Peggy Noonan is a bright analyst and a good writer. She also is one of the most shamelessly disingenuous.
Ms. Noonan has a habit of looking very forthright -- but only well after the fact. When it's safe. Long after she's helped create the very situation she's later criticizing.
The most notable example was in July, 2007, when she wrote a long, scathing critique of George W. Bush in the Wall Street Journal . She explained being "startled" and "disconcerted" by then-President Bush.
It was all so admirable, acknowledging that people who once praised George Bush now "grit their teeth." Except that nowhere in her lament did she acknowledge being one of the leading enablers of the man for seven years. Nor acknowledge being a blistering critic of those who had dared to point out, for seven years in the face of her slamming them, the very things she was now seemingly discovering before the rest of America. It's one thing to admit error -- that's noble. It's another thing to ignore that the people you had blasted were actually correct. In polite society, it's called, "Saying I'm sorry."
Worse, as George Bush was plummeting in the polls, and Republicans were jumping ship for their lives, she tried to rewrite history (something she does well, after the fact) -- slyly smearing her opponents in the process, while defending her own indefensible actions.
"This is what happens when the pickings are slim," she wrote, explaining away her earlier support of George Bush." Except, of course, that that wasn't true at all. Democrats didn't have slim pickings. Democrats had Al Gore and John Kerry -- one of whom went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the other of whom had won a Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for bravery in war.
And now Ms. Noonan is doing it again. As she all-too-often does.
In her newspaper of choice, the Wall Street Journal, there is Peggy Noonan now slamming Sarah Palin, gutting her with a scalpel as only she can. It's a withering and scathing attack, the sub-headline of which is "Palin was bad for Republicans -- and the republic." How noble, how admirable, look at Peggy Noonan be forthright and blast one of her fellow-Republicans. Look at Peggy Noonan tell us all, at length, how incompetent Sarah Palin is.
Except...once again, it's far, far after the fact.
This time, she waited even more egregiously, until after Sarah Palin resigned office. Very forthright, that. This is the journalistic equivalent of punching someone in the face after they're dead. And strutting that they didn't lay a finger on you.
Mind you, when Sarah Palin was running for Vice President of the United States, Peggy Noonan didn't express any of this. When Sarah Palin had a serious chance of becoming a heartbeat from being president, from becoming the most powerful person in the world, Peggy Noonan sat on her typing fingers and never got around to writing about Sarah Palin what she writes now:
...she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it...
No, those words Peggy Noonan didn't write when it mattered. She wrote them when it didn't matter. When it did matter, she wrote lovely things about Sarah Palin -- all the while knowing that Sarah Palin, as she only now says, "was not ready to go national and in fact never would be."
In fact, the one time during the election when Peggy Noonan was caught off-guard, and a microphone caught her saying privately that, because of Sarah Palin, "it's over" -- Ms. Noonan not only wrote a convoluted article explaining that supposedly she didn't mean the election was over, but then went on to praise Sarah Palin. "I do like Mrs. Palin," she wrote, "because I like the things she espouses."
"I like the things she espouses," Peggy Noonan wrote when it mattered. Now, when it doesn't matter, she writes, "She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them."
Indeed, there was only one thing in her faux-mea culpa that Peggy Noon apologized for, when it mattered. "I am certainly sorry I blurted my barnyard ephithet." (sic)
Yes, when it mattered, the one thing Peggy Noonan was sorry about was using a bad word. Never mind that in that same article, she was praising, supporting and trying to get elected someone she now says (when it doesn't matter), "She makes the party look stupid, a party of the easily manipulated."
And Peggy Noonan was one of those doing the manipulation. Only now, she runs far away from that. Now, she proclaims to us on her high mountain that she knows something most of the country figured out long ago -- when it mattered. And now, once again, Peggy Noonan refuses to acknowledge that the people she was blasting were right.
And still, never saying, "Sorry."
The noble, forthright Peggy Noonan. Always there to kick the dead body. While telling you that she was there first.