Peggy Noonan Tries To Pretend GOP Base Is Not Made Up Of Raging, Irrational Lunatics


Summer in New York, and the stench of the garbage piled in the streets could not reach the sealed crypt, high above the bustling streets, where Sister Peggy Noonan of Our Lady of the Stinger With a Whiskey Back bided her time. Let other New Yorkers escape to the Hamptons, or their country homes, or their tenement rooftops! No, Peggy would stay right here, fortified by her estrogen pills and crates of Old Raj, monitoring the primary elections for signs and portents, promises and perils, fading stars gracefully winking out from the firmament.

In fact, here was one now. Eric Cantor, the first Southern Jew she had approved of since Judah Benjamin. Such a shame about his primary loss! The Republicans in the House had lost a fantastic token … um, leader to stand at the head of their ranks, urging them once more unto the breach in service of some lost cause or other. Now that she thought about it, the parallels with Judah Benjamin were truly uncanny.

Through an unforeseen and truly national humiliation, Mr. Cantor showed grace under pressure. It is now almost startling when political figures comport themselves with class and take responsibility for failure. Good for him for reminding people how it's done.

Peggy is always big on people comporting themselves with grace, as she mentions in damn near every column. Cantor’s loss was only unforeseen to people who were not paying attention, though granted this includes your Wonkette, the vast majority of political observers and, apparently, Cantor himself.

Yet on immigration it must be said that a lot of Republican voters are wary of reform measures for reasons that are not in the least ideological.

The hell it’s not. Everything at this level is ideological in some way.

Their opposition and suspicion has to do with common-sense questions. At a time of high chronic unemployment, in what way is it helpful to summon into the labor force a flood of new, low-wage workers?

Peggy, how many of the busboys and bodega workers in your beloved Manhattan already come from a pool of low-wage illegals that have flooded America’s labor force? What do you think at least some of those Mexicans you see on the street when you venture forth from your lair are doing there? As for the high chronic unemployment, the folks in VA-07 did not vote against Cantor because they want to keep those sweet cashier gigs at McDonald’s for themselves and out of the hands of undocumented immigrants. Those for whom immigration is an issue voted against Cantor because ZOMG OUR TAXES ARE PAYING FOR SCARY BROWN PEOPLE TO COLLECT WELFARE AND SUCK UP ALL THE HEALTHCARE and Dave Brat promised that even DREAMer amnesty is off the table. Of course once the media attention dies down, Dave Brat (assuming he wins in November) will be just another first-term congressman with all the influence of a fly fart, but we’ll let the wingnuts figure that out on their own.

The base not unreasonably assumes any reform will address the interests of the party and of Wall Street but not necessarily the nation.

The base wraps itself in the flag and screams about the good of the nation because it’s too stupid to recognize and accept the country’s changing demographics that are pushing white people into the minority. It would be very much in the nation’s long-term interest to be more welcoming to immigrants, and very much in the interests of the Republican Party as well. The two are not mutually exclusive, even if Peggy and the nutters don’t realize it.

When Peggy tries to sympathize with the GOP base, she sounds like an anthropologist living with an isolated tribe of cannibals in the Brazilian rain forest and complimenting the human flesh they eat as being very tasty, while secretly wishing for a bush pilot to airdrop a crate of peppercorns on the savages' heads. It has been this way every time she has written about the Tea Party going back at least to that time she tried to get Zombie Robert Taft to offer the Tea Party some of his sage wisdom. God we wish she would retire.

There is no relief from the Democrats or the president, who appears highly unflustered by the gathering crisis. Keeping immigration unresolved keeps parts of his base energized and bright with grievance and drives Republicans to murder their own. It is win-win for Democrats; either they get a comprehensive bill that serves their party's interests, or they'll get no bill, which serves their party's interests.

Incisive analysis that surely explains why the Democrat-controlled Senate passed an immigration reform bill a year ago that the GOP-controlled House has never taken up and has gone out of its way to announce it will not touch with a ten-foot burrito. And it would be damn well within the Democrats’ interest to get reform passed in an election year, and then to point to it every chance they get as the interminable campaign for 2016 ramps up, lest the Hispanic voters start wondering if they have picked the wrong horse and take a second look at the GOP. Seriously Peggy, this is basic stuff.

Any Republican leader has to tack between the party proper and the tea party. "Cantor would do his moderate thing on immigration and then be Mr. Tough Conservative on Iran," said a congressional aide. Some of his so-called moderate moves were murked up by rumors of secret deals on issues the base viewed as a threat.

Eric Cantor, the guy who engineered House Republicans’ unanimous refusal to vote for the Affordable Care Act, the leader who torpedoed budget deals that caused the government to shut down and nearly forced the country to default on its financial obligations, still on a couple of occasions he actually agreed to pass bills and govern like an actual legislator. For this he was pushed out of office, and Peggy Noonan doesn’t see why this is insane.

Good Lord, some weeks we think there isn’t enough Old Raj to ease the pain of this exercise.



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