Note to Cliff:
What exactly did you find so consequential or even provocative about this piece? It revolves around the assertion that no one loves Obama anymore, on the basis of conversations Noonan’s had. Uh huh. She didn’t ask me, that’s for sure. Reminds me of what Pauline Kael is supposed to have said after the 1972 elections: “Nixon? I can’t believe it. I don’t know anybody who voted for him.”
The other evidence Noonan marshals – the Obama campaign’s want ad for predictive modeling specialists – says more about her distrust of quantitative analysis, lest it affect her pre-determined conclusions, than it does about Obama’s humanity.
But the launching pad for this unscientific bit of mass psychology is even more meaningless. Let’s see if I have this right: the Tea Party movement and the Republican establishment, by joining in support of the Boehner proposal, have each succeeding in moderating the excesses of the other. Moderating? The Tea Party movement wants to use the debt limit increase as a vehicle for forcing deficit reductions that rely entirely on spending cuts, with no tax increases, even if this means driving the economy back into recession. The Republican establishment wants to destroy Obama’s presidency and ensure his defeat in 2012, even if this means driving the economy back into recession. With the Boehner proposal, the Tea Party gets what it wants, although maybe not everything its ideological heart desires, and the Republicans double-down on wreaking havoc with the economy as their only strategy for winning back the White House in 2012.
This path is neither Burkean nor viable and Noonan’s a loser for endorsing it. Boehner’s a loser for permitting it (although I like and feel for the guy, I really do), and the rest of us are just plain losers.