Friday, February 08, 2008

Why do Peggy Noonan, George Will and David Brooks favor Obama?

David Seaton's News Links
Peggy Noonan, who wrote some of Reagan's best speeches, is the right wing's Maureen Dowd: Irish, beautiful, witty, subtle and dangerous. In today's Wall Street Journal, she joins such arch-conservative pundits as George Will and David Brooks in praising Barack Obama and favoring him for the Democratic nomination.
"(Obama) is the un-Edwards and un-Huckabee -- an adult aiming to reform the real world rather than an adolescent fantasizing mock-heroic "fights" against fictitious villains in a left-wing cartoon version of this country." George Will

"The Kennedys and Obama hit the same contrasts again and again in their speeches: the high road versus the low road; inspiration versus calculation; future versus the past; and most of all, service versus selfishness." David Brooks
I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to smell a rat here.

To me it's perfectly obvious that the right wing is licking their chops in anticipation at facing Obama. Read this from Noonan's piece:
"He will be hard to get at, hard to address. There are many reasons, but a primary one is that the fact of his race will freeze them. No one, no candidate, no party, no heavy-breathing consultant, will want to cross any line--lines that have never been drawn, that are sure to be shifting and not always visible--in approaching the first major-party African-American nominee for president of the United States. He is the brilliant young black man as American dream. No consultant, no matter how opportunistic and hungry, will think it easy--or professionally desirable--to take him down in a low manner."
Now, obviously it would be absurd to apply this criteria to Karl Rove or any of his understudies and acolytes
... If you know how to read Noonan, she is calling in the hit. That is going to be the campaign. I think it would be childlike to believe that Karl Rove hasn't done his homework already.. They are drooling in anticipation.

Why do they "like" Obama so much?

Because they are terrified of Hillary Clinton, that's why.

Here is how Peggy Noonnan describes her:
"One part of the Clinton mystique maintains: Deep down journalists think she's a political Rasputin who will not be dispatched. Prince Yusupov served him cupcakes laced with cyanide, emptied a revolver, clubbed him, tied him up and threw him in a frozen river. When he floated to the surface they found he'd tried to claw his way from under the ice. That is how reporters see Hillary.And that is a grim and over-the-top analogy, which I must withdraw. What I really mean is they see her as the Glenn Close character in "Fatal Attraction": "I won't be ignored, Dan!"
It is this simple: in recent decades the Clintons are the only Democrats that win elections against Republicans... They don't want to ever face them again, no more complicated than that.

As soon as Barack Obama is declared the official candidate of the Democratic party the voters will be treated to something similar to the old TV show, "This is your Life"... Here is how Wikipedia describes the experience:
"The format of the show was simple: the host would surprise someone (usually a celebrity or public figure, occasionally an ordinary citizen) and, consulting his "red book," conduct a biography of the subject in a television studio. The subject would be presented with family members and old friends, reunited with old acquaintances, and often shed a tear when a personal tragedy was recounted."
Peggy may be right and Hillary will do Karl's work for him. This is a high stakes affair after all. DS


stunted said...

And should he survive the onslaught and be elected, this inexperienced, post-partisan will be so much easier to work with. He might even take up eating jelly beans.

Anonymous said...

It matters not who is s/elected to be president, we still have a leviathan Pentagon that will not be stopped from it's plans and timetables. For every dollar taken in taxes, the DOD gets .40 to spend on weapons and fighters. Obama and Hillary will have no effect on that at all. I envy you David. I assume you have ways to keep your income from being taxed in North America. Good for you. Less blood on your hands. For me and my neighbors we have no recourse, we just feed the Millitary Industrial Complex year after year. Btw: Have you read 'Nemesis' by Chalmers Johnson?


David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Chalmers Johnson has opened nearly as many eyes as sleep has closed.

GG said...

Seems to me I remember Gore (D) beating Bush (R) in the popular vote before daddy's friends on the Supreme Court gave him the job

Brendan said...

I read this and had to slice and dice it up:


I could not disagree more. In a civil way, of course.

RBShea said...

I think Noonan and Brooks are simply sniffing the wind, like Frank Luntz, and "moderating" their brands in the face of increasing evidence that even many Republicans are sick of BushCo...the cronyism, religious wingnuttery ruling their party, fiscal and moral bankruptcy,etc... as well as its likely continuation symbolized by McCain and Huckabee.
As you pointed out, one can't count out the Rovian slime machine, but it's more likely the Dems will self-destruct than the Repugnican right will win out.

Caro said...

Besides, he's not who progressives think he is.

We Illinois progressives sent Obama to the U.S. Senate, where he promptly joined the Joe Lieberman wing of the Democratic Party.

He’s not a progressive.

But he’s a master at pretending to be one.

"Obama is a company man.”

His economic advisers are very conservative, from the University of Chicago-Milton Friedman school of economics.

My favorite economist, Paul Krugman, caught Obama using right-wing talking points on what to do about Social Security

and about his health care plan.

His voting record is pro-business.

His voting record is pro-war.

He misuses history, according to a prominent historian.

He glorifies American imperialism.

He flip-flopped on the Palestinians and Israel, and now is AIPAC-approved.

His chief political adviser is a Daley machine strategist.

He has shown repeatedly what good friends he is with anti-gay African American preachers.

He brags about “passing” a bill to require nuclear plants to report leaks, but the power company affected was a big donor to his campaigns, and the bill ended up recommending only voluntary reporting, and hasn’t ever been brought up for a vote.

He abandoned his prior support of coal-to-liquid technologies, which is good, but why did he ever support it in the first place? Hint—there’s coal mining in Illinois.

He lies.


Trying to sound authentically African-American during a speech memorializing the forty-second anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights March at the Pettis Bridge in Selma, Obama claimed that his black (Kenyan) father and white (Kansan) mother married and conceived the future Barockstar because of the great Civil Rights struggles fought in Selma and Birmingham, Alabama… (Obama 2007).

Wow. Too bad Barack Obama Jr. was born in 1961, two years before the famous campaign to desegregate Birmingham, three years before the Civil Rights Act, and four years before the famous Selma march!

And then there’s Tony Rezko

When are we Americans going to stop getting fooled and fooled and fooled again?

David, please get in touch with me at

Carolyn Kay

Carl said...

I tend to agree with you, David.

Carl said...


Gore should have won, flat out. If he had won the Congressional district his house was in, he'd have won the electoral vote.

He ran arguably the dumbest campaign since Dukakis (up until Kerry's) and still managed to keep it close.

Anonymous said...

Please. Clinton won because of two words -- Ross Perot. He had less of the popular vote than either Gore or Kerry. The Democrats are going to shoot themselves in the foot and give the nomination to a woman who is unelectable.

Not only will you put on hold the closest thing to a stateman this country has seen since JFK, you will ignore the scream of the people that want change. I hope that scream does not go away.

janine said...

Yes, Hillary Clinton is running such a formidable campaign that it's being whipped around like a rag doll by an upstart... simply masterful.

I personally think conservatives are talking brave, but have a stake in the Dem nominee because primary attendance numbers are telling them they won't win.

RC said...

I have a feeling that Carolyn Kaye has a list for Hillary and McCain also. I'm going to look for that.
Meanwhile, the idea is to get elected and the Obama strategy has so far proven superior to others' and he looks like the candidate and probably the President. I'm not a supporter of any of these folks, but in the default of who will win and who will do me and the country the least harm, Obama looks good. I am aware of the fact that he is a politician, not a candidate for sainthood, although it does seem that many of his supporters are confused about that issue.
Politicians lie like used car salesmen but they are in a higher income bracket. Is this news?
We are handicapping who will win is the idea. Anything can happen in the next nine months, but right now, two of the three contenders {three of the four if you count Huckabee} were the least likely to get anywhere 9 months ago.
And the plain truth remains that Hillary is NOT a remotely sympathetic figure and is also clearly no longer any kind of frontrunner, which leaves her premise as: Elect Mrs. Big Dog.

bake said...

I have been saying this for three months. The media hates Clinton, the Republicans hate Cinton, and even the progressives hate Clinton.
The media has been coddling Obama from the begining. He says that he has been vetted by one of the best " the Clinton Team", but he hasn't.The media has been his protector all along.
Now, to the general election. Here is how I see the way the media wants it come out; McCain vs Obama, and when that happens, they love the story of an "old war horse" like McCain, coming back from the dead to beat the "Golden Boy"( no slur intended)of the Democratic party.
I have watche the progressives get so enamored with Sen. Obama ( who I really like), because they just can't stand the thought of Hillary in the Whitehouse( almost as much as the Republicans hate the thought).
The Clintons ARE the ones that theRepublicans fear the most. Forget the poll numbers now. She knows hao to win

markg8 said...

The Clintons may have won the WH in the 1990s but we lost governorships, state legislatures and senate and house seats under their watch.

You seem to ignore Repub pundit after pundit who are salivating for another shot at them. Clinton hatred is the only chance Repubs have to regroup in November.

Here in DuPage County IL where Repubs like to brag it's the reddest county in the country voters took more Dem ballots than Repub for the first time in history (132,000 to 109,000). The Repub machine is every bit as entrenched here as Daley's machine is in Cook County. Needless to say homestater Obama trounced Hillary badly but you know what the Repub county chairman attributed it to? Repubs crossing over to vote for Hillary because they see her as the weaker candidate.

He's whistling past the graveyeard. The numbers show no great surge for Hillary in the county. It was all Obama. He got 62% in this county where we don't hold one seat on the county board or anywhere else and even beat McCain 81176 to 57428. Hillary got 48799.

Hillary has no coattails, the Clintons never have. Obama has them in droves.

She eeks out wins over Obama where she has the support of big city mayoral machines and the state party apparatus like in MA, CA, and NV. Obama goes into red and swing states and turns out Dems, indies and Repubs in landslides to vote for him. He fights for every vote, she tries to repress them with lawsuits in IA and NV.

Like Sarpy County Nebraska Democratic Party Chairman Burke Summers said.

"Caucus planners initially requested the high school provide room for 400 people, she said. When nearly 2,000 people showed up, they had to use the gym to accommodate the crowd.

After the caucus ended at 3:30 p.m., Lippert and about 10 people gathered up the ballots to begin counting.

“The happiest problem ever in Sarpy County,” she said.

A final count showed 1,842 cast votes in Sarpy County.

“There’s a hell of a lot fewer Republicans in Sarpy County than there were yesterday,” Summers said."

Nemoudeis said...

Well, maybe they DO want to face Obama over Clinton; it doesn't mean the 20th-century political aphorisms they use to justify their beliefs will be any more applicable in judging an increasingly 21st-century electorate.

It's arguable that these old Republicans and their talking points add more strength to some right wing Iron Hillary hypothesis. I don't doubt that they believe it, too.

I hear them, however, and the main thing that comes to my mind is an image of a bunch of walrus-mustachioed generals discussing personnel deployments to the Maginot Line.

madamab said...

David - I completely agree with you.

I do hope Obama is prepared for the coming storm if he becomes the nominee. I don't have to worry about Hillary.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Love your take on it!

Carl said...

Clinton won because of two words -- Ross Perot.

Ummmm, no.

Every exit poll shows Perot drew votes from Clinton, not Bush.

Southamptoner said...

I've also been saying this for months- the GOP would LOVE Obama as candidate. They're keeping their powder dry.

All this talk that Clinton will rally the right and they will be endlessly attacking her- well they will be attacking Obama as well, at least she has experience to beat them back.

Should he be the candidate, watch as his admitted drug use becomes an issue, his name, his race.
The Rovians are ruthless and will stoop to any level.

Noonan's suggestion that they will opposing him will be a delicate matter is laughably disingenuous.
They will be doing their dirtiest to whomever's the candidate.

And I do believe Obama is way more vulnerable than Clinton. They haven't even BEGUN with him.

Rezdog said...

This reverse psychology crap is just that.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Have a look at neocon William Kristol's piece in today's NYT.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.

Daryl said...

I read somewhere that one critic called This Is Your Life the greatest ambush show in the history of television. And all the while Ralph Edwards is standing there holding that book with that barracuda smile saying, "I could REALLY embarass you if I wanted too."

No wonder so many people got pissed when they saw him coming.

Susan said...

I've been saying that for months. All one has to do is look at the fact the media refuses to vet Obama. I seriously doubt Hillary Clinton will win the GE; the one candidate who had the chance, John Edwards, was a victim of the same bias.

It is just that Hillary Clinton is the last one left standing in the GOP's way of rigging the Democratic primaries in order to get the perfect strawman, Obama, against McCain.

Nixon would have been proud of these sophisticated political dirty tricks.

Canaan said...

I don't expect Bill Frist and Trent Lott to step in and tell McCain to stop beating up on Obama, the way Kennedy and Dashchle stepped into the Democratic Race.

Obama has already signaled to the Peggy Noonans that he won't actually run the government if elected. He'll leave that up to a white 'Chief Operating Officer.' If Obama threatened the 'powers that be' in any way, they'd be mobilized against him. His warm and fuzzy 'Movement' doesn't threaten anybody. Obama would be a win-win for Republicans. Easiest to beat, easiest to ignore if he wins.

Anonymous said...

as a 57yr old blkman i cant see myself voting for any of the clintons. i will never forget when bill was running for the 1st he put a retarded blackman to death to show his hardness on crime...((ricky ray rector...than there was nafta..juvenile crime bill...welfare reform..habreus corpus..etc etc etc

Tom Burg said...

I've really noticed a defeatist attitude among plenty of the bloggers, with more than a touch of paranoia. I think it's these same people who have lost any ability to think of politics beyond a strictly red/blue state dichotomy. Like the blog I read which posted the link here: - claiming that Obama is a sure-fire 50 state loser. That the GOP is setting up the dems to get crushed.

You're losers and your mentality is that of a loser. See you on the sidelines.

David A. said...

There are quite a few reasons why the GOP would want Obama to be the Democratic nominee.

If I was Karl Rove (horrible thought as that is) I’d want Obama too. Hillary – she’s practically invulnerable. There is no shit left that the GOP can throw at her, and if they do, they’d only produce the voter backlash of the century.

anonyme said...

Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Dread Pirate Roberts: You've made your decision then?

Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

Dread Pirate Roberts: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Vizzini: WAIT TILL I GET GOING! Where was I?

Dread Pirate Roberts: Australia.

Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Dread Pirate Roberts: You're just stalling now.

Vizzini: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Dread Pirate Roberts: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.

Vizzini: IT HAS WORKED! You've given everything away! I KNOW WHERE THE POISON IS!

David Seaton's Newslinks said...


Tom Burg said...

47% of the country doesn't want her. So any opponent needs to spend his entire effort, and money, to win over another 5%. And possibly their job's already done if, for example, Bloomberg runs.

The GOP absolutely cannot get motivated against Obama like they can Hillary. I talk to republicans (my parents and their friends, for example), who have no ulterior motive and simply call them like they see 'em, and they all say they'd vote for Obama.

Methinks you spend too much time looking for conspiracies. I'm not recommending naivete, rather than you simply look at why this may be a legitimate political movement rather than an attempt at GOP subterfuge. Claiming that Noonan and Will are in some grand scheme is simply silly. Of all the conservative columnists, they're the most likely to call them as they see them. You ought to familiarize yourself with their work over the last 20 years.

Tom Burg said...

and the Rezko thing is being bandied about by crackpots. I have yet to read a sober analysis of this issue. Do you think this is more damning than Whitewater, or Gennifer Flowers, or getting out of serving in Vietnam, or $800,000 investment windfalls?

Every candidate has dirt, real or invented.

anonyme said...

David said: Huh?

A classic scene from The Princess Bride. It seemed apropos of the "which candidate do they really want" question. For those not familiar with the movie, I should have included the all-important punchline, which follows and is particularly apropos of the Republicans' attitude in this and every POTUS election:

[Vizzini makes his guess.]

Dread Pirate Roberts: You guessed wrong.

Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Ha ha ha... [Vizzini stops suddenly, and drops dead to the right]

Buttercup: Who are you?

Dread Pirate Roberts: I'm no one to be trifled with. That is all you ever need know.

Buttercup: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.

Dread Pirate Roberts: They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.

Buddylittle said...

You are incredibly cynical. Heaven forbid a Republican say something NICE about a Democrat.

We've got a long way to go people....

Anonymous said...

For someone who has voted party line for all my life, mourned Al Gore in 2000, if Clinton doesn't will the nomination; I will take my 10,000 "democratic" supporters and votes to McCain. I'm looking for my leaders to actually do something, not make me feel good. McCain is enough Anti-Bush for me to swallow that pill - remember primary 00'? You can't beat a candidate who is willing to fly coach to glitz and glamour.

Say no, you can do it. said...

Tom Burg said...and the Rezko thing is being bandied about by crackpots. I have yet to read a sober analysis of this issue.'re kidding, right? Are you trying to say that Obama's own Chcago Sun-Times are a bunch of crackpots? They're the ones who did the investigation, and it's still up on their website for anyone to read. But because people don't hardly read any papers anymore, it just didn't get "out there".

And as a 29 year old black man, I don't care about Ricky Ray Rector shooting his own black ass in the head/making himself retarded after killing two people. He couldn't have died faster.

Good analysis caro, I just might use it.