THE BIDEN ECLIPSE AND THE TRUMP PLATEAU: Peggy Noonan makes a couple of miscalculations in her latest essay. First on Hillary and Obama in 2008, Noonan writes, “The 2008 Democratic contest was a rush to the center, with both leading Democrats, Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama, trying to show they were moderates at heart.”
But in retrospect, that isn’t quite accurate. In January of 2008, Obama famously told the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle in a chilling monotone that “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted…Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
But being good Democrat operatives with bylines, they buried the story instead of realizing the front page scoop they were just handed — “LEADING DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO BANKRUPT COAL INDUSTRY.” In the fall of 2008, Obama’s future Secretary of Energy Steven Chu mumbled, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” to the yawn of a largely urban elite MSM who entirely agreed with his punitive goals.
Similarly, when news that Obama spent nearly two decades in the church of a radical socialist — and racist — who shouted “God damn America” in his “sermons,” the media built a wall around Obama that CNN dubbed — on the air while “interviewing” Obama — as “The Wright-Free Zone.” Much the same was true of Obama’s elitist bitter clingers speech.
It wouldn’t have taken much from old media to highlight Obama’s inner liberal fascist and egg him on to reveal more of it, but 2008 was the year in which any vestigial claims of “objectivity” were completely discarded and the mask was dropped.
Which brings us to Noonan’s second misfire, in which she writes:
The only thing I feel certain of is how we got here. There are many reasons we’re at this moment, but the essential political one is this: Mr. Obama lowered the bar. He was a literal unknown, an obscure former state legislator who hadn’t completed his single term as U.S. senator, but he was charismatic, canny, compelling. He came from nowhere and won it all twice. All previously prevailing standards, all usual expectations, were thrown out the window.
Anyone can run for president now, and in the future anyone will. In 2020 and 2024 we’ll look back on 2016 as the sober good ol’ days. “At least Trump had business experience. He wasn’t just a rock star! He wasn’t just a cable talk-show host!”
Yes, the road to Idiocracy’s President Camacho is paved with good intentions — not the least of which from pundits who held themselves out as conservatives, yet found themselves writing in the fall of 2008:
The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes:
He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief. He climbed steep stairs, born off the continent with no father to guide, a dreamy, abandoning mother, mixed race, no connections. He rose with guts and gifts. He is steady, calm, and, in terms of the execution of his political ascent, still the primary and almost only area in which his executive abilities can be discerned, he shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make. We witnessed from him this year something unique in American politics: He took down a political machine without raising his voice.
You don’t need to speak very loudly when all of your enablers and useful idiots have the megaphones (and the Memory Hole.)