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Peggy Noonan: The Ben Elliott Story (What I saw at the funeral)
Opinion Journal ^ | 06/14/04 | Peggy Noonan

Posted on 06/13/2004 9:04:38 PM PDT by Pokey78

What was the meaning of the past remarkable nine days? You cannot stop the American people from feeling what they feel and showing it. From the crowds at Simi Valley to the hordes at the Capitol to the men and women who stopped and got out of their cars on Highway 101 to salute as Reagan came home--that was America talking to America about who America is.

It was a magnificent teaching moment for the whole country but most of all for the young, who barely remembered Ronald Reagan or didn't remember him at all. This week they heard who he was. The old ones spoke, on all the networks and in all the newspapers, and by the end of the week it was clear that Ronald Reagan had suddenly entered the Lincoln pantheon. By Friday it was no longer a question, as it had been for years, whether he was one of our top 10 presidents. It was a question only whether he was in the very top five or six--up there with Lincoln and Washington. An agreement had been reached: the 20th century came down to FDR and RWR.

What is important now is that we continue to speak of the meaning of his leadership. Not bang away about what a great guy he was--there are a lot of great guys--but what huge things he did, not because he had an "ideology" but because he had a philosophy, a specific one that had specific meaning. He was the great 20th-century conservative of America. He applied his philosophy to the realities of the world he lived in. In doing so he changed those realities, and for the better. This is what we must pass on.

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: almeyer; andrewferguson; christopherbuckley; clarkjudge; danarohrabacher; davidgergen; deeppen; haircutboy; joshgilder; kenkhachigian; landonparvin; patbuchanan; peggynoonan; peggynoonanlist; peterrobinson; ronaldreagan; thehack; tonydolan; tonysnow; whoareyou; whoareyouwhowho; whoisandyferguson; whoisdanarohrabacher; whoisdarkman; whoisdeepthroat; whoishaircutboy; whoishortonhearsawho; whoisjohngalt; whoispatbuchanan; whoispeterrobinson; whoisthehack; whoistheleprechaun
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1 posted on 06/13/2004 9:04:39 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; Miss Marple; mombonn; Sabertooth; beckett; BlueAngel; JohnHuang2; *Peggy Noonan list; ...

Peggy ping.


2 posted on 06/13/2004 9:05:25 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
When the funeral was over, when we came down the steps and out of the Cathedral, I saw Tom Daschle and Byron Dorgan and Sen. Reed from I forget where,

Heh, heh. Three totally forgettable people.

3 posted on 06/13/2004 9:09:25 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: Pokey78

What a great article! She has given me my new tagline.


4 posted on 06/13/2004 9:16:13 PM PDT by arjay ("Are we a government that has a country, or a country that has a government?" Peggy Noonan)
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To: Pokey78
An agreement had been reached: the 20th century came down to FDR and RWR.

It will be recorded that Ronald Reagan cleaned up the mess that FDR left at his death, restored our time-honored values and put America back on the right path.

5 posted on 06/13/2004 9:16:15 PM PDT by Publius (VRWC member since 1963.)
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To: Pokey78

Who is "The Hack," and what is his involvement with Reagan and Peggy Noonan? Thanks to anyone who knows.


6 posted on 06/13/2004 9:18:54 PM PDT by AQGeiger (Have you hugged your soldier today?)
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To: AQGeiger

Just wondering the same thing!


7 posted on 06/13/2004 9:21:04 PM PDT by Aggie Mama
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To: AQGeiger

As the article says, "the Hack" and "the haircut guy" are two of Peggy and Ben Elliott's lesser colleagues in the White House speechwriting office, whose names Peg very charitably changed to protect the guilty.


8 posted on 06/13/2004 9:21:59 PM PDT by RichInOC (Ronald Wilson Reagan, 2/6/11-6/5/04, R.I.P.)
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To: Pokey78
It was a magnificent teaching moment for the whole country but most of all for the young, who barely remembered Ronald Reagan or didn't remember him at all. This week they heard who he was.

My (almost) 6 year old now knows exactly who he is and what he did.......she doesn't understand it all, but she will.

9 posted on 06/13/2004 9:22:59 PM PDT by Gabz (RIP President Ronald W. Reagan 1911-2004)
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To: AQGeiger
I don't know who "The Hack" is but Peggy sure nailed him with this tried and true zinger:

"No, you'd have to be literate to do that," I pointed out."

Go Peggy!!!! <|:-)~~

10 posted on 06/13/2004 9:23:30 PM PDT by JoeSixPack1 (Freedom Stands Because Heroes Serve.)
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To: ntnychik

ping.


11 posted on 06/13/2004 9:24:08 PM PDT by potlatch (HECK IS WHERE PEOPLE GO WHO DON'T BELIEVE IN GOSH)
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To: Pokey78
Further down in the article...

My eye went from a grieving Mikhail Gorbachev to Joan Rivers to Jim Billington of the Library of Congress to Oscar De la Renta, from Antonin Scalia to Buffy Cafritz, from Clarence Thomas to Merv Griffin, from Prince Charles to Oatsie Charles.

Forgive my ignorance, but who the heck are Buffy & Oatsie?

12 posted on 06/13/2004 9:29:51 PM PDT by Keith in Iowa (Reagan defeated communism while Kerry was kissing its arse.)
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To: RichInOC

I read the article. I would appreciate it if you were not so patronizing.

I was specifically wondering if there was any information the exact reason for the enmity between this individual and Ms. Noonan. While "the haircut guy" is intentionally nondescript, it's clear she wants us to about her exchange with The Hack. So there was most likely some sort of public spat.


13 posted on 06/13/2004 9:32:59 PM PDT by AQGeiger (Have you hugged your soldier today?)
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To: AQGeiger

Oops, left out a key word...

I was specifically wondering if there was any information on the exact reason for the enmity between this individual and Ms. Noonan. While "the haircut guy" is intentionally nondescript, it's clear she wants us to know about her exchange with The Hack. So there was most likely some sort of public spat.


14 posted on 06/13/2004 9:35:02 PM PDT by AQGeiger (Have you hugged your soldier today?)
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To: arjay
"Are we a government that has a country, or a country that has a government?" Peggy Noonan)

To be fair, Peggy borrowed this phrase from Mark Steyn.

15 posted on 06/13/2004 9:36:56 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: AQGeiger

Sorry about that. I've learned from experience not to assume that everybody actually reads the articles line for line before they post. Even I don't always do it. If I'd really meant to patronize you, believe me, you'd know it.

No idea who either of those clowns actually was, and beyond the level of idle curiosity, I don't really care.


16 posted on 06/13/2004 9:38:37 PM PDT by RichInOC (Ronald Wilson Reagan, 2/6/11-6/5/04, R.I.P.)
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To: Pokey78

Wow. The part about the Hack is awfully jarring in relation to the rest of the article. What the hell's going on here?


17 posted on 06/13/2004 9:40:20 PM PDT by Vision Thing (If you do not study Reagan, you'll never understand America.)
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To: auboy

BTTT


18 posted on 06/13/2004 9:40:36 PM PDT by auboy
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To: Pokey78
... the 20th century came down to FDR and RWR.

I'll take Reagan.

In his time as POTUS, FDR fought war on two fronts. The economy and national defense. After 9 years of the Great Depression, FDR couldn't get the great engine of US capitalism back on track. FDR couldn't win the economic war with his policy agenda. FDR did lead America to victory in WWII. Beating Imperialist Japan, nazi Germany and the other Axis powers. In the process, the US economy came roaring back to life.

50 years after FDR, Ronald Reagan fought war on two fronts also. Reagan cut taxes, lowered inflation and put the American economy back on track. Reagan won the economic war. After 40 years of military confrontation between the worlds two superpowers, Reagan's initiative of "Peace through Strength" finally won the Cold War. In the process Reagan ended Euro-communism and toppled the Soviet Union. Not bad at all.

Reagan loved FDR.

I loved Reagan.

19 posted on 06/13/2004 9:41:23 PM PDT by Reagan Man (The choice is clear. Reelect BUSH-CHENEY !)
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To: RichInOC

I have never been SO disappointed in Peggy Noonan.

To use this occasion to settle old scores is tasteless and contemptible.

This should have been about Reagan...not about some creep called "The Hack."

I can't believe she would ruin her moment (I know I was looking forward to her column) with such Clinton-like trash.

Peggy, you let us down.


20 posted on 06/13/2004 9:42:26 PM PDT by paulat
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To: paulat

This is not her 'tribute' article - that was discussed here earlier - this is a 'wrap-up' from her point of view - and, IMHO, she's free to bash anybody she wants.


21 posted on 06/13/2004 9:46:14 PM PDT by Keith in Iowa (Reagan defeated communism while Kerry was kissing its arse.)
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To: sinkspur
To be fair, Peggy borrowed this phrase from Mark Steyn.

No, Reagan used this in one of his speeches during the 80s, or even before. Peggy and Mark both got it from RR.

22 posted on 06/13/2004 9:47:19 PM PDT by ikka
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To: Keith in Iowa

IMHO, she was classless.


23 posted on 06/13/2004 9:47:28 PM PDT by paulat
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To: ikka

Okie doke.


24 posted on 06/13/2004 9:49:07 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: sinkspur
Uh Oh! borrowed?

I'm a bit disappointed in Peggy. This article didn't move me, but it did seem a good opportunity for her to name drop. Sad, for an old speech writer.

25 posted on 06/13/2004 9:53:38 PM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: Pokey78

The cortege was coming toward the steps. We looked out the window: a perfect tableaux of ceremonial excellence from every branch of the armed forces. Mrs. Thatcher watched. She turned and said to me, "This is the thing, you see, you must stay militarily strong, with an undeniable strength. The importance of this cannot be exaggerated."

To my son, whose 17th birthday was the next day, she said, "And what do you study?" He tells her he loves history and literature. "Mathematics," she says. He nods, wondering, I think, if she had heard him correctly. She had. She was giving him advice. "In the world of the future it will be mathematics that we need--the hard, specific knowledge of mathematical formulae, you see." My son nodded: "Yes, ma'am." Later I squeezed his arm. "Take notes," I said. This is history.

Margaret Thatcher has a sense of forboding concerning the future. She has repeatedly stated nothing good will come over the long term from the EU and nothing good will come from British participation in the EU.

This is a very, very deeply held feeling of the Baroness.

26 posted on 06/13/2004 9:54:05 PM PDT by fso301
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To: ikka

Is it possible that she coined the phrase as one of his speechwriters? I don't have a bone to pick either way. I really do like the line and would like to give it a correct attribution. I had never heard it before.

For now, I will give it to RR.


27 posted on 06/13/2004 9:55:18 PM PDT by arjay ("Are we a government that has a country, or a country that has a government?" Ronald Reagan)
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To: A Citizen Reporter
I'm a bit disappointed in Peggy. This article didn't move me, but it did seem a good opportunity for her to name drop. Sad, for an old speech writer.

Well, the article moved me. Every one of hers does.

And, for what it's worth, every great phrase is "borrowed."

28 posted on 06/13/2004 9:55:48 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: Pokey78
I liked the column OK, but this was jarring and wrong sounding to me:

The Bushes don't know everyone. The Clintons knew Hollywood, but Hollywood didn't love them; it just embraced them. The Reagans were loved by the ones who knew them. It's nice when you see this. The last first couple of whom I think it could be said were the Kennedys.

29 posted on 06/13/2004 9:56:37 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Pokey78
"The men and women who stopped and got out of their cars on highway 101 to salute as Reagan came home"

That was something. I don't think I'll ever see anything like that again in my lifetime.

Great article-BUMP

30 posted on 06/13/2004 10:01:10 PM PDT by fly_so_free ("Ronald Reagan told the truth to a world made weary by lies"-Peggy Noonan)
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To: sinkspur
"I think of the moments of the past week in Washington: George Shultz reaching out spontaneously and with such heart to touch the coffin in the Rotunda. Al Haig too. I was there and saw how moved they were.

Al Haig has raced before the cameras since President Reagan died, and has done nothing but try to make it "all about him". Perhaps I failed to listen to the rest of what Peggy had to say after I read this.

31 posted on 06/13/2004 10:03:10 PM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: AQGeiger

"Haircut guy" wrote a book, she says.

I'll bet she left enough clues for freepers to ferret it out. I'm always bad at "blind items" like that, though.

A clue on "The Hack" was she says he hadn't written a book but has appeared on tv boasting of his relationship to Ronald Reagan and displaying a picture to prove it.

Hmmmmmmmmmm


32 posted on 06/13/2004 10:06:24 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Pokey78

THANKS!

GREAT DOC.

Tricky to copy and save but did via MS WORD.


33 posted on 06/13/2004 10:06:28 PM PDT by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: paulat

I disagree, and say good for her. She didn't identify them, but gave them a good castigation for their actions. If they are who I think they are(and I am pretty certain about who 'Haircut Boy' is), then she is going after them because they are actively working to undermine the Bush administration and the President's reelection chances. Turncoats like that should have the light shown on their actions. Her article is about the power-hungries, who will undermine a team effort to advance their agenda, themselves, or even just pettiness. They can do real damage, and are endangering our country and our future with their actions.

Good for her.


34 posted on 06/13/2004 10:06:59 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: RichInOC
No idea who either of those clowns actually was, and beyond the level of idle curiosity, I don't really care.

Well, I'm dying to know and I am more than a bit annoyed they were allowed to hang around lo those many years ago.

35 posted on 06/13/2004 10:07:50 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Vision Thing
Wow. The part about the Hack is awfully jarring in relation to the rest of the article. What the hell's going on here?

She really paints a picture of a malevolent presence in the personage of "The Hack", IMO. He must be a real piece of work for Noonan to put this in writing as she did.

36 posted on 06/13/2004 10:10:21 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Reagan Man
In his time as POTUS, FDR fought war on two fronts . . .

50 years after FDR, Ronald Reagan fought war on two fronts also . . .

Add a third front to Reagan's war: The expansion of the federal government, which was started by none other than FDR himself.

I think Reagan was sucessful on this front as well, with all the deregulation he initiated.

37 posted on 06/13/2004 10:10:27 PM PDT by Vision Thing (If you do not study Reagan, you'll never understand America.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat

Sorry, Diddle....

"He put his hand on my waist. This was a mistake."

That does NOT belong in a rememberance of Reagan's funeral. It's all about her, and how attractive she thinks she is.

I was disgusted.


38 posted on 06/13/2004 10:11:52 PM PDT by paulat
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To: Diddle E. Squat

Are you willing to say who you think they are?

I am very curious.


39 posted on 06/13/2004 10:13:28 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper

Yeah. According to Peggy's description, the Hack inappropriately invaded her space. I am a big fan of Peggy's, almost to the point of overprotection. I was angered by this.


40 posted on 06/13/2004 10:13:33 PM PDT by Vision Thing (If you do not study Reagan, you'll never understand America.)
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To: paulat

What?!

"How attractive she thinks she is"?

What color is the sky in your world? How on earth did you come up with that? Oh, I see--the hand on waist mention. That is NOT what she was saying there, fyi.


41 posted on 06/13/2004 10:16:08 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper

My point is that it is seriously wrong to use a retrospective of Reagan's funeral as a tool to take revenge on a sleazebag.

I expected more of her.


42 posted on 06/13/2004 10:19:05 PM PDT by paulat
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To: Pokey78
"This is the thing, you see, you must stay militarily strong, with an undeniable strength. The importance of this cannot be exaggerated."

Still a wise woman I see in spite of several strokes. Would that the citizen's of this country could hear her message and take it to heart rather than the propaganda of those who would undermine our security for their own personal gain.

Peggy hits yet another home run in one of the most personal and moving pieces yet. She is a word artist. She paints beautiful pictures with language, and I look forward to part 2.

43 posted on 06/13/2004 10:20:50 PM PDT by ladyinred (RIP Governor/President Reagan, ride peacefully into that sunset.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat

BTW, any ideas on who is the "malignant leprechaun"?

I'm going to keep this story in mind the next time I read a rant about how Bush hasn't gotten rid of every person who isn't with the program as they ought to be.


44 posted on 06/13/2004 10:22:48 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Pokey78

Thanks Pokey. BTTT


45 posted on 06/13/2004 10:26:10 PM PDT by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: paulat

You are free to have your reaction. I'm far more disgusted at the political backstabbers who do great damage to this country and conservatism. Especially when some who attack President Bush are given a free pass and are used by the media if they have 'former Reagan Admin official' in their so-called credentials. THAT is what denigrates Ronald Reagan and all that he fought and stood for.


46 posted on 06/13/2004 10:28:36 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: cyncooper

Not right now, because I am only making an educated guess.


47 posted on 06/13/2004 10:29:19 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Pokey78

The column was beautiful and moving and soaring and unbearably eloquent until the score settling part, and then it got fun.


48 posted on 06/13/2004 10:30:04 PM PDT by beckett
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To: Pokey78

This is one FINE LADY!! The panel she was on with C-SPAN made her stand out among her peers, beautiful!

The best were at their most glorious moments!!


49 posted on 06/13/2004 10:30:29 PM PDT by olinr
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To: Pokey78

Peggy didn't mention President Bush's eulogy. When I listened to him, I wondered if Peggy didn't help him with it because it was so beautiful.


50 posted on 06/13/2004 10:32:59 PM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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