Peggy Noonan Wishes Barack Obama Could Be A Dead Pope
She had begun to feel stultified and dull, cooped up in New York. Her favorite saloons, those places where she could pop in any time of the day or night for a nip of sherry or a bottle of Bombay Sapphire, had begun to feel soiled and low-rent, populated with goatee-sporting, noodle-armed young men wearing skinny jeans, out for an exciting night of slumming at dive bars across the City. Her last few columns for theWall Street Journal, that mastubatorium for the wealthy, had been stunningly, remarkably sane and coherent. She needed a change of scenery, a shot in the arm for her important work of typing lies that rich people could read on the car ride to their mahogany-empaneled offices in the morning.
So she turned her eyes to Rome, to the canonization of a pope. Two popes, really, but one of them had dared attempt to liberalize her church, to try to drag it, if not into the twentieth century, at least in the century’s general vicinity. She was more concerned with another pope, a man she had known during her years working in the White House under Saint Ronnie of Santa Barbara. That first pope? Fuck him.
Great leaders are clear, honest, suffer for their stands and are brave. They conduct a constant dialogue. At the end, when they are gone, the crowd declares what they heard. When John Paul died, they issued their judgment: He was a saint.
Except for all the kiddie-diddling among the priests, about which he did zilch. If you’re going to pin John Paul’s successes on him, he also has to own his failures.
Popes aren't presidents, and presidents aren't saints. Both operate within wildly different realities and have wholly different obligations, so to compare the two isn't quite just.
Wait for it…
And yet I couldn't help think the past week of President Obama, whom I started to think of as poor Obama -- whose failings as a leader are now so apparent, and seem so irremediable, partly because they spring from not only his nature and personality but his misunderstanding of what leaders do.
And there we go.
How wonderful it would be to see an American president appreciate all the possibilities of becoming a great energy-producing nation -- all the new technologies and jobs, all the rebound they'd bring.
We don’t think she means the kind of work done by the infamous Solyndra or any other green technology company that causes George Will’s head to spin around as far as his bowtie will let it.
Instead what we see is a ticket-checking approval, coupled with a wary, base-pandering, foot-dragging series of decisions such as the latest delay of the Keystone pipeline.
Hey look, we’re psychic.
The aspect of the presidency he seems to enjoy most is the perks -- the splashy vacations, the planes, the hoops, the golf. When his presidency is over there will be the perks of the post-presidency -- foundations, libraries, million-dollar speeches, staff, protection.
Ugh, the vacations. Take two weeks in your home state of Hawaii -- AT CHRISTMAS -- every year and it’s a splashy vacation to the wingnuts. Obama has taken far less vacation time than his predecessor, but Dubya liked to go to the ranch he kept for photo-ops and whack at some bushes with a shovel, so he was a manly man, unlike the effete law professor. And since when is a game of basketball with some friends a perk? By that standard there are millions of people in parks all over America at this very moment engaging in presidential-level privilege.
So no, you don't get the impression he'll have to suffer for where he stands, or who he is.
Yeah, he should be made to suffer like Reagan for his crimes…okay, how about Nixon for his...all right, how about all the suffering of Dubya and his coterie of criminal reprobates…
Fine, let’s just give it a hearty Fuck you Peggy and start the day-drinking.