Peggy Noonan has noticed (finally!) that Barack Obama isn’t all that likeable a guy:
Something’s happening to President Obama’s relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, “Nothing new there,” but actually I think there is. I’m referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.
It’s not due to the election, and it’s not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn’t happening.
What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who’s not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it’s his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it’s a big fault.
The former Reagan speechwriter ticks through a few reasons that Obama has recently come across as an “operator,” beginning with the conscience-violating abortifacient mandate on January 20, continuing through the hot mic promise to the Russians and Obama’s self-centered quip about the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and landing on this week’s ObamaCare action in the Supreme Court, and irresponsibility of the law that made that action necessary.
Noonan, recall, had a revealing open mic moment of her own in 2008. She and Mike Murphy, on MSNBC, snarked at Gov. Sarah Palin.
That was in September 2008. A little over a month later, the former Reagan speechwriter was making the case for Barack Obama’s election to the presidency. His qualifications? None. He had never governed or run anything of note. He was a template. Noonan bought into the, in her own words, “bullsh*t narrative” of a black man winning a primary in Alabama and then the American presidency.
Some of her friends who saw Obama for what he really is — a closet radical with a warped view of America, and sheathed plans to remake her into something the people did not want and were not voting for — tried to warn Noonan. I was there, working on the Ingraham show. Noonan came in for a guest slot, and Laura laid out a convincing case against Obama in that way that a former Supreme Court clerk can. Noonan, Frum, from the sound of that clip Murphy — so many nominally Republican figures fell for Obama while the grassroots out in flyover country never did.
Obama never was a particularly smooth operator. It wasn’t difficult to see through him. One only had to pay attention to the things he said before he was a national figure, and he was never shy about running his mouth. One only had to do a cursory background check on his friends — Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, etc. Anyone of so little accomplishment who had written two autobiographies by age 40 is literally an open book, and in one of those books he confessed to hanging out with Marxists on campus. When he later talked about “spreading the wealth around,” a person of letters such as Noonan should have noticed a connection. Obama’s extreme self-regard has never been hidden very well. It also wasn’t difficult to see that Both John McCain and Sarah Palin were more qualified than Obama and Joe Biden, who has gotten every major issue over the last 30 years dead wrong, in 2008. To see that, though, one had to look past McCain’s age and temper and Palin’s non-East Coast accent. One had to see that there is more to the presidency than presentation and campaigning and debating. One had to see that qualifications and records matter. One would expect a former Reagan speechwriter, of all people, to see that before the rest of us did and warn us, not the other way around.
It’s good that Peggy Noonan may finally be seeing all that now. It is fair to wonder, though, what took her so bloody long.