more and more set to fracture as the possibility of electoral defeat looms, the cannibals’ knives are out. Consider this quote, via Yglesias:

Jim Nuzzo, a White House aide to the first President Bush, dismissed Mrs Palin’s critics as “cocktail party conservatives” who “give aid and comfort to the enemy”.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: “There’s going to be a bloodbath. A lot of people are going to be excommunicated. David Brooks and David Frum and Peggy Noonan are dead people in the Republican Party. The litmus test will be: where did you stand on Palin?”

Hold it now. They’re serious about going all in with the Palin loyalty test? Uhm…apparently so! Nuzzo adds:

He said: “Win or lose, there is a ready made conservative candidate waiting in the wings. Sarah Palin is not the new Iain Duncan Smith, she is the new Ronald Reagan.”

Yowee. So, for the sake of Sarah Palin — who many conservatives correctly assessed as the candidate-born-yesterday — a whole slew of Republicans-in-good-standing are going to be thrown under the bus? That’s a serious civil war, or rather, a war betwixt the Serious and the Un-Serious. Keep in mind that Palin’s critics are not marginal figures in the conservative movement. We’re talking the aforementioned Brooks and Noonan and Frum, and we’re adding Christopher Buckley, George Will, Kathleen Parker, Colin Powell, Charles Krauthammer, Matthew Dowd, and for the sake of argument, we’ll throw in Chuck Hagel, Andrew Sullivan, and Christopher Hitchens, even though I hesitate to pin any of them to any sort of doctrinaire conservative group.

This is, indeed, a “bloodbath,” and for what? A distinctly semi-pro Alaskan governor who’s more or less made the charisma-free Tim Pawlenty look like What Could Have Been?

Additionally, this sort of line-in-the-sand drawing avoids another obvious truth — come 2012, someone besides Palin is going to vie for the GOP nomination. Someone like, say, Mitt Romney, who famously earned the backing of the National Review, which called him a “full-spectrum conservative.” What happens to Romney, now that he’s on the wrong side of the Palin line? Because that’s where he is:

Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin’s bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election. “Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won’t be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,” says one former Romney aide, now working for McCain-Palin. “The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney. He’s in charge on November 5th.”

[…]

Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a “diva” and was going off message intentionally. The former and current Romney supporters further are pushing Romney supporters for key Republican jobs, including head of the Republican National Committee.

If I read this right, the GOP is set splinter into a trio of factions: the Palin-philes, the Romney remainders, and those excommunicated from the movement for daring to make a lick of sense at one point. Fitting isn’t it, that a McCain loss might precipitate his party coming to resemble the factionalism of the Iraqi misadventure they all cooked up in the first place. Maybe Joe Biden can help them reach some sort of triple-partition solution!

GOP Draws Internal Battle Lines Around Sarah Palin