Skip to comments.Over-the-top
Posted on 01/22/2005 5:31:27 AM PST by pickrell
In an article today, Peggy Noonan spoke of the distaste that President Bush caused her by his inauguration speech. I am more troubled by her article than all the rest of the expected tripe oozed by the mainstream media, combined.
I have always admired Ms. Noonan, and have regarded her articles as dessert after the relentless sour lunch of defeatism and distortion served up by our "mainstream" media. Surely it has occurred to her, even as it has occurred to us, that there is an inescapable reason why CNN viewership is down 50% from the last Inauguration, and MSNBC is down 68%- while Fox News has soared 30%.
Americans tolerate less each day the poisonous whining from the shadows about how doomed we are to failure. The slander heaped upon our Armed Forces, and their Commander in Chief, is now bearing bitter fruit for the appeasers, and the surest poll is that of the audience. That audience is voting with their TV remotes.
President Bush, the right man at the right time, has faced scorching criticism, in a time of war, for having the courage to defend the United States against enemies within and without. Never has it become more apparent that the past timid, politically-correct appeasement by the Left of evil itself, has reaped a bitter harvest for us today. By creating in the minds of our enemies in the 1990's the reassurance that all Americans are like Bill Clinton, the media helped insure the tragedy that is playing out today. Our enemies were starved of the knowledge that an aroused America wields a furious retribution. Many in our liberal media want to return to those former enlightened times. They want escape from any responsibity for their truth embargo. They have their knee pads out, and they are wistful.
Noonan has previously held a grip on upbeat and inspiring words, and as such had earned a lasting place in all Freepers' hearts. At a time such as this, when courage is precious, and the propaganda war waged by the Fifth Column among us is directly translateable to additional casualties among our Marines and comfort to our enemies, I naturally supposed that all who enjoy the freedom bought for us by the previous blood-sacrifices of so many veterans would re-inforce the committment to spread that same freedom universally.
I couldn't disagree with her more, in regards to her article.
She writes that a speech about the universal yearning of all men for freedom, and the policy of America to support such movements and institutions, is "..too-heavenish, God-drenched, and over-the-top...". The administration's stated goals of extending freedom, and correspondingly drying up the breeding grounds of terrorism, are not an inescapable necessity if we are to win this war against terrorism, but rather a symptom of "mission inebriation", in her diagnosis. Has she asked the Ukrainians how important world-wide support was to them in their battle against Soviet interference?
At a time when any mention of God, any public display of reverence, is immediately attacked by the media with a ferocity most reminiscent, ironically, of the Taliban- how odd it is that the President's four references to "God", and several exhortations to commit ourselves to extend the freedom we enjoy to others...would seem to be "relentless invocation"? Has the ACLU finally succeeded in it's unholy obsession to drive reverence utterly from the American consciousness?
Were this not documented in her own column, I would dismiss it as merely more of the usual Democratic troll disinformation.
I am stunned. Was Ronald Reagan "inebriated", when he, standing alone against the sophisticated wisdom of the beltway elite and the mainstream media, proclaimed that the former comfortable policy of containment was cowardly and evil? When Reagan showed the world that an honorable man will not trade the enslavement of hundreds of millions behind the iron curtain for "safety" at home- was he over-the-top? How, then, is it today that we, even with the benefit of hindsight of Reagan's inspired courage, should now falter and fail?
When Reagan braved the now-familiar torrent of abuse heaped upon him by the omniscient talking heads of the networks, and faced down in front of the world a system that had been allowed to exist unchallenged for decades because of the "realism" of our political science professors- was he reading Ms. Noonan's words, as we assumed? The courage and wisdom was unquestionably his, but every President relies upon wordsmiths to help shape his thoughts for occasions of State. We assumed it was Peggy crafting the phrase.
What happened, Ms. Noonan? What has changed since then?
When the President of the United States states that as a national policy, "...we don't accept the existence of permanent slavery, or that women welcome servitude...", how can this seem too un-nuanced to conservatives such as yourself? Is this a "quest for perfection", or a needed acknowledgement that since so much was sacrificed for us all in the past, that we now correspondingly owe that same devotion to duty to others. What goes around must come around, if we are to call ourselves honorable men.
I watched "nuance" from the most gutless, shameful creature that ever disgraced the White House for eight long years. I struggled to suppress vomiting when our former "commander-in-chief" weighed his personal political risks in responding to the murders of our sailors, soldiers, and embassy personnel, in a dozen flagrant acts of war against us... cynically sniffed at the insufficient political advantages that might accrue to him, and thus in numerous such instances in the 1990's, simply decided that nothing important had been lost, and that "nuance" would prevail.
Until, of course, he faced the "Adventure of the Second Stain", and suddenly found the courage to posture against the enemies of America... at least until his media apologists had done their act. In that shamefulness, he was hailed by the Leftist media as a "master politician". He'll go down in history with a legacy of being the only U.S. President to ever need to carry around a written certificate of masculinity, to try to "prove" that he is a man. In his actions, he served as the best advertisement that terrorists had in the nineties. They are now discovering that they were badly misinformed...
Don't tell me about nuance, Ms. Noonan. I had a belly full of it, from Billy boy.
You are sophisticated enough to know that any war consists both of the military component and the national will. Never before have we faced so much treachery and cowardice, within and without, and seldom before, have the stakes been so high.
It was easy in World War Two, to look to the United States for salvation. Hundreds of millions across the world knew that we, along with our steady Australian and British allies, were the only hope that they had. They could not afford the luxury of sneering at liberating others, since they knew that freedom for all was in the balance. Sadly now, those comfortable in Paris, and Berlin and even Washington, question the reasonableness of supporting the yearning of others for that same freedom. They dismiss as being distracting any public references to the divine favor of God.
The Europeans have become sophisticated and "continental", plotting that by confederating themselves into a European Union that they might soon transcend us. Their American sympathizers, leftovers from the Stalin apologists among us, share the opinion that American military might is a danger to the carefully crafted European duplicity which supported the Saddams of the Middle East against the hopeless victims of that region. The sympathizers are willing to purge themselves and the nation as well, of all traces of honor, religion, morality and decency, in exchange for the approval of the European aristocracy that they so crave. We called them Tories a few hundred years ago; I won't print what I call them now.
How oddly astonishing this is, coming from the nation apparently alone among the "Western world", in it's citizens' adherence to their faith. How typical of George Bush to point out how odd it is, after 40 years of the U.S. defense of it's freedoms, that we have achieved more than any nation on earth, and yet the conventional wisdom is to remain "nuanced" about world affairs.
I've always believed that I know you too well, through your previous written thoughts, to accept that you now find merit in timidity in the final phases of this cultural war that rages across the nation. You know as well as we, Peggy, that there is no escape- that these dangerous, historic and pivotal times are thrust upon us, like it or not. Do we banish God from our public speeches, and then hope to invoke his mercy privately? That is, for lack of a better phrase, over-the-top.
The very phrase "over-the-top", ironically referred originally to an act requiring supreme self-sacrifice and devotion to duty, in the trenches of World War One- to abandon the safe ground of the trench, and to "take it to the enemy". How terribly ironic that we should choose to use it to describe over-ambitious committment.
Can we watch our troops facing death daily overseas on behalf of our nation, and expect them to understand that we find committment to freedom, and acknowledgement that evil is real... to be a manifestation of "mission inebriation"?
Don't tell a Marine what is possible and what is not, from the safety of a Manhattan apartment. Don't provide the fodder that the Fifth Column in our press salivates over, to use as further attacks against our war effort, and thus against our troops. You know better.
Instead, stand back and watch that Marine accomplish what all "conventional wisdom" categorically states is impossible... and just pray for his continued strength and safety. In spite of his often profane banter, he is deeply conscious of the critical role that Divine faith, courage, and clarity of mission has in insuring that the next generation of blow-dried journalists will enjoy the freedom to smear him as a baby-killer.
He is carving out the world's freedom, right now, by his service. I don't have the talent to pay sufficient tribute to him... but I can tell you that no one, anywhere else in the world, is more relevent to the future, and few men have ever had the chance to impact the future of so many millions yet unborn, as our Armed Forces do now. They write their names large in tomorrow's hall of heroes.
The rest of the world will read about such courage in decades to come... if they have the courage to hold the ground that our Marines have captured and will be handing to them. Nothing will be guaranteed to them- and they can fall back to their knees if they so choose. If they do, certainly no disgrace will fall on our Marines who bought such a chance for them.
Sit back, Peggy, read John O'Neil's book, and marvel that such men are among us, and say aloud unashamedly, "Thank God".
For if setting ourselves this mission is too grandiose and "over-the-top", then we've learned nothing from Reagan.
Outstanding. Peggy seems to have followed Mo Dowdie down the path of bitterness with snide, ill-thought through commentary. Of course, she has found legions of new fans at the MSM, DU, and moveon.org - hopefully this will provide some consolation for her loss of moral clarity and mental acuity.
I wonder what she thinks of the Hillary "God God God God God God God God" speech?
I have a feeling we are going to see the two parties trying to out-God each other up through 2008.
Perhaps she's interviewing for a position as John McCain's speechwriter for his upcoming presidential campaign. LOL
Real men don't whine.
I'm hoping Ms Noonan was just having a "bad day" when she wrote yesterday's piece.
She did write that wonderful narration for "The Pitch" (the short film, narrated by Fred Thompson that was shown at the Republican convention right before GWB gave his acceptance speech.)
I think you did a darn good job of it. At a time when we really do have nothing to fear but fear itself, why has Ms. Noonan lost her courage?
Perhaps we need to lose a city like Boston before he'll get the message?
Here's a quote from another God drenched American Document:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Sorry if this is over the top, pie-in-the-sky nonsense.
I would only add that Ms. Noonan is now enjoying the predictable notoriety that follows a criticism of the right from the right. I would like to believe that this phenomenon was not calculated by Ms. Noonan in the formulation of her criticism.
I do hope you emailed this to Ms. Noonan
I am surprised by Noonan's article. She is, however, an excellent writer and she is not a hypocrite. She may have had problems with Bush's speech but I think that she means well. Noonan falls in the wing of the GOP that believes that since we won, we have to be "nice" with the Dems and not shove God into their throats. I disagree, now that we won, we should do everything to push our agenda even if it means shoving it to the Dems and the irrational Left.
I had a similar reaction when I read Peggy's article, which as after I had already seen her on cable news exclaiming what a great and momentous speech it had been. I wondered what had caused her to change her attitude. Then I heard almost all of the Talking Heads, even those on the Right, declaring President Bush's Naive grandiosity, and his poor oratorical skills.
I just keep remembering how Bush 41 was constantly criticized for lacking the "Vision Thing." Now W is being hammered for having the Vision Thing.
I expect to see a separation between the Republicans who believe that economic policy should dominate and those who believe social policy should dominate.
Some of us understand they are intertwined.
The country club Republicans are a bit steamed that Bush talked about divine providence and the right of all humans to experience freedom instead of tax cuts and how to grow the economy.
I'd second that feeling, and add that the DemoKKKrats, especially, are already talking about religion a lot more than they did a year ago.
Biden's story , during Condi's hearing, about the boy who went to confession was just the icing on the cake.
The thing we need to remember with the Dems is that all of their God talk is mostly phony, empty marketing ploy--insincere. They think those of us in Jesus Land are too stupid to know the difference. They sure are starting early though.
Odd though, considering she was the one who helped add religion to Reagan's speeches.
Peg tells us her answer: yes, it is possible to mention God too much. We must then pose Perky Peg another question..."how much is too much? in a 15 minute speech is it 10 times, 20 times, 30 times, how many times, Peg?
Or is it not the quantity of times God is mentioned, but rather the quality of His mention? Is it wrong to describe God as the King of the Universe, as Bush did? Is it wrong to give God credit for His eternal goodness, as Bush did? Should we limit the quality of credit we God to a yardstick of what our physical senses can actually measure, and therefore shut up about eternity and universal stuff?
So Peg, is what bothers you the number of times Bush gives God credit, or is what bothers you the degree of which Bush give God credit??
perky Peg needs to explain herself
This is just beautifully written and expresses the thoughts of so many of us here.
I love Peggy Noonan. I've read her books, read her articles and believe she is a true conservative. I know her faith is genuine. Why she wrote what she did, is puzzling and astounding to me.
This article is the perfect response. Thank you for writing it. Let's not throw Peggy over the edge. Let's engage her, let's ask her to explain what she wrote and why. She's a dear heart, and I want to know her thoughts.
Peg - please explain.
Pick - so very well said.
Yes, her take on the speech did disappoint me. However, she was honest in her take and many nurturing folks may have been taken aback by it. On the other hand, apparently, many President before have alluded to the same dream for the oppressed.
The difference and frightening thing to some, is this President tends to act upon what he says - and for my part, such actions are better now than later.
Hot dog, for the next four years maybe we can expect real action for "good" rather than hollow proclamations.
To be directly involved in these changes, as civilians, in government service, or the U.S. military must be a real high.
I agree with you guys about Peggy Noonan. I don't why this usually thoughtful conservative went off on the deep end. Virtually all Americans believe in God, so what's wrong with talking about God in such a beautiful and uplifting way?
Perhaps Peggy is still upset that the sugary mess she wrote for the first President Bush in 1989 is considered one of the worst inaugural speeches in history.
Ron, great response. Dumb question - have you emailed it to her? I was going to send a response but figured those more eloquant, such as yourself, would be more apt to prick her heart.
I agree with you. IMHO the Democrat Party is guilty of of both treason and being traitors. There is no doubt in my mind that many in the Democrat Party have given comfort and aid to the enemy, and as a result, the USA has suffered many more military and civilian deaths and injuries then we would have if the Democrat Party was loyal to the United States of America. As for me, I am a take no prisoners Republican. I want to see the current Democrat Party destroyed at the ballot box forever. As for Peggy Noonan, this outburst about "too much God" is not new. Ms. Noonan, whom I admire greatly, has cuddled up closely to the Democrat liberals on the numerous occasions she has been on MSNBC. Like Joe Scarbourgh, she believes in sleeping with the enemy every once and awhile, sad to say.
This is really the only way Peggy Noonans thoughts make any sense. During the election campaign she was so much pro-Bush and not against Kerry per se, but just against what the left stood for. I don't think she's changed her mind and gone to the dark side, so being 'nice' is the only logical explanation.
BTW, I wish she'd give up being nice to dems. Personally, I think that if you have demwits on the run you make them run till they drop. I can understand President Bush being nice to dims because his position requires diplomacy. Not so with the rest of us.
I ditto your sentiment re: P.N.
After the official outdoors event ended, my thoughts were something akin to what she wrote......but my thoughts included the words of various speakers, rather than just the Prez. I am hoping that P.N. was inadvertently remiss in attributing her reaction uniquely to the Prez. Some of the others laid it on pretty thick, IMO.
This seems to be the paragraph that caused the uproar....had she chosen words other than "God drenched" and "invoked relentlessly", and attributed it to ALL who contributed to that impression, the uproar would be much less, at least as pertains to the Prez himself. JMO...
" The president's speech seemed rather heavenish. It was a God-drenched speech. This president, who has been accused of giving too much attention to religious imagery and religious thought, has not let the criticism enter him. God was invoked relentlessly. "The Author of Liberty." "God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind . . . the longing of the soul."
Someone definately needs to E-mail this to Peggy Noonan. I have always had great deal of respect for her as well as her "ear for a speech". I do however, believe she just flat missed the mark this time.
Methinks that Noonan wants to claim the John McCain chair of political punditry with the mainstream media.
...and I think she is following yet another, but one who used to be a "true believer" in things right -- she seems to be pulling an Arianna Huffington; it's just too irresistible, it would seem, to gravitate toward all those Bordeaux and Brie soiree-goers, once you've jet-setted with them for a while.
I think this is an article she will live to regret.
It is quite OK with me for my President to be a fool for Jesus/God.
You know, you might just be on to something.
OK here with me, too!
Absolutely NOT. And don't mess with me, Texas. I'm Texan born and bred. You've already voiced your inane opposition on the other Noonan thread. How about trying original thought? Might do you some good. Peg's one of us. Don't be so quick to slam her.
What did Mark have to say? When he was on the radio here in Memphis he could be pretty caustic.
"...not shove God into their throats."
That sounds like involuntary communion. Whatever it takes! Peggy's got her own little tempest in a teapot now, I hope she's happy.
And, btw, what the heck kind of a word is "heavenish"? One shouldn't just make up words, we've got lots of good ones already.
Noonan has always left me uncomfortable, although she seems universally adored among conservatives. I sense a sort-of stiff narcissism and obsession with style. But Reagan would not have, and Bush will not, be intimidated into her pointless 'sophistication.'
In any case, you said it all so poignantly, I could hardly add a thing -- Your essay deserves large exposure for many reasons.
As for Ms. Noonan, all that occurs to me is that "from the mouth comes the overflow of the heart." And perhaps, way back then, Ronald Reagan was writing her speeches.
She was pretty quick to slam GW. I would guarantee that the left relishes the notion of using her critique of GW's speech against him. Just like they relish using McCain's critiques. Boxer will no doubt say from the floor of the Senate: "even conservative commentators, such as Peggy Noonan, feel that President Bush mentions God too much." Giving ammo to your opponents is a direct result of a violation of Reagan's Eleventh Commandment. If you find such a position inane, your mind needs to be messed with.
I am not puzzled by Peggy's comments. I share her concerns. My concerns are NOT about the references to God in the speech. I don't think that is the basis of Noonan's concern either (but who can say what she is really thinking). My concern is that Bush's speech can be construed as committing the United States in general and our military in particular to establishing liberal democratic states around the world. This is Wilsonian not Reaganesque.
My own view is that the United States military should be used only for the defense of the nation. We should kill those who threaten us and leave everyone else essentially alone. Don't get me wrong. I would love to see all the nations of the world become liberal democratic states (in the good sense of those terms). This would no doubt make the world a more peaceful place. But I do not believe that this can be achieved with any reasonable amount of American resources or American blood. Commiting the United States to the goal of freeing the world is nothing more than Internationalism without the United Nations.
Call me a paleocon, or a nationalist, or a nativist, but my primary concern is for America and its citizens and not the poor and oppressed elsewhere. This is what troubles me about Bush's speech. In the aftermath of 9/11 the focus was protecting the nation by making war on those who publicly and privately have vowed to kill us. The focus now has shifted to improving the world. Bush tried to connect the two in his speech. But I am not convinced. This is the focus of my concern. And I believe it underscore's Noonan's misgivings as well.
Real men don't whine.
I agree. The jury is still out. But keep a sharp eye. Bringing freedom and democracy to all the nations of the world is not the same as killing our enemies.
They have their knee pads out, and they are wistful.
Kneepads. Another allegory for the Clinton legacy.
Also, a great reminder of exactly the extent to which the Clinton administration impacted this nation for the bad.
As to Peg, agreed, a puzzling position indeed.
In answer to the question for many; often enough to be politically expedient, yet not often enough to indicate a true belief and much less so any expectation of action rooted in such belief.
If you think that the Left needs to rely on conservative critics to come up with outrageous critiques of Bush, then your mind has been messed with.
What I like is that Republicans can express themselves honestly, and do so, regardless of whether it is the "proper" thing to do or not. You won't find that on the other side.
IF we lose a city at all, Boston isn't a bad choice.
It's called "belt-way-itis".......Peggy seems to have lost touch with the real America.
I certainly do not think that the left has to rely on conservative critics of the President. However, they relish the opportunity to do so if for no other reason than to show a division within our ranks. Free expression is appropriate when warranted. I don't think that PN thought seriously enough about the consequences of her column before she filed it with her editor.