The Spectacle Blog

Peggy Noonan Still Doesn’t Get It

By on 5.4.09 | 3:25AM

We didn't need another reason to avoid reading the slippery Peggy Noonan, but she gave us one anyway.

Still in awe of the Dear Leader whose news conference Wednesday night was in her words "a bit of a masterpiece," in her Friday Wall Street Journal column Noonan shows that she has become a captive of liberal conventional wisdom on yet another issue.

Noonan implies that the Republican Party is too conservative and as such it forced liberal Sen. Arlen Specter to defect to the Democrats. Noonan complained that the people inside the party "can't always be kicking people out of the tent. A great party cannot live by constantly subtracting, by removing or shunning those who are not faithful to every aspect of its beliefs, or who don't accept every pole, or who are just barely fitting under the tent," she wrote. "Room should be made for them. Especially in those cases when Republican incumbents and candidates are attempting to succeed in increasingly liberal states, a certain practical sympathy is in order."

If only the party had kicked some people out of the tent years ago, but I digress.

Like Specter who complained he was "ostracized" for voting for President Obama's disgraceful $787 billion stimulus package -the biggest spending bill in the history of the Republic- Noonan treats his vote for the measure as just another vote.

It's not.

It was, as conservatives saw it, the Mother of All Votes, and it capped a long career of giving the finger to conservatives. That single vote - which among other things erased the landmark Clinton welfare reforms, helped lay the foundation for socialized medicine and expand Leviathan's reach- gave the nation's left a forward momentum that it hasn't had since the days of LBJ.

Mere ostracism is far too mild a punishment for Specter for such a shocking betrayal of his party.

Specter's pissed off and alienated conservatives for decades, and Noonan thinks conservatives should just grin and bear it. She chastises Republicans for "too much ferocity, and bloody-mindedness."

For the record, party apparatchiks bent over backwards to accommodate Specter. As recently as two weeks ago the National Republican Senate Committee backed Specter for reelection in 2010 over the infinitely more conservative Pat Toomey. This was, it's worth noting, even after Specter's vote for the infamous "porkulus" bill.

It was only after Specter saw his abysmal polling numbers against Toomey that he decided his future was bleak in the Republican Party. He admitted this fact.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Specter said he made the decision to change parties after the results from one of his own polls came in on April 24. "The most important number was the approval rating - it dropped from the 60s to 31" percent in the last few months, Specter was quoted as saying.

Specter switched parties to save his skin, yet he self-servingly whined in front of reporters about how the GOP supposedly left him and how the big, bad Club for Growth picked on him. As CNN reports

Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said Sunday that he hopes his recent switch to the Democratic Party will serve as a "wake-up call" to an increasingly conservative GOP.

He also once again assigned some blame for the recent decline of the Republican Party to the political advocacy group Club for Growth, which targets moderate GOP incumbents who do not adhere to the doctrine of supply-side economics.

Club for Growth fought Specter's GOP renomination in 2004 and was set to oppose him again in the 2010 primary.

"It would be my hope ... that this would be a wake-up call and the [GOP] would move for a broader big tent like we had under Reagan," Specter said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"The party has changed so much since I was elected in 1980," he said.

On this last point, Specter's right. The party has become much more liberal (like him) since he was elected - and that's a shame.

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