Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: I See a Bad Noonan Rising

Today, June 26, 2022, the perpetually sozzled Peggy Noonan poured herself into a comfy chair on the set of Meet the Press, said something stupid and got laughed at.  From Crooks & Liars:

Panel Laughs At Peggy Noonan For Expecting GOP To 'Become A Party That Helps Women'

Guests on an NBC panel laughed out loud at conservative columnist Peggy Noonan after she suggested that Republicans should use the "victory" over abortion rights to become a "party that helps women."

So, just for laughs, I went to my extensive archives to figure out when it was that La Noonan first got herself a mention on this here blog. 

It was Thursday, May 05, 2005 in a post about David Fucking Brooks.  The timestamp said I posted it at 8:21 evening.  Here's a sample:

Yet again, BoBo The Hutt has pulled a fantasy of a menacing, aggressively secular, God-hostile goon-squad entirely out of his ass in order to pretend that there are two sides to the issue of “Intolerance”, so that he can drag the “middle ground” another thousand miles in the direction of the Middle Ages.

Yeah, sounds like me.

Then, just for laughs I meandered around my archives a little longer.  There are a lot of Noonan or Noonan-adjacent posts in there.  And during my meandings I came across this, posted on Monday, October 23, 2006.  At 9:00 PM.  It brought me up short because fully half of the post consisted of excerpts from one of the late Eric Boehlert's typically well-written, well-researched vivisections of the Conservatives ghouls who dominated the media narrative:

Peggy Noonan, meet Bill O'Reilly
by Eric Boehlert

Peggy Noonan is pained about the state of public debate in this country. The longtime Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter longs for a time when dignity flourished and political dissent was embraced. Lecturing with signature certainty in her latest column, Noonan bemoans the loss of "civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together."

After all, she laments, "Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with."

Peggy Noonan may be anguished, but at least she's sure who is to blame. It is liberals, those win-at-any-cost Democrats (and worse, celebrities!) who are silencing debate in this country. Plus, they're also being rude about it.

The way Noonan sees things, it's inquisitive, open-minded conservatives who are grappling with the hard questions, eager for public debate and a civilized, wide-ranging dialogue. They're the solemn protectors of dissent in this country, particularly vigilante about shielding unpopular opinions during wartime.

All of which begs the questions: Has Noonan ever watched Fox News where Bill O'Reilly tells guests to "shut-up" and unfurls insults, all while compiling an "enemies list"? Has she tuned into right-wing talk radio, which is designed to be hermetically sealed in order to keep dissenting voices off the air? And has Noonan ever read the right-wing war bloggers, who, as a rule, question the patriotism of anyone who speaks up against the war in Iraq?

Noonan's attempted maneuver about grace and free speech is clunky, but it's not unfamiliar. She's simply mimicking a popular right-wing attack that happens to be a classic Rovian, jujitsu thrust, which is to acknowledge your own weakness -- unhinged hatred for liberals and bullying desire to muzzle dissent -- and relentlessly project it onto your opponents, arguing that they're the ones who have blinders on and are driven by partisan rage. Consequently, Republican pundits pretend it's high-minded conservatives -- gentlemen and women who prefer the Queensbury Rules of intellectual combat -- who are trying to cling to a fading notion of poise and civility in the public square.

Where to begin? You could start with Media Matters for America's catalog of graceless attacks made by the likes of O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, who owe their careers to their willingness to assault political opponents and stomp on minority viewpoints. In terms of Noonan herself, travel back to last year's Terri Schiavo right-to-die controversy and try to find the grace hidden in the insults Noonan hurled against anyone who disagreed with her radical notion that Congress needed to overrule the rights of Schiavo's husband and keep Terri alive via legislation. To Noonan, her opponents had a "bizarre passion" for death, were "unstable," "unhinged," and "red-fanged and ravenous." She warned that they were paving "the low road that twists past Columbine and leads toward Auschwitz."

As for Noonan's allegation that it's liberals, not conservatives, who actively despise dissent, blogger Glenn Greenwald did an efficient job of demolishing that talking point, noting, as just one of many examples, that "David Horowitz has built his career over the last several years on his campaign to limit academic freedom through legislation."

Or how about the Fox News pundits in late March 2003 who were attacking journalists who raised legitimate questions about the early military progress of the invasion into Iraq. At Fox, that public discourse was slapped down as "disgraceful," "idiotic," "stupid," and "moronic."

Then I stopped laughing.  

Because any healthy media ecosystem would have shown this gibbering trainwreck the door decades ago.  Instead she continues to enjoy an open invitation to the Elite Media grownup's table.  

Here's how I finished off that post of mine from 16 years ago:

Her actions may well have the effect of mimicking Rove’s pathology, but there is no reason to think that the cause of her now-complete detachment from Reality isn't that she has simply and finally gone insane.

That her whispery, dolphineering, Jebus-conjuring blather and Locked Ward Stare into a Universe that does not exist would look and sound exactly as they do from inside four padded walls and tied into five-point restraints, instead of in front of the cameras and microphones of the national press.

Because once you have fallen too far into darkness, the thought of having to face the reality of the carnage that gapes at you from your rear view mirror becomes your ultimate horror.

Your cage of rats.

You mash on the gas, piling more of the same onto the disasters you have already sired (the Hair of the War that Bit You, so to speak) but no matter has fast you flee or how loud you screech, the only thing protecting you from your Room 101 primal dread is a tissue of lies that grows more brittle and translucent with each passing day.

Because now the heaps of corpses you have stacked out to the horizon are bringing down the roof beams.

The ruin and penury in which you have happily collaborated in press so hard against that last onion-skin of perfidy that the blood now oozes freely through.

What is coming next is beyond doubt, as are the names and faces of the authors, axe-honers and axe-wielders who have stampeded the entire 21st century into this abattoir.

Because chaos and nightmare is and always was the real Project for a New American Century

Burn The Lifeboats


Neo Tuxedo said...

What is coming next is beyond doubt, as are the names and faces of the authors, axe-honers and axe-wielders who have stampeded the entire 21st century into this abattoir.

"See, how on the unsubstantial air
I kick, bleating my private woe,
as upside down my rolling sight
somersaults, and frantically I try to set my world upright;
too late learning why I'm hung here,
whose nostrils bleed, whose life runs out from eye and ear."
-- Alfred Hayes, "The Slaughter-House"

"When cometh the day we lowly ones
Through quiet reflection and great dedication
Master the art of karate
Lo, we shall rise up
And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water"
-- Roger Waters, "Sheep"

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

Peggy Noonan is the Susan Collins of Pollyannas.

Best to you and your loved ones.

Dave Pickering said...

Ah the good old days before Glenn Greenwald became Tucker Carlson's best buddy on Fox "News"

Anonymous said...

Noonan, old enough to remember when the formalities of politeness and decorum were observed by even the lowest cad, is suggesting the GOP offer the women of these United States a cigarette.

That is the standard. A gentleman always offers the lady a cigarette after fucking her. Leaving the money on the dresser is also appropriate but the GOP is funny about handing out money to the servile underclass so that bit might be a bridge too far.