February 22, 2008

"Eloquence is deep thought expressed in clear words. With Mr. Obama the deep thought part is missing."

Peggy Noonan — herself a writer of great speeches — doesn't think much of the text of Obama's speeches:
[H]e doesn't dig down to explain how to become a greater nation, what specific path to take--more power to the state, for instance, or more power to the individual. He doesn't unpack his thoughts, as they say. He asserts and keeps on walking.

The man has attained the greatest heights through speechmaking, but to the speechwriter, what he really needs is a speechwriter.

60 comments:

rhhardin said...

You have to take Noonan as speaking for women, or for somebody.

The trouble with her writing is that if she leaves you behind, you're baffled.

Like me in the Iraq war being lost, when all I see is the most admirable determination, and troops that understand it. And here's Noonan with the war is lost over and over, relying on a poetic point that I fail to pick up.

Balfegor said...

The man has attained the greatest heights through speechmaking, but to the speechwriter, what he really needs is a speechwriter.

He has one already -- his lines are written by David Axelrod, the same man who writes Deval Patrick's lines (hence the ginned up plagiarism charges). Noonan just thinks he needs a better one. But what she's really saying in that excerpt, I think, is that he needs one who will take a different approach in writing the words he puts in his candidate's mouth.

rhhardin said...

con't

Obama is a terrible speaker. My instant reaction is ``What is this crap?''

I'm just not the right audience.

So Noonan is a problem to read now and then.

ricpic said...

"..the speech...high class boilerplate..."

C'mon Peggy. You tellin' me you don't understand that that's the whole strategy? You're too smart not to get it that the Obama-Axelrod plan is to thrill 'em and chill 'em all the way to November and NOT SAY A THING.

EnigmatiCore said...

Hillary was just on the Today show.

The reporterette asked her about her intimation last night about Bill's infidelity, and about the NYT story about John McCain.

She didn't take the bait. She didn't make a backhanded comment that on one hand sounds supportive and on the other hand cuts like a knife. She sounded gracious, which is a word that normally I would not use to describe her. She contrasted herself with McCain and Obama on issues, but despite at least three prods by the reporter, she would not address, no, dignify the context of the question.

And then there was the end of last night's debate. Again, very gracious.

I suspect that she has resigned herself to losing, and as such isn't pushing quite so hard. If so, it would be one of those hard ironies--- the Hillary I saw at the end of last night's debate and this morning on Today would be winning. Hell, if she had been like that all along and kept Bill out of the picture, she could easily have won me over.

Tim said...

"He asserts and keeps on walking."

Absolutely. I don't blame Obama though - he is, and he's selling, what Democrat primary voters want; he also benefits tremendously from not being Hillary! or Edwards, both flawed for their own reasons. But come November, when smarter, more discerning voters weigh in, Obama won't get away with asserting and walking. His presentation only works so well, for only so long, for only so many voters.

It won't be enough.

Middle Class Guy said...

The kid ain't doing to bad. Is the speechwriter looking for a job?

George said...

Whenever I read Noonan's work, I always imagine the gentle tinkling of her china tea cup against its dish, the pomeranian nestled on her lap, her amanuensis bowing, the rain streaking the floor-to-ceiling windows of her modest digs high on Central Park West...

MadisonMan said...

george: Exactly. The liveried butler asking if ma'am would like for tea. The daylilies in the crystal vase on the steinway. The plush oriental rugs. And the gentle curve on the back of the davenport.

William S. said...

Peggy Noonan, the voice of envy.

She also knows that McCain is an incredibly lame speaker. No hope there. Haha.

Palladian said...

"...the gentle tinkling of her china tea cup against its dish, the pomeranian nestled on her lap, her amanuensis bowing, the rain streaking the floor-to-ceiling windows of her modest digs high on Central Park West..." "...The liveried butler asking if ma'am would like for tea. The daylilies in the crystal vase on the steinway. The plush oriental rugs. And the gentle curve on the back of the davenport."

Aside from the Pomeranian, what's not to like about this image? Sounds like a nice life to aspire to. Would you rather a writer who makes you think of the moan of a plastic straw sliding through the sharp aperture of the lid of a Big Gulp, the overweight German-Shepard mix wheezing on her lap, her boyfriend's daughter from one of his ex-girlfriends bowing, the rain pelting the plexiglas windows of her double-wide trailer at the Lucky Star Mobile Home Park in Martinsburg, West Virginia... the daughter by one of her ex-boyfriends asking if mom would like her Miller High Life. The plastic lilies in the cat-shaped ceramic vase on the pressboard entertainment center holding the 60 inch TV. The matted shag-pile carpet. And the bulbous swell of the back of the overstuffed velour couch....?

Palladian said...

Speaking of the "voice of envy", it's AJD... I mean "william s."

rcocean said...

I think this a great point by Noonan:

"Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs? Do they understand America? Are they of it? Did anyone at their Ivy League universities school them in why one should love America? Do they confuse patriotism with nationalism, or nativism? Are they more inspired by abstractions like "international justice" than by old visions of America as the city on a hill, which is how John Winthrop saw it, and Ronald Reagan and JFK spoke of it?"

Sadly, because the dumb-as-rocks Republicans nominated another Bob Dole, who really isn't FOR anything, they can only win by attacking Obama.

So, the Repubs will preach this line: do you really want a black man whose middle name is Hussain as POTUS? Can we really trust him?
Of course, the problem is that Obama is no Dukakais.

Freder Frederson said...

Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs?

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Skyler said...

It's pretty basic politics to be as undivisive as possible. By stating a position on a topic he is bound to create a division between those who agree and those who disagree. Why should he do that when he's winning without it? For every position he stakes, he loses votes. So far, not many seem to care what his positions are. Support for Obama has little to do with him, and everything to do with anti-Clinton and anti-Bush politics. He's smart to ride that wave as long as he can.

Since the republicans are about to nominate a delusional, hot-headed gnome, he can pretty much skate this way for at least five more years.

The republicans have only two requirements in recent decades for their nominee. Either he must not be able to lift his arms above his head, or he must be inarticulate. GHW Bush = inarticulate. Bob Dole = can't lift arms over his head. GW Bush = inarticulate. McCain = can't lift arms over his head.

It takes disgust with someone as corrupt and treasonous as Clinton or as vacuous as Kerry for the inarticulate/can't lift arms over his head strategy to succeed.

Obama has yet to prove to be corrupt (but give him time, he's a politician after all, and from Chicago to boot) and he's articulate and educated enough to easily not rile the republicans into a fear-induced vote. I suspect the less he says of substance, the more likely he will win.

paul a'barge said...

Peggy Noonan is the Blanche DuBois of the pundit set.

Hysteria reigns supreme.

Balfegor said...

"Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs?

The case could be made for Mr. Obama, with his elite prep-school and Ivy background and his exotic (if completely absent) father, but not for his wife, I think. If she has any snobbery, it must be the snobbery of the lower middle class. Which does exist, to be sure, but is not at all the kind of snobbery Noonan seems to be describing. Michelle Obama's roots are nothing if not American.

Skyler said...

Michelle Obama's roots are nothing if not American.

Yeah, but she's not proud of that.

Balfegor said...

"...the gentle tinkling of her china tea cup against its dish, the pomeranian nestled on her lap, her amanuensis bowing, the rain streaking the floor-to-ceiling windows of her modest digs high on Central Park West..." "...The liveried butler asking if ma'am would like for tea. The daylilies in the crystal vase on the steinway. The plush oriental rugs. And the gentle curve on the back of the davenport."

Does Noonan really strike people as that posh? Her prose seems so distinctively American Middle-Class to me. Like a woman who might have knit anti-macassars and tea-cozies, who might prepare the finger sandwiches for her local book club's tea party herself, not like a woman who has servants to do that kind of thing for her.

PatCA said...

I completely agreed with Noonan. I hope that means I will soon have a snazzy Manhattan apartment and a Pomeranian, although I always thought of her as a working woman, successful on her own merits.

Good literary effort on the criticism, though!

Richard Dolan said...

What a crotchty, disgruntled bunch on this thread.

George, MM and others pretend that Noonan is a character from an Edwardian set-piece. That's not even close. Remember, she's the columnist who gets all sentimental and rhapsodic writing about firemen and cops, and likes to write about extraordinary acts of bravery by very ordinary men. Single mom, devout Irish Catholic, house conservative to the Manhattan dinner party set, and would-be poet of blue-collar heroism. And that supposedly calls to mind tinkling china, Pomeranians in the lap, and the swish of a grand-dame's silks? You've got to be kidding. Unlike George and MM, Noonan has a pretty good eye for the telling detail.

But the grouching by George and MM pales compared to the gems from rcocean and skyler. According to the first, "the dumb-as-rocks Republicans nominated another Bob Dole, who really isn't FOR anything." He (I assume rcocean is a he) thinks that McCain's campaign "will preach this line: do you really want a black man whose middle name is Hussain as POTUS?" Oh, boy. Someone's off his meds. Skyler chimes in by dismissing McCain as a "delusional, hot-headed gnome," and offers the observation that the Repubs nominate only folks who are certifiably inarticulate or can't raise their arms over their head (war wounds and all that).

There's no point in engaging that sort of thing. Perhaps they're all just having a bad hair day. Everyone's entitled. Palladian dismisses similar nut-ball stuff from william s, and I think that's probably the best approach. If one tried to take that sort of commentary seriously, the only thing one could agree with is that some folks around here really are "dumb-as-rocks." It's just not McCain or the Rebus. I prefer to go with the bad-hair-day explanation instead.

Skyler said...

Dolan complains that the reference to "war wounds" is unfair.

But it is fair. Being a politician requires personal magnetism. That's a fact of life. If you have a disfigurement, that's okay, but you have to compensate by having some sort of likeable personality. Neither Dole or McCain are very likeable.

If you're unlikeable and you're disfigured and you're old and stodgy, it's pretty unlikely you'll convince people to follow you.

The tall guy almost always wins. Sad, but true.

Kirby Olson said...

His only real selling point is his race. Without that, he wouldn't be getting more than 10% of the vote. This is reverse discrimination run amok straight to the White House. The funny part is that it seems like it's going to actually work. Semiotically, the content of his speeches means nothing. His mojo is his race.

rhhardin said...

Imus prods Monica Crowley out of her tedious boilerplate mode into saying something interesting about Obama and McCain.

It sort of traces the Althouse arc.

But leaves guys behind, staring.

knoxwhirled said...

Peggy Noonan's not my fave, but there are some weird responses here.

Peggy Noonan is the Blanche DuBois of the pundit set.

Hysteria reigns supreme.


Peggy Noonan.... hysteria? I'll just say that's a pretty exaggerated characterization.

You have to take Noonan as speaking for women

Don't get this one either. I certainly disagree with her that the war is lost. A hell of a lot of other women do too. I mean, when we aren't down with the vapors, fanning ourselves and calling for our smelling salts...

former law student said...

She should have learned by now that specifics can be deadly. Peggy's most notable gaffe as speechwriter was her putting the words "Read my lips. No new taxes." in Bush sr.'s mouth. Not only did that sound absurd coming from a lipless man, but this memorable phrase boxed him in, to no discernible advantage. His inevitable breaking of this pledge ended his career.

His only real selling point is his race. Without that, he wouldn't be getting more than 10% of the vote.

I dunno. Obama did fairly well when the Reps leveled the playing field by running a black idea man like Alan Keyes against him. As you may recall, Keyes was the Ron Paul of his election cycle.

Obama's a black JFK -- looks good, sounds good, but where's the beef? The answer is that he's the beef, not his ideas or positions. This is called leadership, and you can't policy wonk yourself into it.

Freder Frederson said...

His only real selling point is his race. Without that, he wouldn't be getting more than 10% of the vote. This is reverse discrimination run amok straight to the White House.

I love this particular line of argument. What exactly was George W. Bush's selling point? His intellect, his sterling and distinguished record in business or as a one and a half term governor of a weak-governor state.

Oh yeah, his dad was president and you would rather have a beer with him than Al Gore.

Obama, if elected, will certainly be one of the most intelligent presidents ever elected. Even if you claim he got into the Ivy League schools he attended because of affirmative action, is that any worse than George Bush skating into Yale on a Legacy admission?

How long had Kennedy been in the Senate? Reagan was a B-movie actor who had served a couple terms as governor of California.

rhhardin said...

I don't get this one either

Women, as an example, attach interest to things that guys are not interested in at all. So they mention it, and consider it, and weigh it in.

Leaving the guys behind entirely. They who attach zero consideration to it.

Doyle said...

Peggy Noonan has been known to favor Republicans in her analysis of speechmaking ability (and everything else).

The woman was head over heels for George W. Bush, which tells you her judgment is about as good as Ann's.

rhhardin said...

Obama, if elected, will certainly be one of the most intelligent presidents ever elected.

Something for the guys!

Chip Ahoy said...

Wow.

Haters.

I'm leaving.

But first, *looks up amanuensis *

Ha ha ha, oh boy.

Roger said...

Ms. Noonan's criticism seems a bit misplaced. I tend to believe that Senator Obama's rhetorical skills give him a major advantage in this race, against both Ms. Clinton and Senator McC. If I want to check his deep thoughts I will read books he might have written (unless written by a ghostwriter).

Senator O has had the good fortune to be campaigning against Ms. Clinton who does not, IMO, have a great speaking voice and is too wonkish; and indirectly President Bush who has set the spoken Englisih language back several centuries. McCain also has a nasally and grating speaking voice. As much as I hate to admit it, these kinds of atomspherics matter very much at the subjective level.

knoxwhirled said...

rh,
No need to explain. I just thought it was pretty funny for someone to sum up all of Noonan's work as "speaking for women" since she's written a bunch of stuff that leaves me scratching my head.

Balfegor said...

Re: Frederson:

How long had Kennedy been in the Senate? Reagan was a B-movie actor who had served a couple terms as governor of California.

Wait, are you defending Obama or are you slyly pointing out how badly his resume stacks up against past presidents?

Kennedy had been a Senator for eight years, more than twice as long as Obama. He'd also been a Representative in the House for 6 years before that. Nevertheless, of the postwar presidents, Kennedy was probably the least prepared, his fine rhetoric notwithstanding, and it showed.

Reagan's eight years as the governor of the richest and most populous state in the nation are not even in the same league.

Bissage said...

* Reads Chip Ahoy’s 11:37 *

* Also looks up “amanuensis.” *

* Is chagrined to learn it is not a scoliotic condition of the spine secondary to osteoporosis *

* Laughs at self *

George said...

Well, I had to look up the word "anamaneusuensusuis" to see how it was spelled...

She comes across as quite ethereal and posh on TV, that's all....

Sloanasaurus said...

tend to believe that Senator Obama's rhetorical skills give him a major advantage in this race, against both Ms. Clinton and Senator McC. If I want to check his deep thoughts I will read books he might have written (unless written by a ghostwriter).

I think the point Noonan and many others are making, however, is that Obama's speaking ability can be too good to the point that people start to mock it or people start to worry that they are being beguiled by it.

Obama is already being mocked on talk-radio. It is pretty humorous stuff. If the mockery starts to break into the mainstream, Obama's speeches will start to lose their effectiveness because people will stop listening.

George said...

Also, last night Obama said he has 20 years "experience."

He started Harvard Law in 1988.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama, if elected, will certainly be one of the most intelligent presidents ever elected. How long had Kennedy been in the Senate? Reagan was a B-movie actor who had served a couple terms as governor of California.

How can you claim that Obama is one of the most intelligent? There are plenty of former presidents who have ivy league degrees. Besides, getting an ivy league degree is elitist and not an American virtue. Moreover, Obama is no intellectual. His speeches are inspirational, not intellectual.

If Obama gets elected he would be the most inexperienced president ever.

The only President with as little experience is perhaps Lincoln. However, Lincoln did stuff like taught himself to read, and worked his way up from poverty. He is truly a self made man, which is why comparisons to Lincoln by anyone today is a losing comparison.

Balfegor said...

The only President with as little experience is perhaps Lincoln. However, Lincoln did stuff like taught himself to read, and worked his way up from poverty. He is truly a self made man, which is why comparisons to Lincoln by anyone today is a losing comparison.

Well, I think there are probably other pre-war presidents with roughly as little experience as Lincoln. Pierce and Polk, for example, were not particularly distinguished before assuming the presidency, although both did have a longer history in high office than Lincoln had.

But it's worth noting that the Federal government each presided over was radically different from the Federal government post-Roosevelt. The immense bureaucratic expansion of the Federal Government, the explosion of its legal and regulatory powers that Roosevelt forced through, and the imperial role we assumed under Roosevelt (both Roosevelts, in fact), make the office of President one where experience of at least some sort is vastly more important than it was back in the day, when the American President was merely President of a second-rate power in the backwoods of the world, a republic of comparatively minor interest to the great powers of the world, with a federal government probably smaller than most modern state governments, and with a smaller population than modern states like California or Texas to boot. Not really comparable to the modern leviathan at all.

Kirby Olson said...

I just meant that within the Democratic party, race seems to be a big deal. Edwards had many of the same characteristics as Obama: intelligent, hard-working, his father worked in the meal, he had an attractive face, good haircut, etc. Was he any less articulate than B.O.?

The tallness meme may account for something, but Kerry was taller and was still treed by the Shrub.

At any rate, it's still very early in the game. One untoward squeal a la Howard Dean and it's game over.

Hillary should tear up more, and use crocodile tears all the way to the convention. The Boohoohoo Express.

That was her best move, semiotically.

It read as "I'm barely human."

Among Democrats at least what with all their sympathies, that stuff really provides momentum.

She should just say, "My feelings are really hurt that more people aren't voting for me," and then let the tears roll, baby, all the way to town.

I'd bet that she'd win all the remaining states with that ploy. Couldn't her costume people rig up a few artificial tears in case she couldn't supply them on demand, or at least give her some onions to smear in her eyes during the debates?

What's with her new team? They should get with it or Hillary's big chance, what she worked for all her life, will be gone. I'm tearing up.

PatCA said...

Obama's writers also lift words from movies, like Spike Lee's Malcom X. http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2008/02/obamboozled_did.html#comments

Again, who cares? But don't make a claim you're so original and new and pure, or someone will be sure to prove you aren't.

rcocean said...

Skyler:

You give Bob Dole too much credit, he wasn't anymore articulate than Bush I. So he's a twofer.

Dolan says:
"But the grouching by George and MM pales compared to the gems from rcocean..."

Thanks for the Compliment. And yes, I'm all man and have a pair of especially manly legs.

Palladian said...

"Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I've heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence."

Obama: triumph of the Word over Flesh.

Original Mike said...

What exactly was George W. Bush's selling point? His intellect, his sterling and distinguished record in business or as a one and a half term governor of a weak-governor state?

Oh yeah, his dad was president and you would rather have a beer with him than Al Gore.


Ah, Fred? He's chief selling point was that he was not Al Gore.

Too many jims said...

I am pretty sure John McCain has mentioned the words "naval aviator", I think he is plagiarizing "Top Gun".

MadisonMan said...

Richard, I'm not pretending that Peggy Noonan is Richard's 1st wife on Upstairs Downstairs. But reading her work as if she were makes her much more interesting. And that makes me crochety? Or you just needling me?

If being an American has taught me anything, it's that packaging matters. Madison Avenue and all that. Giving a speech is hard work. Especially if, as Ms. Noonan points out, the words aren't deep. I wonder if she meant to compliment Mr. Obama on his spellbinding delivery of substandard material. Given the noted deficiencies in the present President's speechifying capabilities, Obama's delivery is a welcome change, and something that the country could use.

caplight said...

Upstairs Downstairs--the best Masterpiece theater ever!

Peggy Noonan said, "But is it eloquence? No. Eloquence is deep thought expressed in clear words. With Mr. Obama the deep thought part is missing. What is present are sentiments."

The woman wrote for Ronald Reagan for crying out loud. She knows something about which she speaks.
Deal with the criticism--she is not alone even on the other side of the aisle in her assessment.
Hillary's speeches are, like Al Gore's, the nagging of a policy wonk. But Obama's strike many as sentiment without substantive ideas. Hopefully for him, in time those ideas will come with out the policy wonk details.
Peggy Noonan grew up with JFK and worked for the Great Communicator" so I think she has something to judge Obama against. Give her credit.

Freder Frederson said...

The woman wrote for Ronald Reagan for crying out loud. She knows something about which she speaks.


True, she knows all about writing speeches full of anecdote and sentiment but lacking in deep thought--exactly what she is accusing Obama of.

caplight said...

Freder Frederson

You were asleep during the Reagan years?

Richard Dolan said...

MM: Needling, mostly.

former law student said...

Also, last night Obama said he has 20 years "experience."

He started Harvard Law in 1988.


Many people had a life before law school. A 46 year old man claiming 20 years experience is unremarkable, once three years for the JD are subtracted.

I use the words hoodwinked, bamboozled, and yea, even flimflammed. To whom should I send my royalty payments?

I've got to ask: Did Noonan write Reagan's encomium to the valiant SS officers interred at Bitburg? Or who's responsible for that particular gaffe?

Kirby Olson said...

She says deep thought expressed in clear words is what comprises eloquence.

And then she says there's no deep thought.

But are the words clear?

What exactly does change mean?

What does it mean to say, Yes we can?

Nothing he says is clear to me. He says that he believes in reparations then gives you this bizarrely vague notion that it's not checks to individuals, but loans forgiven. What's he mean by that? How's he going to do that?

What is he going to do about the border, if anything?

What on earth is he saying? I don't think the words are clear, either.

And yet still everybody says how eloquent he is.

Is he somehow miming eloquence?

I would call Winston Churchill eloquent. In Churchill's great speeches there was clear imagery and deep thought. In ML King, there is deep thought, and clear imagery.

In Obama? I have no idea what's happening? I myself feel caught up in all the love and transcendence, and then think, what on earth is he really talking about?

And then I'm just confused. I can't seem to find anything there. It's like he has the rhythm of eloquence but none of the content.

He does talk about making everything free for just about everybody: college will be free, medicine will be free, no one will pay taxes, there will be no war, we will talk to all the bad people and they will like us, and yet we will still have a strong military, and blah blah blah.

Nothing in it adds up to anything but a vague sense of hope without any content or a clear sense of how he's going to get anything accomplished, and on top of it, he's taking lines from other people without credit, and then he says he had permission to do it.

It's odd. He'll probably still win the nomination. Then the heavy flak will begin, or so I assume. And maybe by then it will be too late, since he'll have all the major media on his side. Why is this happening?

rcocean said...

Bitburg was one of Reagan's finest hours. A lot of PC weenies got their panties in a bunch because Reagan wanted to honor the German and Americans soldiers who died fighting each other in 1944/45. But Reagan wasn't a Pander bear. He stood by Kohl and West Germany because he lived in the present and not the past.

Not like Bush or Clinton. Either of these two would would canceled the visit at a hint of protest and then given a 6 hour speech about how they didn't like the Germans and the Nazi's. And what brave fellows were for being against the SS; 40 years after the fact.

Cedarford said...

If Obama gets elected he would be the most inexperienced president ever.
The only President with as little experience is perhaps Lincoln. However, Lincoln did stuff like taught himself to read, and worked his way up from poverty. He is truly a self made man, which is why comparisons to Lincoln by anyone today is a losing comparison.


1. Lincoln had military experience as a militia officer.
2. Lincoln ran a successful business as a young man - flatboat, stevadoring.
3. Lincoln was a leader in the State of Illinois in law and business. Most of Lincoln's legal work was rationalizing and integrating his rail transportation clients with Lake and river transportation into the Chicago hub economy. A tremendous achievement.
4. Lincoln helped found the Republican Party. He was one of the most prominent leaders of his movement, selecting candidates for office across several states as well as being recognized as one of the most articulate and thoughtful national leaders in Free Soil politics.

As Lincoln' admirers note, he had a rich and varied life packed with varied experience before he ran for President.

Obama doesn't come close.
***********************
Former Law Student - I've got to ask: Did Noonan write Reagan's encomium to the valiant SS officers interred at Bitburg? Or who's responsible for that particular gaffe?

That was Pat Buchanan.

And the intent, which was well-appreciated by the German people, was about honoring the sacrifice, spirit, courage, and fighting ability of the German soldiers who fought on the "wrong side". Even Marshall Zhukov said that the SS Divisions he fought were the finest soldiers, man for man, of any he knew of.

Reagan had preceeded that with ceremonies at US, Free Polish, French and British military cemeteries at Normandy honoring Allied fallen.

Going to Bitburg was no different than us still honoring Lee and the men of Pickett's charge. Or on Iwo Jima, visiting Marines there to commemorate fellow Marines who fell there generations ago - also joining Japanese visitors lighting joss sticks to the fallen Japanese soldiers - for the magnificent bravery and sense of duty the Japanese defenders had.

Trooper York said...

Miss Peggy Noonan: Baron, I see that you have packed your saddlebags. Are you leaving me?
Baron Felix von Geigern: Yes my dumpling, all good things must come to an end. I must return to bathe my penis in the Danube, since the waters off of Manhattan has caused such shrinkage.
Miss Peggy Noonan: Please Baron; abide with me for a while. Have some tea. A crumpet. My amanuensis will manipulate you in that way you enjoy so much. I would do it myself, but I fear I am much too fatigued.
Baron Felix von Geigern: Alas that is the problem my little Irish strumpet. You are always fatigued.
Miss Peggy Noonan: Please Baron, it this setting not romantic? Listen to the rain beating against the window pane. Can you hear the cries of hungry and the homeless from the park? Dose this not bring joy to your soul? Please stay with me; if you leave I know not what I would do. I might seek to free myself from the surly bonds of earth.
Baron Felix von Geigern: I will not tie you up again my little simpering pervert. It is time to return to Vienna and my one true love.
Miss Peggy Noonan: I know you will return my dear Baron. You will yearn to sate you desires on my bloodless flesh. To trace the blue veins of my pale Irish skin with your talented tongue. You will return. Here, take this pomeranian puppy with you to remember me by. Tie him up and beat him and think of me.
Baron Felix von Geigern: Nut job.
Baron Felix von Geigern's Dog: Woof!
(Grand Hotel, 1932)

Fen said...

George, MM and others pretend that Noonan is a character from an Edwardian set-piece

For the Left. Noonan is the worst type of conservative - a former Democrat. And of course, one of the Bards behind the Reagan Revolution.

Fen said...

freder: >True, she knows all about writing speeches full of anecdote and sentiment but lacking in deep thought--exactly what she is accusing Obama of.

More sour grapes. Reagan is known as the Great Communicator not just because of how he said it, but what he said. No comparison between his words and Obama's empty platitudes.

"Assert and MoveOn" only works well for Obama because its what the Left has been doing for the last 8 years.

Trooper York said...

Miss Peggy Noonan: Hurray and pack a bag you slack jawed cretin. I must follow the Baron to Vienna. He is the love of my life. Only he can beat me the way I deserve. Raise the red welts of shame on my pink and pasty Irish skin. He is the only man who could satisfy me since my darling Ronnie went into his dotage. How he used to spank me with his brown wingtip shoes…never mind …hurray you fool!
Miss Peggy Noonan’s amanuensis: Ugggggh. Uggogga. Ugggggh.
Miss Peggy Noonan: Shut up you fool or I will beat you. There are millions of hungry mexicans who would love to take your place. Hurray (She begins to beat her amanuensis about the head with her chinese fan)
Miss Peggy Noonan: And when you are finished, put some vaseline on the spatula and come to my chamber. I crave release before I begin my journey.
Miss Peggy Noonan’s amanuensis: Yeeeeesssssssss Misssssssss.
(Grand Hotel, 1932)

Ralph said...

How he used to spank me with his brown wingtip shoes
"I first saw him as a foot, a highly polished brown cordovan wagging merrily on a hassock."
--Chapter 4, What I saw at the Revolution