Sunday, September 9, 2012
Andrew McCarthy offers a good discussion of the self-inflicted difficulty Republicans have in competing in national elections, even against the hapless opponent they're currently facing.
Though clearly a conservative, Peggy Noonan has a reputation as a moderate voice of reason in a world of raging extremists. Conrad Black, for one, calls her "delightful". Though I read her columns in the WSJ, I find her equivocations bland and boring as she tries too hard to maintain her signature evenhandedness. Noonan is also a prisoner of conventional wisdom. I remember her on Fox in 2003 enthusiatically endorsing the planned invasion of Iraq. Then, when things got difficult, she turned against both the war and George W. Bush. And naturally, she was, at least to a degree, smitten with Obama's Hopin' Change routine four years ago. And, though not exactly a fan, she currently holds a grudging respect for Bill Clinton, whom she previously detested. In her latest column, Clinton's DNC speech is criticized but only because it was, as she put it, "smaller than he is". (Perhaps she would reassess her reassessment if she read here how Clinton was a major architect of the 2008 financial meltdown).
On occasion though, Noonan makes a pointed critique that hits the mark.
"Republicans shut me out of a hearing on contraception," Ms. (Sandra) Fluke said. But why would anyone have included a Georgetown law student who never worked her way onto the national stage until she was plucked, by the left, as a personable victim?
What a fabulously confident and ingenuous-seeming political narcissist Ms. Fluke is. She really does think—and her party apparently thinks—that in a spending crisis with trillions in debt and many in need, in a nation in existential doubt as to its standing and purpose, in a time when parents struggle to buy the good sneakers for the kids so they're not embarrassed at school . . . that in that nation the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills. That's not a stand, it's a non sequitur. She is not, as Rush Limbaugh oafishly, bullyingly said, a slut. She is a ninny, a narcissist and a fool.
And, speaking of Sandra Fluke, Mark Steyn devotes his latest column to the absurdity of her sudden, undeserved notoriety. (Why does the left feel the need to trot out these airheads to promote some asinine agenda item only to discard them at its earliest convenience? Remember Cindy Sheehan?)
Here, Steyn makes much the same point as Noonan.
(Fluke) completed her education a few weeks ago — at the age of 31, or Grade 25. Before going to Georgetown, she warmed up with a little light B.S. in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell. She then studied law at one of the most prestigious institutions in the nation, where tuition costs 50 grand a year. The average starting salary for a Georgetown Law graduate is $160,000 per annum — first job, first paycheck.
So this is America’s best and brightest — or, at any rate, most expensively credentialed. Sandra Fluke has been blessed with a quarter-million dollars of elite education, and, on the evidence of Wednesday night, is entirely incapable of making a coherent argument. She has enjoyed the leisurely decade-long varsity once reserved for the minor sons of Mitteleuropean grand dukes, and she has concluded that the most urgent need facing the Brokest Nation in History is for someone else to pay for the contraception of 30-year-old children.