The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 June 2007

Peggy Noonan On Bush And Amnesty Bill, Talk Radio, Blogs


Noonan Delivers Blunt Message, Is Bush Listening?

After lashing out against the right, can President Bush restore credibility with his conservative base before further damage is done? And at this point in his second term, does he even care?

In a brilliant Op- Ed piece published in today's Wall Street Journal, columnist Peggy Noonan knocks one right out of the park. Accusing Bush of squandering his political inheritance, the former Reagan Administration adviser also takes him to task for tearing apart the conservative movement.

This growing divide is largely the result of his stubborn backing of a hated amnesty bill for illegal aliens.

And the piece certainly hasn't failed to get the blogosphere buzzing: dozens of major sites are picking apart her words, with talk radio sure to follow.

As Noonan (who, interestingly enough, once served as director of editorial and public affairs at Boston's WEEI- AM) correctly notes, it's the White House doing the severing, not conservatives:

What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker--"At this point the break became final." That's not what's happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.

The White House doesn't need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don't even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.

For almost three years, arguably longer, conservative Bush supporters have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome. You don't like endless gushing spending, the kind that assumes a high and unstoppable affluence will always exist, and the tax receipts will always flow in? Too bad! You don't like expanding governmental authority and power? Too bad. You think the war was wrong or is wrong? Too bad.

But on immigration it has changed from "Too bad" to "You're bad."

While Noonan grew disillusioned with Bush long before most conservatives did, even she is shocked by the level of hostility currently coming from the president:

Why would they speak so insult- ingly, with such hostility, of opponents who are concerned citizens? And often, though not exclusively, concerned conservatives? It is odd, but it is of a piece with, or a variation on, the "Too bad" governing style. And it is one that has, day by day for at least the past three years, been tearing apart the conservative movement.

I suspect the White House and its allies have turned to name calling because they're defensive, and they're defensive because they know they have produced a big and indecipherable mess of a bill-- one that is literally bigger than the Bible, though as someone noted last week, at least we actually had a few years to read the Bible. The White House and its supporters seem to be marshalling not facts but only sentiments, and self-aggrandizing ones at that. They make a call to emotions-- this is, always and on every issue, the administration's default position-- but not, I think, to seriously influence the debate.

They are trying to lay down markers for history. Having lost the support of most of the country, they are looking to another horizon. The story they would like written in the future is this: Faced with the gathering forces of ethnocentric darkness, a hardy and heroic crew stood firm and held high a candle in the wind. It will make a good chapter. Would that it were true!

If they'd really wanted to help, as opposed to braying about their own wonderfulness, they would have created not one big bill but a series of smaller bills, each of which would do one big clear thing, the first being to close the border. Once that was done-- actually and believably done-- the country could relax in the knowledge that the situation was finally not day by day getting worse. They could feel some confidence. And in that confidence real progress could begin.

Here, before spelling out what conservatives must do to win back control of their party, Noonan correctly summerizes the disturbing similarities between W and his father:

One of the things I have come to think the past few years is that the Bushes, father and son, though different in many ways, are great wasters of political inheritance. They throw it away as if they'd earned it and could do with it what they liked. Bush senior inherited a vibrant country and a party at peace with itself. He won the leadership of a party that had finally, at great cost, by 1980, fought itself through to unity and come together on shared principles.

Mr. Bush won in 1988 by saying he would govern as Reagan had. Yet he did not understand he'd been elected to Reagan's third term. He thought he'd been elected because they liked him. And so he raised taxes, sundered a hard-won coalition, and found himself shocked to lose his party the presidency, and for eight long and consequential years. He had many virtues, but he wasted his inheritance.

Is George W Bush listening?

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  • Not exactly brilliant. Noonan forgets the basics, why do we have an illegal immigration problem?

    Ronal Reagan is your answer.

    His destruction of Unions resulted in the opportunity for big business to replace union workers, Americans , with illegal immigrants.

    cons created the illegal immigration problem

    simple as that

    Noonan's hero Ronald Reagan created this mess

    Cons better understand what they did to America.
    They destroyed it

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 01 June, 2007 13:13  

  • Idiot

    By Blogger pf1, at 01 June, 2007 14:40  

  • Guilt complex PF1?

    The illegal immigration is the fault of your best friend
    Ronald Reagan

    for every American worker replaced with an illegal, look in the mirror

    your fault

    your fake cowboy's fault

    your union busting slimebag Ronald Reagan's fault

    i deal with facts pf1

    eats you alive, I hope your smashing your face into the wall

    conservatism created the illegal worker problem
    conservatism created the illegal immigrant problem

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 01 June, 2007 14:47  

  • I have a semi-long rant riffing on sweet Peggy’s demure piece entitled “PN sees Bush Deranged” which exaggerates her ire:

    “Peggy is being too kind. GWB has the lack of depth and perspective a C-student at Yale who never cracked a book might be expected to have. Although his reasons for invading Iraq were not ironclad, we gave him the benefit of the doubt. But he devolved the peace after the war into the hands of a total arrogant incompetant named Rumsfeld, who grabbed the development of democracy from seasoned “professionals like Jay Garner and his team, and gave it to a loyalist hack named Bremer. And GWB was somnambulent as Ken Lay was at Enron, allowing “experts” like Cheney and Rumsfeld to overrule Shinseki and do a peace on the cheap. Of course, it was new wine into old wineskins and the seams broke.”

    “Peggy does a somber sum-up that reflects my own misgivings—especially about Poppy Bush and his singular insouciance about taxes and the economy that led to Perot. Then his son squandered trillions with a Republican Senate resembling Ali Baba and his forty thieves. GWB is now realizing that the Dems write the history books and is trying to salvage his reputation by serving as Teddy Kennedy’s tea-boy, the same Kennedy who in ‘65 promised that that Immigration Law would “not allow a million immigrants a year nor change the ethnic composition of the country.” both of which it eventually did. [ditto ‘86]”

    “Now REAL conservatives will have to latch onto a real Republican of the Reagan/Goldwater stripe—not transplanted Rockefeller Easterners affecting drawls and down-home cowboy charm. Like Fred Thompson or Romney. Peggy continues with a sad summary of the Bush Betrayal Family Tradition, both father and son wobbly and spineless…”

    But to keep the SCOTUS from turning us into a Eurabian dystopia, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Giuliani, as long as he has Fred or Mitt on the ticket.

    By Blogger dave in boca, at 01 June, 2007 15:22  

  • Nope, the Bush Crime Family is YOUR legacy....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 01 June, 2007 18:43  

  • There is no difference between Bush and Reagan. This is a pathetic attempt to preserve the false legacy of Reagan, who deserves to be remembered as the man who sold out America's working class to big business, the tariff lifting of Reagan forever destroyed American industry... Bush lived out the neo-con dream to a larger extent than Reagan (Reagan had a dem senate and congress that tried to preserve America)

    No crying about the "legacy". Bush is Reagan, only Bush lives out your failed ideology to it's fullest extent, selling out America to multi-nationals and destroying the middle class.

    Im so sick of these warped bastards crying about Bush and longing for Reagan. YOU HAVE REAGAN POLICY amplified by 500% with Bush.

    Why are you crying cons?

    This is conservativism in action, and Anti-American ideology

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 02 June, 2007 14:22  

  • “ i deal with facts pf1 “

    Know you don’t you deal in Propaganda.

    Only liberials are dumb enough to belive your lies. The rest of us just laugh at you. You’re a clown.

    You would not know a fact if it bit you on the ass.

    I’m guessing you are too young to remember the Carter years.

    High taxes
    High inflation
    High interest rates
    High unemployment

    Moving on to the Reagan years

    Low taxes
    Low inflation
    Low interest rates
    Low unemployment

    By Blogger pf1, at 03 June, 2007 01:58  

  • You remember Reagan based on what the media told you

    America will remember trhe man as the low life who eliminasted import tariffs, destroyed unions and fucked the working class

    PF1, your a useful idiot
    Big business thanks you for supporting their business over Americans agenda


    In the next 10 years, Reagan's faceade will be fully eroded , and the reality will be remembered by real Americans

    retards, like you
    will cling to that fake hero image,
    when you have no balls, no integrity or brains, you need a fake hero, PF1 loves his fake Hero

    BYW in case you have not realized conservatisme in dead and irrelelvant in america

    The rest of us just laugh at you

    all 25%
    America hates you
    moonbat, irrevelant cultist

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 03 June, 2007 20:09  

  • I remember Reagan having worked through the 80's. I remember the Carter years after foolishly voting for Carter. I won't make that mistake again.

    If you would turn off dead air America you might (probably not) see the truth.
    I know that is not what your motives are so continue with your baseless lies.

    Opinion is not fact

    By Blogger pf1, at 04 June, 2007 00:31  

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