Peggy Noonan: Clueless Political Pundit Claims That House Tea Partiers Represent The Thinking Of Almost Half Of The Country

Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan

By Elaine Magliaro

I rarely watch the Sunday morning “nooz” programs these days. One reason is the clueless talking heads that are frequently invited on shows like Meet the Press and Face the Nation to provide Americans with their wisdom and insight. One of those political pundits is Peggy Noonan–or “Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins” as Charles Pierce refers to her. Her cranium appears to be filled with helium–or some gas that is lighter than air.  I think the old Pegster would be perfect for the starring role in a movie titled Clueless, The Senior Years.

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, Noonan was a primary speech writer and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. “Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins” also worked as a speech writer for Vice President George H. W. Bush. According to Wikipedia, Noonan reportedly coined the phrase “a kinder, gentler nation” and popularized “a thousand points of light,” two memorable catchphrases used by Bush 41. Noonan was also said to have written the speech in which Bush promised: “Read my lips: no new taxes” during his 1988 presidential nomination acceptance speech in New Orleans.

I think Simon Maloy pegged Peggy perfectly in an article he wrote for Salon titled Peggy Noonan’s “wisdom”: Build Keystone XL so American boys will become men last November.

Maloy:

Peggy Noonan has one of the most high-profile jobs in American media. She’s a weekly political columnist for the Wall Street Journal, the country’s largest newspaper by circulation, which also hosts her irregularly updated blog. The Sunday shows seek her out when filling the ranks of their weekly pundit panels. She’s among the more influential commentators in American media, and the fact that she inhabits this perch despite being objectively terrible at her job should obliterate whatever faith you have in the concept of meritocracy.

Noonan’s chief failing is one that afflicts many pundits: She generally has no idea what she’s talking about. Her analysis is powered largely by her own warped perception of politics and policy, which she confidently ascribes to the rest of the country. Peggy Noonan always seems to know exactly what “America” is thinking, and this often results in her being hilariously wrong.

I didn’t have a true understanding of the depth of Noonan’s dipshittery until I heard what she said in a panel discussion about the release of torture memos by the Obama Administration when she appeared on ABC News’ This Week With George Stephanopoulos back in 2009.

Marcus Baram (Huffington Post):

On ABC News’ “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” George Will echoed several Bush officials when he criticized the release of the memos, saying “The problem with transparency is that it’s transparent for the terrorists as well.” Will expressed concern about the cost of letting “the bad guys” know what techniques, such as waterboarding, will be used on them. He went on to add, as noted by HuffPost’s Jason Linkins, that “intelligent people of good will” believe the President of the United States can do whatever he wants to “defend the country.”

Baram said Noonan “went even further, articulating a position that upends George Santayana’s famous quote: ‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.'” Noonan opined, “Some things in life need to be mysterious. Sometimes you need to just keep walking.” Then she added, “It’s hard for me to look at a great nation issuing these documents and sending them out to the world and thinking, oh, much good will come of that.”

Right, Peggy, better to keep the Bush Administration’s tales of torture “mysterious.” Who would want to know about such things anyway? Just move along…and forget about what our country did.

Peggy Noonan talks the crazy talk of Washington.

 

Russ Feingold–who was one of the two Senators from Wisconsin at the time–was appalled by Noonan’s comments. Sam Stein wrote about what Feingold had to say about Noonan remarks on Stephanopoulos’s show.

Sam Stein:

Later, the Senator took a swipe at some of the rationalizations for avoiding prosecution that have been voiced by Washington lawmakers and pundits.

“If you want to see just how outrageous this is, I refer you to the remarks made by Peggy Noonan this Sunday,” he said, referring to the longtime conservative columnist’s appearance on ABC’s This Week. “I frankly have never heard anything quite as disturbing as her remark that was something to the affect of: ‘well sometimes you just have to move on.'”

More recently, Noonan appeared on on Face the Nation on Sunday. Crooks and Liars had a few words to say about Peggy’s appearance:

Peggy Noonan is once again pulling statistics from the land of her posterior. Here she is on this Sunday’s Face the Nation pretending that these teabaggers, or the House Freedom Caucus, or whatever these extremists are calling themselves these days represent “the thinking of almost half of the country.”

Excerpt from Face the Nation transcript (March 1, 2015)

DICKERSON: Peggy, I want to start with you.

What is worse for the Republicans running the Congress, that they look like they can’t govern or that they disappoint their grassroots, who wants them to take on the president?

PEGGY NOONAN, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Ooh, that is a complicated question. That’s why this question keeps continuing for the past few years.

If you take a look at the Republican leaders of the Congress, I think you can probably fault them for not being able to control their own conference and control the situation. But you cannot fault them for failing to control the dynamics behind the whole thing.

The fact is, there are about 50 or 60 Republican members who are very skeptical and really in opposition to what they see as de facto amnesty in the United States. They are a small group of the Republican Conference and yet they represent probably the thinking of almost half the country. (My emphasis.)

And they do not really trust the elites of the parties or the elites of America’s financial community to come through and address their concerns.

So I see this whole split and tension as something that will likely continue and be very difficult for Mr. Boehner.

Yup, Peggy, the cranks in Congress are speaking on behalf of nearly 50% of Americans! OY!

 

Peggy Noonan So Delusional Even David Gregory Calls Her Out (May 2013)

 

SOURCES

Noonan: House Tea Partiers Represent The Thinking Of Almost Half Of The Country (Crooks and Liars)

Pundits Whitewash Torture (Huffington Post)

Feingold Unloads On Peggy Noonan: “Never Heard Anything Quite As Disturbing” (Huffington Post)

Peggy Noonan’s “wisdom”: Build Keystone XL so American boys will become men
America’s worst pundit wants to build Keystone XL so we can impress the world and build character in wayward youths (Salon)

Peggy Noonan’s plan to save America: Think like an 11-year-old
WSJ columnist is insulted by Ebola “experts,” says it’s time to put our faith in the wisdom of children (Salon)

Peggy Noonan channels America: If she (or Joe Scarborough) believes it, so must the nation
What happens when your Hot Take has no evidence to back it up? Just say it’s what “Americans” believe (Salon)

Noonology (Huffington Post)

Peggy Noonan (Wikipedia)

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14 Responses to Peggy Noonan: Clueless Political Pundit Claims That House Tea Partiers Represent The Thinking Of Almost Half Of The Country

  1. Anonymously Yours says:

    If it weren’t for the clueless, we wouldn’t have a viable political system. Ted only won with the support and aid of the cluelessness of others.

  2. Mike Spindell says:

    Regulars like Peggy Noonan are why I stopped watching Sunday morning news shows many, many years ago.

  3. blouise17 says:

    What a hoot!

    Here’s Noonan’s blog posting on the day before Obama beat the pants off Romney. The woman lives in a fantasy world.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2012/11/05/monday-morning/

  4. Anonymously Yours says:

    Yes blouise that may be…. But the people financing the Tea Party can afford to pay for fantasy…..

  5. bigfatmike says:

    I hate to bring you the news but the problem is worse than you think. The problem is not that Noonan thinks they number 50% of the population. The problem on some days, on some issues she is right.

    Cheers.

  6. blouise says:

    Mike,

    AY is correct in a manner of speaking in that the Tea Party folk are willing to pay her to say what they want to hear and she’s willing to accept their money and change the facts to suit their preferences. I think the one thing I found the most entertaining about the Rove/Noonan predictions in the last Presidential election was the fact that they actually started to believe the propaganda they created.

    But then … so did the Obama folks. 😉

    It was a huge con job all the way around as each side bought the Brooklyn Bridge thinking they were getting a great deal.

  7. pete says:

    TEA party.

    Talked Enough Already.

    Taking Everything Available

    (I thought of one more, but…)

  8. Oro Lee says:

    I once ate some Horseshit Candy — I was a Tenderfoot and it was my first trip to the Boy Scouts summer camp. I had wandered up to a group of older Scouts who seemed to be having a really good time.

    “Hey, you want to eat some Horseshit Candy?” one asked me. “We’re seeing who can hold a piece in their mouth the longest.”

    At first I didn’t believe them but right on the bag and the individual wrappers was printed “Horseshit Candy”, accompanied by a drawing of a horse’s patooty.

    “What’s it really taste like?”

    “Starts out like a grape tootsie roll, but the middle tastes really bad.”

    So, wanting to run with the big boys, I gave it a try.

    It tasted like a really sweet grape-flavored piece of candy, and then the center part —OMG, it would have to be a really sick horse to have shit that tasted that bad, maybe even from a horse that had died from gastro-instestinal distress and had simmered inside the carcass while it lain several days in the hot sun, I feel sick thinking about.

    And I had inflicted myself with this Horseshit for no real good reason.

    Well, lesson learned. I would never be fool enough to knowingly subject myself to such stomach churning meaningless nonsense.

    The fond memories of a piece of horseshit candy in my mouth came flooding back as I listened to the first sentence and a half oozing from Noonan’s facial orifice on the “just walk away” video.

    I can’t believe I ate that crap again.

  9. Elaine M. says:

    Peggy Noonan Is Still Permitted to Write About Politics for Some Reason
    11/9/12
    http://gawker.com/5959150/peggy-noonan-is-still-permitted-to-write-about-politics-for-some-reason

    Excerpt:
    Peggy Noonan, whose uniquely airy style of kindergarten-reading-level prose works upon the political chattering classes (but no one else) like a snake charmer’s flute works on a cobra, wrote one of the most vapid, scoff-worthy, fact-free columns of the pre-election news cycle, in which she predicted that Mitt Romney would win because she’d been seeing a lot of his yard signs around, lately. Well, now comes the post-election follow-up: Peggy Noonan is resigning from her job as a WSJ columnist, in acknowledgement of the unavoidable fact that she is an embarrassment to her profession.

    Ha, playing. Just playing. Peggy has some theories about how this shocking event that everyone else knew was going to happen happened.

    After acknowledging that, yes, her voodoo feeling was incorrect, Peggy meditates gloomily on America’s rejection of her beloved Party of Reagan, A Man I Loved. Aha! Peggy hath dredged up a memory from the time that she was allowed to observe average Americans in their natural habitat:

    People are anxious, not as hopeful as they were. Two memories. One was a late-summer focus group of mothers who shop at Wal-Mart. One asked, paraphrasing, “If we pick Romney, does that mean we have to start over again?” Meaning, we’ve had all this drama since 2008, will that mean we’re back at the beginning of the crash and have to dig out all over again? The other is a young working mother in Brooklyn, a member of an evangelical church, who told me 10 days ago her friends had just started going for Mr. Obama. Why? “People are afraid of change right now.”

    Mmmm. You know I bet these two completely random statements by two completely random individuals really get to the heart of this whole national campaign that Peggy Noonan observed largely as a flickering projection on the wall of her own imagination.

  10. Elaine M. says:

    Peggy Noonan Surprised That 2012 GOP Presidential Candidates are Mostly Crazy
    By: Blue Texan Friday April 15, 2011
    http://firedoglake.com/2011/04/15/peggy-noonan-surprised-that-2012-gop-presidential-candidates-are-mostly-crazy/

    Excerpt:
    Yeah, I know — I can’t help myself. But look, I would’ve ignored this mostly useless Nooners piece had she not written this about the Republicans’ 2012 crop of circus geeks and snake handlers.

    “The Democrats’ hope is that centrists will look at the Republican nominee and, holding their nose, choose the devil they know. Especially if the one they don’t know seems to have little horns under his hair.

    “Republicans voting in recent presidential primaries have tended to pick the candidates who are viewed as the moderate in the race—Bob Dole in 1996, George W. Bush in 2000, John McCain in 2008. But in truth, there are some pretty antic candidates out there this year.”

    I just love that word: antic. It’s Villager for “batshit.”

    But, come on. Nooners doesn’t remember 1992, when David Duke ran in the primary and Pat Buchanan’s unhinged rant at the Beer Hall Putsch Republican convention all but sunk the GOP’s chances?

    She doesn’t remember goofy Steve “Flat Tax” Forbes giving Bob Dole a run for his money in 1996?

    She didn’t notice in 2000, when the field included noted crazy people Alan Keyes and Gary Bauer?

    She slept through the 2008, when the nutball trio of Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo and Sam Brownback gave it a go?

  11. Mike Spindell says:

    “Jon Stewart DESTROYS what’s left of Peggy Noonan’s credibility
    5/23/13”

    Elaine,

    Stewart’s take down was destructive. The only quibble I have is that Noonan never had credibility. Her skills, if one could call them such, are as a hagiographer and fabulist. THat she appears on news talk shows is prima facie proof that they are entertainment, rather than serious discussions of the nation’s issues.

  12. Elaine M. says:

    What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days?
    Our semi-regular weekly survey of the state of Our National Dialogue.
    By Charles Pierce
    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a33418/what-are-the-gobshites-saying-these-days-3-2-15/

    Excerpt:
    …But the House Cup was clinched in the final minutes, when Dickerson turned to guest panelist Peggy Noonan and, waving away the flock of cartoon canaries that habitually flit about Noonan’s ears, asked her for her opinions on the CPAC coven that had just adjourned on the banks of the upper Potomac.

    DICKERSON: Peggy, I want to start with you.

    No, John. Stop. AIEEEEEEE!!!!!!

    What is worse for the Republicans running the Congress, that they look like they can’t govern or that they disappoint their grassroots, who wants them to take on the president?

    PEGGY NOONAN, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Ooh, that is a complicated question.
    Oooooh, complicated! Who makes poor typists have to transcribe things like, “Ooooooh”? Do they have to borrow someone from Nickelodeon for that job?

    If you take a look at the Republican leaders of the Congress, I think you can probably fault them for not being able to control their own conference and control the situation. But you cannot fault them for failing to control the dynamics behind the whole thing.

    The fact is, there are about 50 or 60 Republican members who are very skeptical and really in opposition to what they see as de facto amnesty in the United States. They are a small group of the Republican Conference and yet they represent probably the thinking of almost half the country.

    Steve King represents “half the country”? Is la Noonan doing research in the archives of Dr. Otto Yerass again? If not, she should fire immediately the canary that tweeted this canard into her ears. Peggums then moved on to her theories of automotive maintenance.

    Look, what I saw is a lot of interesting folk, some real awkward moments. I think this is test driving the car, you know. I think it’s getting in and saying, I don’t know, does the brake work here? Is the gas working right?

    “Is the gas working right”? Has this woman ever actually driven a car? Directionals, what are they all about anyway? Keeping with this odd metaphor, I think we can conclude that Jeb (!) has high-test, Scott Walker is pouring diesel into a Model T, and that Ben Carson is trying to run on holy water. And Rick Perry waits by the side of the road, his thumb out, begging for a ride.

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