October 10, 2008

"It was a strategic mistake to send Sarah Palin out on the stump as warrior girl. Mr. McCain is war-y enough."

Writes Peggy Noonan. I don't know about that. We like our warrior girl... some of us. Those that don't like Palin the Warrior aren't going to like Palin the "social conservative who is for diplomacy, for an easy-does-it approach to foreign affairs," are they? But I agree with Noonan about this:
Both campaigns, in the closing stretch, seem not fully worthy of the moment. We are in crisis—a once-in-a-century event, as we now say. And what we got from the candidates, in this week's presidential debate, was a bunch of gummy meanderings—smooth, rounded sentences so full of focus-grouped inanities that six minutes in viewers entered a kind of trance in which we almost immediately gave up on trying to wrest meaning from what was being said and instead focused on mere impressions.


Noonan has a way with words. Note that she wrote "meanderings" where many writers would use "maundering." Here's the American Heritage Dictionary on "maundering":
1. To talk incoherently or aimlessly. 2. To move or act aimlessly or vaguely; wander.
Sounds exactly right, no? But then:
ETYMOLOGY: Probably dialectal variant of meander (probably influenced by wander).
Interesting! Noonan rises above the dialectical variant.


LarsPorsena said...

I finally figured out that Peggy Noonan is just David Gergen in drag.

downtownlad said...

They're both campaigning. They're trying to get votes. Campaigning is different than governing. I don't think what they actually say on the stup gives us a clue as to how they'll actually govern. I think how they campaign gives us a clue as to how they'll govern.

Rich Beckman said...

"Note that she wrote 'meanderings' where many writers would use 'maundering'."

It's funny how we live in such a small world, but there are still pockets that do not overlap.

If Peggy had used "maundering", I would have assumed that "meandering" had gotten mistyped. I don't recall ever coming across the word "maundering".

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm a conservative and I always found her tiresome.

downtownlad said...

And sorry. But Bush is completely incompetent. He's invisible. How the wingnuts can think otherwise is beyond me. It reminds me of how he reacted immediately following 9/11.

Someone tell Bush that he's still the President until January. Please rise to the occasion. The country needs you.

Doyle said...

More like Idiot Girl.

Bender said...

Just exactly who does Noonan think she is speaking to these days? Because it is not conservatives, what with her repeated, elitist slams against them in recent years.

Rich B said...

Now if Bush would just implement Barack Obama's fiendishly clever solution, everything would be fine.

Out, damned Bush!

Darcy said...

I think Peggy Noonan is a good speechwriter, and a nice lady. I don't think she is very conservative, though.

Original George said...

Peggy Noonan: Born in Brooklyn. Lives in Manhattan brownstone. Honorary PhDs. Married and divorced to US Chamber economist. One child. Writes for Wall St. J.

Sarah Palin: Hick. TV reporter. Married. Five kids. Husband has chain saw.

Next question...

KLDAVIS said...

Note that she wrote "meanderings" where many writers would use "maundering."

Really? I don't recall ever seeing the word "maundering" before, and I consider myself to be pretty well read. In fact, Google shows more than a million hits for "meanderings" (~4.5M for meandering) and "maundering" only gets 60k.

john said...

Original George -

You forgot to mention the snowmobile. No overlap indeed!

"Honorary PhD", my ass. (Oops, that would have to be her nose in someone else's ass.)

Host with the Most said...

As a longtime admirer and someone who owns two signed books from Peggy Noonan, I am so tired of her covering her Manhattan ass in order to make certain she gets her West Side invites.

Put me down as a regular American guy fed up with the elites of either party.

rastajenk said...

I still think she's hot. I'd enjoy a nooner with the Noonan anytime. A little deviation from the standard isn't going to sway me.

Doyle said...

I am so tired of her covering her Manhattan ass in order to make certain she gets her West Side invites.

Manhattan? Burn her!!! BUUUUURN HER!

Triangle Man said...

I question this somewhat. Are the candidates supposed to be acting presidential and leading us out of the crisis, even though they don't yet have the authority to do anything? Right now this is President Bush's job. He has settled to quickly and quietly into the role of the lame duck.

From the perspective of the election, Peggy Noonan makes an important point that McCain has been busy trying to scare people away from Obama instead of giving people compelling reasons to vote for McCain.

She said:

The McCain campaign has famously spent the past week trying to increase doubts as to Mr. Obama's nature, background, intentions. Their crowds have been irascible. Here is a warning for Republicans: When your crowds go from "I love you" to "I hate the other guy," you are in trouble, you are on a losing strain. Winning campaigns are built on love. This is the time for "McCain is the answer," not "The other guy is questionable."

Lem said...

Palin came close to saying something at the debate.

"Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don't live outside of our means. We need to make sure that as individuals we're taking personal responsibility through all of this.

But then she sort of took it back.

It's not the American peoples fault that the economy is hurting like it is, but we have an opportunity to learn a heck of a lot of good lessons through this and say never again will we be taken advantage of.

No one took heat after 9/11, and I suspect no one will take heat now either.

Mateo said...

Now "warrior girl" Palin is a negative for Noonan?

Wasn't Noonan the one, when asked how Palin did in the debate, gushed, "She killed!"?

jdeeripper said...

Good to see Peggy Noonan still hasn't gotten over high school.

We all know Sarah Palin is never going to be in Peggy's clique.

"We don't like Sarah, do we girls"

dualdiagnosis said...

Noonan has spent way too much time "in the bubble", she has gone over to the dark side.

Noonan and Brooks are the out of touch elitists on the "conservative" side.

Both of them need to spend some time in small town Wal Marts.

Original George said...

Good Mamas and the Papas song..."Maundy, Maundy"

The Deacon said...

What the hell do you expect Obama to do in this political environment? He's a black democrat and he's ahead. He know if he sticks his neck, or anything else, out even an inch, your "warriors" are ready with hatchets to chop it off. I'd prefer an effective manager to a warrior in office, myself.

Michael said...

I love the way most here immediately jump all over anyone who has the audacity to criticize any of their heroes or policies they support...even those who are long time Republicans.

Most here just CAN NOT STAND to hear anything they don't already believe or want to be so.

paul a'barge said...

Peggy Noonan. Andrew Sullivan. How can you tell them apart?

Peggy Noonan is the Blanche Dubois of punditry.

Skyler said...

Meander is a much more common word than maunder is, why would anyone expect her to say maunder?

But then, it is Peggy Noonan. I always gleaned from her writing that she was a snobby and pretentious person. I saw her last week on the Daily Show and my opinion was confirmed. I think someone as insufferably snobbish and pretentious as her might be expected to use maunder instead of the much more common meander.

Lem said...

Some of the Enron people at the top went to jail.

A lot of people looked the other way here. We know how they are.

After the Clintons and Judge Starr there is probably no stomach for an independent counsel. But we got to start somewhere.

We cannot afford to repeat this. Hell, the way we are going we may not get a chance to.

kynefski said...

Both campaigns, in the closing stretch, seem not fully worthy of the moment. We are in crisis—a once-in-a-century event, as we now say. And what we got from the candidates, in this week's presidential debate, was a bunch of gummy meanderings...

And I'm not the least disappointed in either of them. They can't be expected to better know what's going on than economists, and diving into the discussion in a campaign would be foolish.

They should be saying what they have been saying: My friends, there are betters days ahead. You may think it corny, but that's what we expect and need from politicians in times like this.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Aren't you supposed to spell it "grrl" when you use it like that?

Arturius said...

I love the way most here immediately jump all over anyone who has the audacity to criticize any of their heroes or policies they support...even those who are long time Republicans.

So do I because it shows that conservatives have the ability to question and disagree among their own collegues as opposed to liberals who have a tendency to purge those who don't adhere to strict party dogma.

While diversity is more than just sex and race but also opinions. Noonan has a right to hers and I have a right to disagree with it.

Revenant said...

Peggy Noonan doesn't get Palin; she never has. She writes the occasional pro-Palin article, but that's her job as a Republican shill.

dualdiagnosis said...

Ann- Can you get a bloggingheads matchup with Peggy vs Paglia on Palin, feminism, and party dogma?

I would pay to watch that one.

Oligonicella said...

"Note that she wrote 'meanderings' where many writers would use 'maundering'."

While I know the word from dictionary reading, I don't recall any author using it. At least, not at a level that it stood out. Maybe in one of those pretentious Wuthering Heights wanna-be's kind of thing Skyler kind of implied.

Meandering is far more frequent. Or, maybe I just haven't noticed, maundering not really having an aesthetic that appeals to me.

Palladian said...

Peggy is more butch than Andrew Sullivan.

vbspurs said...

Let's see the journalists conservatives that get a lot of traction for being conservative in mainstream media:

David Brooks
Peggy Noonan
Andrew Sullivan

Yep. The epitome of conservatism, all.


integrity said...

Poor Peggy Noonan, trapped in a party with a bunch of unsophisticated animals that scare the shit out of her. Wouldn't it be great if she could say publicly what she REALLY thinks?

Rachel said...

Why would someone use the word maundering when they meant meandering?

I don't think I've ever seen the word before. I'd assume that it had some relation to the word "maudlin" if I had to guess.

Rachel said...

Oh man, that was me!


memomachine said...


Noonan's problem is that, in this case, she is intellectually lazy.


Because she based her criticism of Palin from the ABC interview that aired rather than the actual transcript. And as many conservatives know ABC very creatively edited Palin's responses in order to make her look more like a warrior type than she actually was.

Frankly this isn't exactly difficult stuff. The transcript and the differences between the ABC broadcast and Palin's actual words were plastered all over the conservative and Republican blogs.

*shrug* frankly there are very few pundits I listen to and Noonan isn't one of them.

sg said...

Peggy Noonan has a flowery yet vapid writing style. The first time through one of her pieces, I ask myself, "Wow, was that profound?" The second time through, I convince myself, "No, that was pretty insipid."

Ms. Noonan has joined a long line of so-called "conservatives" who, in their desire to be employed as regular talking heads on liberal TV news shows, have sold their souls to become "smart" conservatives: i.e., "conservatives" who criticize other conservatives.

Other examples:

David Brooks
George Will
Mike Murphy
David Gergen
Kathleen Parker
David Frum

Pat Buchanan isn't included on this list, even though he appears on MSNBC and criticizes Republicans. He's always done that. Plus, he's funnier than the rest of them, and he has this chop thing he does with his hand. What a hoot!

Andrew Sullivan, of course, isn't on this list, either. He's a "conservative" only in his addled mind.