Thursdayington, July Nintheth. Sky Princess Peggington Noonington, famous to children for her sparkling, weekly collection-of-paragraphs in the Wall Street Journal business pamphlet, looks at the Street, 100 miles beneath her Park Avenue Penthouse. She seeth seven Motorcars velocitating through an Intersection of Roads, but no Mexicans. (One time, Peggy Noonan saw a Mexican.) Seven, an odd number: it meaneth, “Tonightington, I disliketh Sarah Palin, the Wolf-Childe, in my Writings of Politick.” Snort ye line of pepper and typeth, Peggington, for those who dareth Read.
Which is to say that Peggy Noonan’s column this week “makes fun of Trig Palin for having Down Syndrome,” in Internet jargon — in English, this translates to “criticizes Sarah Palin.” It’s a feisty, determined Madame we have this week. Perhaps, as scholar David Denby would put it, Peggy Noonan is a woman and Sarah Palin is a woman and one does not like the other, because of Vaginas?
So terse today, anywho! More Brooklyn than Britain, one might sayington, w/r/t the two places Peggy Noonan was born, simultaneously:
In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn’t say what she read because she didn’t read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn’t thoughtful enough to know she wasn’t thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. “I’m not wired that way,” “I’m not a quitter,” “I’m standing up for our values.” I’m, I’m, I’m.
In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying.
What she is, is a seemingly very nice middle-class girl with ambition, appetite and no sense of personal limits.
“She’s not Ivy League, that’s why her rise has been thwarted! She represented the democratic ideal that you don’t have to go to Harvard or Brown to prosper, and her fall represents a failure of egalitarianism.” This comes from intellectuals too. They need to be told something. Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College. Richard Nixon went to Whittier College, Joe Biden to the University of Delaware. Sarah Palin graduated in the end from the University of Idaho, a school that happily notes on its Web site that it’s included in U.S. News and World Report’s top national schools survey. They need to be told, too, that the first Republican president was named “Abe,” and he went to Princeton and got a Fulbright. Oh wait, he was an impoverished backwoods autodidact!
America doesn’t need Sarah Palin to prove it was, and is, a nation of unprecedented fluidity. Her rise and seeming fall do nothing to prove or refute this.
“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. Actually, it’s arguable that membership in the self-esteem generation harmed her. For 30 years the self-esteem movement told the young they’re perfect in every way. It’s yielding something new in history: an entire generation with no proper sense of inadequacy.
BAM BAM BAMMINGTON, SMACK, you’re nuts, Noonan, you’re nuts! Ha ha ha such an awesome column; too bad she will get sued by Meg Stapleton, on Twitter. THE CHILD HAS SPECIAL NEEDS, PEGGY.
A Farewell to Harms [WSJ]