Saturday, January 31, 2009

Voices floating across the wind...

Ever had this happen: you have a lurking sense about something, but can’t put your finger on what it is? You’re watching it happen, but can’t seem to describe what you're seeing? Yeah, me too. It's so frustrating not to be able to articulate what you know in your gut, & just as glorious to have your mind freed by the melodic tones of someone who just knows!

Every once in a while I run across a Master Wordsmith who knows just what I’m thinking & has a national stage to speak it. It happened just today. (Get the whole enchilada with the links, but here’s the jist of it.)

Peggy Noonan on stimulus rediculous (emphasis mine):

“Look At the Time”

“President Obama could have made big history here. Instead he just got a win... But do you know anyone, Democrat or Republican, dancing in the street over this? You don't. Because most everyone knows it isn't a good bill, and knows that its failure to receive a single Republican vote, not one, suggests the old battle lines are hardening…Not very inspiring. The president will enjoy short-term gain…But for the long term, the president made a mistake by not forcing the creation of a bill Republicans could or should have supported…

The final bill was privately agreed by most and publicly conceded by many to be a big, messy, largely off-point and philosophically chaotic piece of legislation…This newspaper [Wall Street Journal] argues that only 12 cents of every dollar is for something that could plausibly be called stimulus.”

“There's a broad feeling…that we lived through magic times the past half-century, and now the nonmagic time has begun, and it won't be over next summer…That's what the stimulus bill was about—not knowing what time it is, not knowing the old pork-barrel, group-greasing ways are over, done, embarrassing. When you create a bill like that, it doesn't mean you're a pro, it doesn't mean you're a tough, no-nonsense pol. It means you're a slob. (Oh, no she di'ent!)

That's how the Democratic establishment in the House looks, not like people who are responding to a crisis, or even like people who are ignoring a crisis, but people who are using a crisis. Our hopeful, compelling new president shouldn't have gone with this bill. He made news this week by going to the House to meet with Republicans. He could have made history by listening to them.” (ouch!)

And then Peter Bergowitz on Bush Hater/ObaManiacs & twisted alter egos (emphasis mine, again):

“Bush Hatred and Obama Euphoria Are Two Sides of the Same Coin”

“Now that George W. Bush has left the harsh glare of the White House & Barack Obama has settled into the highest office in the land, it might be reasonable to suppose that Bush hatred & Obama euphoria will begin to subside. Unfortunately, there is good reason to doubt that…these dangerous political passions will soon lose their potency.

At first glance, Bush hatred & Obama euphoria could not be more different. Hatred of Mr. Bush went well beyond the partisan broadsides typical of democratic politics. For years it disfigured its victims with open, indeed proud, loathing for the very manner in which Mr. Bush walked & talked. It compelled them to denounce the president & his policies as not merely foolish or wrong or contrary to the national interest, but as anathema to everything that made America great.

In contrast, the Euphoria surrounding Mr. Obama's run for president conferred upon the candidate immunity from criticism despite his newness to national politics & lack of executive experience, & regardless of how empty his calls for change.”

“In fact, Bush hatred & Obama euphoria -- which tend to reveal more about those who feel them than the men at which they are directed -- are opposite sides of the same coin. Both represent the triumph of passion over reason. Both are intolerant of dissent. Those wallowing in Bush hatred & those reveling in Obama euphoria frequently regard those who don’t share their passion as contemptible and beyond the reach of civilized discussion. Bush hatred & Obama euphoria typically coexist in the same soul.

Bush hatred & Obama euphoria are particularly toxic because they thrive in & have been promoted by the news media, whose professional responsibility, it has long been thought, is to gather the facts & analyze their significance, & by the academy, whose scholarly training, it is commonly assumed, reflects an aptitude for & dedication to systematic study & impartial inquiry.

From the avalanche of vehement & ignorant attacks on Bush v. Gore…to the remarkable lack of interest in Mr. Obama's career in Illinois politics…wide swaths of the media & the academy have concentrated on stoking passions rather than appealing to reason.

Some will speculate that the outbreak of hatred & euphoria in our politics is the result of the transformation of left-liberalism into a religion, its promulgation as dogma by our universities, & students' absorption of their professors' lesson of immoderation. This is unfair to religion.

…By assembling & maintaining faculties that think alike about politics & think alike…our universities cultivate intellectual conformity & discourage the exercise of reason in public life. It is not that our universities invest the fundamental principles of liberalism with religious meaning…Rather, they infuse a certain progressive interpretation of our freedom & equality with sacred significance, zealously requiring not only outward obedience to its policy dictates, but inner persuasion of the heart and mind. This transforms dissenters into apostates or heretics, and leaders into redeemers…” (That's gonna leave a mark...)

And now back to little ol' me...

When you see your own previously-unsorted thoughts right before your eyes, written from someone else’s mind, “it’s like the galvanizing encouragement of hearing voices floating across the wind, when you fear you’re stranded in the valley. It’s the hope that spurs your search for them, the joy of recognizing their language as your own, & the assurance that settles deep in your soul when you find that you are, indeed, not alone.” (Okay. Please forgive a nascent wordsmith for quoting herself – I’m really sorry, it just seemed to fit the moment)…

It’s a glorious sensation really, like a thrill running up my leg, that – if people with bigger, smarter, more respected voices than yours keep talking - maybe, just perhaps, things might eventually be okay after all.

Let’s hope, & let's pray.



Melonie said...

Yow - I think she jabbed a few folk with the knitting needle with that one!

Thanks for your lovely comment on my (soon-to-be gone) blog. I'd like to officially invite you over to the new one, Wandering Quail Road. :-)

And yes, I did enjoy NC. My father was stationed at Ft. Bragg and we lived in two different houses in Fayetteville. (A rental, then they bought a house for the rest of our time there.) I hear things are different from when I was an Army brat, but certain things in the military never change. *chuckle*

Susannah said...

Hi Melonie! Don't you just love Peggy Noonan? Occasionally she veers off course for my taste, but by & large she's spot on!

Thanks for stopping by. I'll pop on over to your new blog in a minute (Curious - are you just changing themes?).

Hey, I used to play soccer tournaments in Fayetteville. Hot, flat, dusty, but nice people!