Thursday, February 19, 2004

I think it's stupid.

The Washington Post had a feature where readers sent in letters for Peggy Noonan to answer: Here is one of the exchanges that got my goat and really made Noonan sound like a class A buffoon:

Kansas City, Mo.: Excuse me? "Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man." He used connections to bypass 500 others to get in the Guard, his father's friends helped him in the oil and baseball business, and he's in the White House thanks to people his dad appointed. So how is that average? Sounds a lot more like the triumph of the well-connected American man.

Peggy Noonan: Put your resentment away for a second and consider this. There's a funny thing about Bush. He started life with all the advantages -- parents, security, standing. And yet I have noticed there is about him the lack of smoothness, and the chippiness, of one who is self made. He's not like some smooth countryclub entitlement baby, he's rougher and less...lemonade on the porch in Greenwhich-y. I think it's Texas. What do you think?

She baiscally acknowledges that Bush is a member of the American elite, but since he is an uncouth jerk he is really jus' plain folks. In the first place, that seems to be an insult to plain folks, equating being ordinary with being an absolute boob. There is also some interesting logic at work here. Noonan's reasoning suggests that image is the same as a identity and that the truth is entirely irrelevent, which does not strike me as the best philosophy for a quasi-journalist to have.


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