This one's for you, Michelle Zornes!
A "Barkerization" of Peggy Noonan's latest WSJ screed
* * *
I’m interested in where we are. I think we are seeing a great political party shatter before our eyes.
* WHAT "GREAT" POLITICAL PARTY? WHAT IS NOONAN BABBLING ABOUT NOW...?!?! BOTH PARTIES ARE TOTALLY CORRUPT AND HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS!
I’m not sure I see a way around or through. I said so on TV the other night and got a lot of responses on social media. They said: Good. They said, “They are corrupt,” and “I am through.” Good riddance to bad rubbish. Next.
I am not experiencing it that way.
* YEAH... WE KNOW...
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)
(*SPITTING ON THE GROUND*)
For me the Republican Party was always the vehicle of a philosophy, conservative political thought — no more, no less.
* THEN, PEG... YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION!
* GEEZUS... THE ABSOLUTE BLINDNESS OF PEOPLE LIKE NOONAN...
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
I have the past 10 years been its critic on wars and immigration, on the establishment’s self-seeking and failures of imagination.
* PEGGY. YOU BASICALLY WELCOMED OBAMA IN 2000 FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE FOOLING...???
And yet at the prospect of the party’s shattering I feel somewhat shattered too.
* TAKE ANOTHER PILL... WASH IT DOWN WITH ANOTHER VODKA...
So many lives, so much effort went into its making. “I am more faithful than I intended to be.”
* I... HAVE... NO... IDEA... WHAT THIS WOMAN IS BABBLING ABOUT. (GOOGLE THE LINE IF YOU'RE INTERESTED!)
I knew Tuesday night I was witnessing something grave, something bigger than 1976, that traumatic year when a Republican insurgent almost toppled the incumbent Republican president. Bigger too than 1964, when Goldwater conservatism swept the primaries and convention and lost the country. What is happening now is bigger and less remediable in part because the battles in the past were over conservatism, an actual political philosophy.
And I find myself receiving with some anger, even though I understand, those — especially on the top of the party — who are so blithely declaring the end of things. Do they understand what they’re ending? Did they ever? It started in 1860. Its first great figure was a man called Lincoln. We’ll start a new party and call it Fred, they tweet. We’ll be the party in exile.
(Implicitly signaling, "And I and my friends will run it." Like little boys knocking over building blocks.)
(And they say Donald Trump is careless!)
But we are witnessing history. Something important is ending. It is hard to believe what replaces it will be better.
* ACTUALLY... IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE IT WON'T BE! (AGAIN... HAS THIS WOMAN BEEN DRUNK... OR STONED... FOR THE LAST DECADE... LAST TWO DECADES?)
No one knows where this goes. The top of the party and the bottom have split. They disagree on the essentials.
Donald Trump won big Tuesday night, carrying seven states. As others have noted, if it were someone else he’d be called unassailable, the victor— “time to get in line.”
If trends continue — and political trends tend to — Mr. Trump will win or come very close to winning by the convention in July.
If party forces succeed in finagling him out of the nomination his supporters will bolt, which will break the party.
* THERE WILL BE VIOLENCE IF TRUMP WINS FAIR AND SQUARE AND THEY TRY TO STEAL THE NOMINATION OUT FROM UNDER HIM.
And it’s hard to see what kind of special sauce, what enduring loyalty would make them come back in the future.
If, on the other hand, Mr. Trump is given the crown in Cleveland, party political figures, operatives, loyalists, journalists and intellectuals, not to mention sophisticated suburbanites and, God knows, donors will themselves bolt.
* "SOPHISTICATED SUBURBANITES," HUH, PEG?
* POP ANOTHER PRESCRIPTION PILL, PEG; POUR YOURSELF ANOTHER FINGER OR TWO OF GREY GOOSE!
That is a smaller but not insignificant group. And again it’s hard to imagine the special sauce — the shared interests, the basic worldview — that would allow them to reconcile with Trump supporters down the road.
* THIS WOMAN IS A WALKING STEREOTYPE OF EVERYTHING THAT'S ROTTEN WITHIN "THE GRAND OLD PARTY." REAGAN WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED.
It’s no longer clear what shared principles endure. Everything got stretched to the breaking point the past 15 years.
* A RINO WHO WELCOMED OBAMA IN 2000 SPEAKS OF "PRINCIPLES." HOW AMUSING!
Party leaders and thinkers should take note: It’s easier for a base to hire or develop a flashy new establishment than it is for an establishment to find itself a new base.
* "THINKERS," HUH? AS OPPOSED TO... "NON-THINKERS?"
Even if the party stays together with a Trump win, what will it be? It will have been reconstituted. Yes, it will be a formal and proactive foe of illegal immigration, and it will rethink its approach to entitlements, but it will also be other things. What?
We are in uncharted territory. But the point is fissures and tensions simmering and growing for 15 years burst through, erupted.
The Establishment was slow to see what was happening, slow to see Mr. Trump coming, in full denial as he continued to win. Their denial is self-indicting. They couldn’t see his appeal because they had no idea how their own people were experiencing America.
I have been thinking a lot about establishments and elites.
* UH... PEG... YOU A*R*E "THE ESTABLISHMENT!" YOU A*R*E "THE ELITE!"
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
A central purpose of both, a prime responsibility, is to understand those who are not Establishment and elite and look out for them, take care of them. Not in a government-from-on-high way, not with an air of noblesse oblige, but in a way that is respectfully attentive to the facts of their lives. You have a responsibility when you lead not to offend needlessly, not to impose realities you yourself can buy your way out of. You don’t privately make fun of people as knuckle-draggers, victims of teachers-union educations, low-information voters.
We had a low-information elite.
* PEGGY. LET ME CONVERT YOU BLATHER INTO PLAIN ENGLISH: THE LEADERS OF THE GOP ARE... FOOLS.
This column has been pretty devoted the past nine months to everything that gave rise to this moment - to Mr. Trump. His supporters disrespect the system — fair enough, it’s earned disrespect. They see Washington dysfunction and want to break through it — fair enough.
* NOTICE SHE DOESN'T FOLLOW THAT SECOND OBSERVATION WITH "FAIR ENOUGH?"
In a world of thugs, they say, he will be our thug.
* NO. THAT'S NOT WHAT "THEY" SAY.
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)
* REMEMBER TOM DELAY, FOLKS - "THE HAMMER?" (AND THIS IDIOT NOONAN HAS THE NERVE TO TRY AND PORTRAY TRUMP AS A "THUG?")
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Politics is a freak show? He’s our freak. They know they’re lowering standards by giving the top political job in America to a man who never held office.
* Er... Um... I DON'T KNOW ABOUT "LOWERING STANDARDS," PEG. BUT, AGAIN, IF OBAMA IS YOUR STANDARD... IS HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON IS YOUR STANDARD...
But they feel Washington lowered all standards first.
* BY "THEY"... YOU MEAN... THOSE OF US WHO RESIDE WITHIN THE BUBBLE OF REALITY?
They hate political correctness — there is no one in the country the past quarter-century who has not been embarrassed or humiliated for using the wrong word or concept or having the wrong thought — and see his rudeness as proof he hates PC too.
* SO TRUMP IS "RUDE." ONLY TRUMP. NOT RUBIO. NOT FORMER GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY WHO CALLED TRUMP EVERY NAME SHORT OF RAPIST AND PEDOPHILE YESTERDAY.
* GEEZUS...! HOW MUCH DID THIS WOMAN HAVE TO DRINK BEFORE SHE HIT THE KEYBOARD?! (OR SMOKE? DO PEOPLE STILL SMOKE CRACK?)
“He can think outside the box.” Can he ever. He is a one-man wrecking crew of all political comportment, and a carrier of that virus.
* NAH... NOT "RUDE" TO CALL SOMEONE A "VIRUS." NAH...
Yet his appeal is not only his outrageousness. He is a divider of the Republican Party and yet an enlarger of the tent. His candidacy is contributing to record turnouts in primary after primary, and surely bringing in Democrats and independents. But it should concern his supporters that his brain appears to be a grab bag of impulses, and although he has many views and opinions he doesn’t seem to know anything about public policy or the way the White House or the government actually works.
* NOPE... NOTHING "RUDE" ABOUT "HIS BRAIN APPEARS TO BE A GRAB BAG OF IMPULSES..."
* I WONDER... IS IT THE PILLS... THE BOOZE... THE BOTOX...? WHAT HAS ROTTED PEGGY NOONAN'S BRAIN?
He is unpredictable, which his supporters see as an advantage.
* UNLIKE... SAY... RUBIO... WHO RAN AS THE "ANTI-INVASION" CANDIDATE FOR "HIS" SENATE SEAT AND WHO ONCE SAFELY ELECTED TURNED HIS BACK ON ALL HIS CAMPAIGN OATHS AND JOINED THE GANG OF EIGHT? (UNPREDICTABLE... LIKE THAT... PEG?)
But in a harrowing, hair-trigger world it matters that the leaders of other nations be able to calculate with some reasonable certainty what another leader would do under a given set of circumstances.
* WOW... SOUNDS LIKE THE ATTACKS DEMOCRATS MADE AGAINST CANDIDATE REAGAN IN 1976 AND 1980. (HEY... PEG... DIDN'T YOU ONCE WORK FOR PRESIDENT REAGAN?)
“He goes with his gut.” Yes. But George W. Bush was a gut player too, and it wasn’t pretty when his gut began to fail.
* ON THAT... WE AGREE! (BETCHA PEG WOULD ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORT A RETURN OF "THE BUSH DYNASTY" HOWEVER!)
The GOP elite is about to spend a lot of money and hire a lot of talent, quickly, to try to kill Trump off the next two weeks. There will be speeches, ads — an onslaught. It will no doubt do Mr. Trump some damage, but not much. It will prove to Trump supporters that what they think is true — their guy is the only one who will stand up to the Establishment, so naturally the Establishment is trying to kill him.
And Trump supporters don’t seem to have that many illusions about various aspects of his essential character. One of them told me he’s “a junkyard dog.”
They think his character is equal to the moment.