Peggy Noonan's open mike uh-oh moment told the truth that casts light on the lie the RNC event is trying to sell, that all the GOP members are sold on weak, shrill, inexperienced, but good speaker, Sarah Palin.
Yesterday, Peggy Noonan, when she thought she was speaking in front of a dead microphone, spoke the truth.
NBC's Chuck Todd asked, "Is this the most qualified woman they could have picked?"
Noonan replied, "The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives. ...Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it."
Today, in her Wall Street Journal column, she tries to beg off and explain. She explains, how, in their off-air conversation
I got on the subject of the leaders of the Republican party assuming, now, that whatever the base of the Republican party thinks is what America thinks. I made the case that this is no longer true, that party leaders seem to me stuck in the assumptions of 1988 and 1994, the assumptions that reigned when they were young and coming up. "The first lesson they learned is the one they remember," I said to Todd -- and I'm pretty certain that is a direct quote. But, I argued, that's over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people. And when I said, "It's over!" -- and I said it more than once -- that is what I was referring to
...In the truncated version of the conversation, on the Web, it appears I am saying the McCain campaign is over. I did not say it, and do not think it. In fact, at an on-the-record press symposium on the campaign on Monday, when all of those on the panel were pressed to predict who would win, I said that I didn't know, but that we just might find "This IS a country for old men." That is, McCain may well win. I do not think the campaign is over, I do not think this is settled, and did not suggest, back to the Todd-Murphy conversation, that "It's over."
However, I did say two things that I haven't said in public... One is... a real criticism that I had not previously made, but only because I hadn't thought of it.
...Early this morning I saw Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and as we chatted ... I looked into her eyes and thought, Why not her? Had she been vetted for the vice presidency, and how did it come about that it was the less experienced Mrs. Palin who was chosen?
Noonan then recalls when, 20 years ago, when the 1988 RNC convention ended, she was on a plane, being a campaign speechwriter, with George Herbert Walker Bush and his new VP nominee, Dan Quayle, and Richard Lugar, the other senator from Quayle's state, was sitting next to him. She relates,
"As we chatted, I thought, "Why him and not him?" Why Mr. Quayle as the choice, and not the more experienced Mr. Lugar? I came to think, in following years, that some of the reason came down to what is now called The Narrative. The story the campaign wishes to tell about itself, and communicate to others. I don't like the idea of The Narrative. I think it is ... a barnyard epithet. And, oddly enough, it is something that Republicans are not very good at, because it's not where they live, it's not what they're about, it's too fancy. To the extent the McCain campaign was thinking in these terms, I don't like that either.
But it's too late. Noonan spoke the truth the first time and it is a truth that I believe a wide portion of the Republicans feel underneath. Palin is a joke and a cynical attempt to pander to Hillary supporters and their ilk. Noonan's observation that the narrative they're selling won't be bought by today's American voters is dead on.
We see the attacks on the media. This is also a crock of more bull. The media are doing their job. The problem is, McCain has always had a problem with his legendary temper, which goes back at least to his Naval academy years, when he'd throw and break things and scream when he was angered, according to former classmate Phil Butler, who lived across the hall from him. So, McCain's people are amplifying McCain's anger and attacking the media, cutting off access to McCain. This is not quite as bad as Palin, who fired civil employees for not supporting her in elections.
In the Twin cities, outside the RNC event, the worst demonstration of fascism in America that I can recall-- police "preventively" arresting people, police inciting violence-- numerous members of the press have been arrested and charged with crimes.
This amounts to a war against the media-- a war that has been declared and that is being carried out by GOP surrogates, from homeland security, the FBI, the national guard, to transparent right wing water carriers, like Joe Scarborough, who I do believe, tries to be a better man than he was when he did his night-time right wing bad boy show. But Scarborough just can't help it. His true right wing character leaks out and I am certain it will get worse as we get closer to November 4th. Pat Buchanan is the same way. There are moments when he is a lucid, classic, Goldwater-style genuine conservative. Then he blinks and comes out rooting and cheering for the latest neocon, rightwing- but non-conservative bizzarro stuff.
Maybe that's where things really are for the GOP. The Republican party has hit a nadir because it is led by cynical Karl Rove type policy makers, speechwriters and fundamental religious extremists. The Republican party was, at one time, the home for real conservatives. That time is past. Ronald Reagan, one of their current heroes, was one of the biggest spenders in US history, second only to George W. Bush. Both of these losers were also historic in promoting the growth of government. That makes them hypocrites, totally crippled, when it comes to walking the talk. Come to think of it, that's really what this article started with, isn't it, saying one thing, when underneath, the real feeling, the real truth is quite different.
The GOP is no longer conservative by traditional standards. It is now run by cynical, routinely willing to break the law, right wing extremists-- a blend of neocons, corporate lobbyist suckups and extremist rightwingers. Just look at the Gonzalez justice department-- the law these people backed up and defended. I'm not saying the Democrats in congress are much better. They've failed to pursue, with any efficacy or intensity, the criminal acts of the Bush administration. They have failed to stop the war they promised to stop. They've done a miserable job reversing the anti-democratic, constitution defiling policies either enacted when the Republicans controlled the congress or written as presidential policy directives by Dubya.
Meanwhile, could it be that all the attacks on the media regarding Palin are designed to set up an excuse to not let her be interviewed. I haven't seen one interview yet. When will she appear on Meet the Press, even on Fox News? When will she go on with Larry King, or 60 Minutes, on the View, on Ellen, on Oprah? Will she face a gay woman, the black woman who has supported Obama who hosts one of the most popular women's afternoon shows? How about a tete a tete with Barbara Walters? But maybe that's being sexist, assuming a woman will appear on the most popular women's shows. I don't think so but what the heck, any accusation goes with the current war on the press the right has engaged in.
Or will we see her talking about the best helicopters to use when enjoying the sport of aerial hunting of wolves and polar bears? Will we see her on the fishing channel, discussing how easy it is to use illegal nets, and the minor fines you have to pay? Maybe we'll see her on a country and western special. She's going to break some ceilings, right? Who knows where she'll show up.
But if she doesn't show up, we'll know the real reason for the war on themedia-- a smokescreen to make an excuse for her to hide, and while she's at it, perhaps she'll provide some skirt that John McCain can hide behind too. He DID already cancel a live interview with Wolf Blitzer.