Ia!! Greenwald fhtagn!!
Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Peggy Noonan and the rotting pundit class: One of the more corrupt pundit phenomena is the way in which the most loyal and worshipful Bush followers, who spent the last five years praising the President and doing everything possible to enable his most radical policies, are now suddenly pretending to be so deeply dissatisfied with his rule. Now that the Bush movement is collapsing, they all want to pretend that they knew all along that things weren't going well and that the President was deeply flawed. Suddenly, they're not a part of any of it and bear no responsibility for it because, all along, they felt the President wasn't doing the right thing and, besides, he was never really loyal to their political beliefs.
Here is Peggy Noonan.... [T]his is what she says:
Republican political veterans go easy on ideology, but they're tough on incompetence. They see Mr. Bush through the eyes of experience and maturity. They hate a lack of care. They see Mr. Bush as careless, and on more than Iraq--careless with old alliances, disrespectful of the opinion of mankind. "He never listens," an elected official who is a Bush supporter said with a shrug some months ago.
Along the way the president's men and women confused the necessary and legitimate disciplining of a coalition with weird and excessive attempts to silence Republican critics. They have lived in a closed system. They now want to open it but don't know how. Listening is a habit; theirs has long been to suppress...
But in 2004, when arguing for President Bush's re-election, this is what Peggy Noonan said... about George Bush (a passage... [that] may very well be the most horrifying and cringe-inducing piece of punditry ever):
I was asked this week why the president seems so attractive to the heartland, to what used to be called Middle America. A big question. I found my mind going to this word: normal.
Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man. He's normal. He thinks in a sort of common-sense way. He speaks the language of business and sports and politics. You know him. He's not exotic. But if there's a fire on the block, he'll run out and help. He'll help direct the rig to the right house and count the kids coming out and say, "Where's Sally?"
He's responsible. He's not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world. And then when the fire comes they say, "I warned Joe about that furnace." And, "Does Joe have children?" And "I saw a fire once. It spreads like syrup. No, it spreads like explosive syrup. No, it's formidable and yet fleeting." When the fire comes they talk.
Bush ain't that guy. Republicans love the guy who ain't that guy. Americans love the guy who ain't that guy.
Someone said to me: But how can you call him normal when he came from such privilege? Indeed he did. But there's nothing lemonade-on-the-porch-overlooking-the-links-at-the-country-club about Mr. Bush....
George W. Bush didn't grow up at Greenwich Country Day with a car and a driver dropping him off, as his father had. Until he went off to boarding school, he thought he was like everyone else. That's a gift, to think you're just like everyone else in America. It can be the making of you...
So, in just over two years in Noonan's world, George Bush went from being the responsible, concerned, trustworthy, humble neighbor--Everyman who realized that he was just another regular guy like the rest of us, to an arrogant, hubristic know-it-all tyrant who listens to nobody, stomps out dissent, and is completely irresponsible with his duties.
And she now depicts Bush in this way while pretending that she never stumbled all over herself with oozing praise that was the very antithesis of what she is now describing.
The most corrupt and worthless pundits are those who never do anything other than spout the most conventional and recent partisan wisdom -- even if it directly contradicts what they had repeatedly said in the past.... There is nothing wrong with acknowledging one's errors and changing one's mind.... But that isn't what is happening with the Peggy Noonans of the world (including the serious, moderate Beltway pundits who spent the last five years lecturing all of us on the importance of Supporting the President).... [T]hey are pretending to be... wise, objective, insightful analysts who all along have long seen the flaws in the President that have caused his presidency to collapse.... They are just self-serving, deceitful rats jumping a sinking ship that they long helped to keep afloat. Worse, they are doing so while pretending that they were never really on board (Noonan: "it's clear now to everyone in the Republican Party that Mr. Bush has changed the modern governing definition of 'conservative.' He did this without asking. He did it even without explaining")...