Peggy Noonan Is Wrong, Again, About the Tea Party, Politics, and Freedom

At a blog I used to write for regularly before joining The Heartland Institute, I used to specialize in take-downs of Peggy Noonan. Bless her heart, but she never really got Barack Obama, and still doesn’t get today’s political scene.

During the campaign of 2008, Noonan fawned o…

  1. Crow

    I have nothing to add. Well said, Jim.

  2. Jim Lakely

    Thanks, Crow.

  3. Brian Watt

    I think it’s time for Ms. Noonan to retire. She increasingly comes across as a doddering old fool rather than the insightful  intellect she once was. I know that may sound harsh but there comes a time in many a pundit’s life when they need to be led out to pasture. She should be thanked for her contributions but not looked upon for any serious discussion about the future of the Republican Party. She, and many establishment Republicans  who are inclined to belittle the Tea Party movement, don’t quite get it – that their longing to reach across the aisle and be well-liked has led to the ever increasing creep of socialism and centralization of power in D.C. 

    Well done, Jim. Keep up the good work!

  4. Lord Humungus
    Jim Lakely

    Here it is in two sentences: Your life belongs to you. The limited time you have on Earth should be spent pursuing the needs and desires of you and your family, not following the aims and instructions of the bureaucrats and politicians in government.


    Jim Lakely 

    But if that’s not the message of the GOP, then it should go the way of the Whigs — and those who cherish their freedom and want to be left alone by the government will fine another political avenue.


    p.s. Peggy who?

  5. Jim Lakely

    Thanks, Brian.

    I used to be a big fan of her style. It was self-indulgent, but she had a unique voice and I thought really offered insights that many other conservative columnists didn’t. Then she got infatuated with Obama as Man of History … and she has been unreadable ever since.

  6. Schrodinger
    Central Scrutinizer

    Jim Lakely



    Jim Lakely 



    p.s. Peggy who? · 4 minutes ago

    Peggy Whonan?

    Came from Yunan.

    Once was human.

    Now a strawman.

    (Well a straw woman anyway)

  7. Twin

    I canceled my WSJ subscription because of her. Why help pay her salary. I have not missed it. Glad to see my thoughts endorsed.Twin

  8. Franciscus


  9. Underground Conservative

    And to stomp on two of the finest candidates we have in the hopper at the moment, what the heck for? I used to be a fan of hers, too, but it just seems like she has completely lost her way. I’ll go with the pasture remark courtesy of Mr. Watt.

  10. Pseudodionysius

    If Joe Biden is the Democrat’s crazy uncle in the basement, then Peggy Noonan is the Republican’s crazy aunt in the flower garden. She’s had far too much sun.

  11. EJHill

    Peggy was an Irish Catholic Democrat who idolized JFK. Only her admiration for Ronald Reagan made her a nominal Republican. She’s been smitten with Obama’s (alleged) rhetorical skills for a long time. Style over substance.

  12. Commodore BTC

    Once you endorse Obama, you should not be all0wed to represent “the right” on TV

    Peggy may have been insightful once, but now she’s a useful stooge for the MSM.

  13. donald todd

    If the Republicans go the way of the Whigs, Peggy Noonan will be with the Republicans.  That solves one problem.  

    Perhaps she is enjoying the trappings of political senility?  A couple of paid gigs and a tenuous tether to the past patched together with no real responsibility for anything as evidenced by her decision making capacity.

  14. Downrange

    Hi there, new member here, first comment at the site and all that.

    I think your final point is perhaps the punchline here.  Namely, it seems to me that a threshold question is whether (1) we are about the ideas first and then the party second or (2) we are about the party first and the ideas second.  It’s a key part in this internal discussion we seem to be in the midst of on the right at the moment.  Of course, both elements are necessary for a total political strategy to succeed (along with many other pragmatic, tactical elements as well), but I think there is a key division between the people who emphasize (1), and those who emphasize (2).  Noonan emphasizes (2) — that is, she wants the party to win, even if it means sacrificing some ideas to get there.

    To me, that’s a threshold question we need to answer in this internal debate, really.

  15. James Of England
    Jim Lakely: Thanks, Brian.

    I used to be a big fan of her style…….. Then she got infatuated with Obama as Man of History …

    It was before then. She was on the Colbert Report in 2006 and he asked her to name one good thing about Bush’s Presidency after talking about her supporting his re-election, and she couldn’t. Any thoughtful person, and any half thoughtful moderate should be able to name one good thing about any Presidency, but she had a wealth of options. The deficit was coming down fast, SCOTUS judges she admired had taken offices, Bush was advocating an amnesty she approved of and tax cuts she supported were being retained. Other than the tax cuts, those are all acceptable, non-hateful, things for liberals to support, but she couldn’t bring herself to say something nice about Bush. She looked uncomfortable and said she couldn’t think of anything, Colbert pushed her and she insisted.

    Since then, I have considered her the worst stain on the WSJ. Ryan has no ideas? She is the epitome of the low-information pundit, with occasionally clever words, but zero evidentiary value. She should work for The Economist.

  16. Lord Humungus
    James Of England

    She is the epitome of the low-information pundit, with occasionally clever words, but zero evidentiary value. She should work forThe Economist.


  17. Ellie Henry

    If Peggy Noonan is representative of today’s Republican Party…then with apology to Suzanne Martinez….”DAMN…..I am NOT one!”

  18. Skyler

    James, to be fair, it’s hard to really know what Romney is for or against at any time, and if he really was “for” immigration enforcement, that only shows me that he hadn’t been given an opportunity to change his mind. Immigration is a weak thing to hang onto anyway. We are a nation of immigrants and we don’t need more enforcement, we need laws that allow peaceful people to come here and not collect benefits.

  19. Franco
    James Of England


    It’s not just RINOs who do this; everyone does it. TheTeaParty.Net keeps telling me that I should oppose politicians pushing entitlement reform for social security, because seniors paid into the fund, and they suggest that Boehner is a phony. Enormous numbers of Republicans (including, over and over again, people on the Ricochet podcast) suggested that Romney’s lifelong commitment to immigration enforcement was a phony position. Different wings of the party struggle to recognize good faith disagreement/ agreement. 

    When Tea Party activists and Ricochet podcasters get their own column in the Wall Street Journal and the NYT, and are allowed to represent “Republicans” on Meet the Press, then I’ll take your point. 

    And my point and  Jim  Lakely’s point, I believe, isn’t that Noonan calls certain Repubs phony. It is that she is granted the blessings of liberals to opine on Republicans and conservatives, and strangely enough, her views coincide with theirs. As long as she agrees with the meta-narrative, she can say she supports Romney or Republicans. Who cares? The meat and potatoes are in discrediting certain Republicans and giving cover to Democrats. 

  20. Franco

    Great points, and I’m glad this is on the main feed here. Noonan and Brooks are faux-Republicans. They are strawmen. Noonan is a very good writer, but she is no intellect. She sounds like an intellectual when she talks and she writes well, but that doesn’t make her anything close to an intellectual.

     Organisms that survive a shock are often able to see their surroundings more acutely.

    Noonan is one of those organisms, she may as well be talking about herself. She can survive in the elite liberal world precisely because she can see her surroundings acutely – all the liberals, Obama supporters, and other faux Republicans who quibble with one-too-many Democrat party policies and hence deign to represent – (and advise!)  Republicans.

    If there is ONE thing this election has convinced me we must do is to dump these toxic representatives. Call it a purge – I don’t care. We MUST get rid of these people! 

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In