Sunday, April 24, 2011

Peggy Noonan says nothing again

Ok, my title is an exaggeration, just like her title, "Obama is Likely to Lose." Here is what she really said: if the Republicans nominate an intelligent moderate, Obama is beatable. 
Meanwhile, the Republican frontrunner is Donald Trump.
And why is Obama so beatable? Obama is down in the polls. That's it. She does make some other claims, like Paul Ryan "outclassed" Obama with his "seriousness and substance," followed by her citation to polls showing Obama is down. Of course, the logical polls to illustrate a comparison between the proposals presented by Ryan and Obama are the polls showing public response to the ideas in those proposals. But those polls show most Americans agree with Obama's, so they are omitted.
But Noonan cannot even fairly cite her irrelevant polls. She claims Obama has suffered a devastating loss of white support. Rather than comparing the percentage of whites who voted for Obama to the percentage who now support him, she compares the percent who claimed to support him on inauguration day with the latest favorability. This gives a decline of 20%, from 60 to 40. But only 43% of whites voted for Obama, so the real decline is within the margin of error.
From here she goes to the Fox talking points, to wit, Obama concentrated on health care rather than the economic crash, jobs, and spending. And now, he has finally come around to talking about spending.
This, again, is simply dishonest. Health care reform was necessary to control the cost of health care, and to make our products competitive with other countries. Why do we import automotive parts from Canada? Because their health care adds less to the cost of their parts.
And why did Obama spend so much money during his first two years? Because it was necessary to run short term deficits to recover from the economic crash facilitated, if not created, by the Republicans. And even then, the first year's deficit, for which she blames Obama, was created and signed by Bush.
So it is disingenuous to say that, because Obama used stimulus spending during his first two years, he is not concerned about long run deficits. They are different issues.
Next, Noonan accuses Obama of being "disrespectful" to Paul Ryan, who is honestly alarmed by the deficit. Who is this Paul Ryan who deserves so much respect for his serious proposal to solve the deficit problem? He is the same guy who voted for spending on, but not paying for, Afghanistan, Iraq, Medicare D, and the Bush tax cuts.
And what could be more dishonest than Noonan’s accusation that Obama is making entitlement spending political. It was Obama who tried the adult conversation on health care. It was the Republicans who effectively ended town hall meetings in Democratic districts with right wing screamers about death panels and government takeover of Medicare.
Noonan concludes with a plea for the adults in the GOP to nominate someone who is not "strange, extreme or barely qualified." This is what they have done traditionally, she says. All they have to do to beat Obama is follow their established tradition.
How about the 2008 VP nominee? Isn’t that the traditional choice?

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