Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Sad Decline of Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan is consumed by hatred of Sarah Palin. Why? Who knows.

Her current column is not only full of anti-Palin opinion, but Noonan doesn't even get basic facts right.

Some easy to fact check Noonan wrong assertions:

1. Sarah Palin is middle class not working class.

"To wit, 'I love her because she's so working-class.' This is a favorite of some party intellectuals. She is not working class, never was, and even she, avid claimer of advantage that she is, never claimed to be and just lets others say it. Her father was a teacher and school track coach, her mother the school secretary. They were middle-class figures of respect, stability and local status. I think intellectuals call her working-class because they see the makeup, the hair, the heels and the sleds and think they're working class 'tropes.' Because, you know, that's what they teach in 'Ways of the Working Class' at Yale and Dartmouth."

I don't know what they taught Noonan at Fairleigh Dickinson about the working class, but Sarah Palin hasn't lived with her parents for a long, long time. She married Todd Palin over two decades ago. He is a working class union member laboring in the Alaskan oil fields. He, like other Eskimo ancestry working class people, adds to his family's living by commercial fishing. Not by "supervising" employees, but by doing the manual labor himself.

And Sarah has been working right along side him. Not as secretary and bookkeeper, but actually doing the backbreaking work of catching the fish, hauling them in and getting them ready for processing.

As governor and first dude of Alaska, they also have a foot in middle class family life. But the Palin family has made a good chunk of its living for the vast majority of the past two decades as a working class family.

To say that the Palins are not working class because Sarah's father was a teacher, is like saying the John Edwards family is working class, though John works as a lawyer, has made mega-bucks and lives in a mansion, because his father was working class. I would hope that even Noonan would admit that an assertion that John Edwards is really working class because his father was is ridiculous and bone-headed.

2. Sarah doesn't read.
"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: It was evidence of her authenticity."

Peggy has a hard time with research. Here's a a clip from the Charlie Rose show done in early September, 2008, where Palin talks easily and at some length in the short answer format about some of her favorite authors--before the Couric interview*.

3. Palin polls high among only "some members" of the Republican base.
"McCain-Palin lost. Mrs. Palin has now stepped down, but she continues to poll high among some members of the Republican base, some of whom have taken to telling themselves Palin myths."

If you call 76% (45% very favorable and 31% somewhat favorable) "some", I guess Noonan is right. More truthful would be for Noonan to identify her own group as "some" members of the Republican base, since only 21% of Republicans share her view and they don't even equal the minority faction of Palin's favorable ratings. That's what the latest Rasmussen poll shows.

Maybe Noonan doesn't know how to do internet research and Rasmussen and Charlie Rose are beyond her abilities. More likely Noonan's hatred has blinded not only her judgment, but her ability to present the truth. Sad that Noonan's talent is now being used to such ends.

[*Not to mention that Couric's question was a doofus question in the internet era. Anyone who says they have two or three main sources of information doesn't do internet research well. They're Yahoo news types who get their information from headlines and news crawls at the bottom of cable news screens. It's like saying after the invention of the printing press that you have two or three books that are your main sources of information. I'm not even a professional in the news or commentary business, and I have a sidebar with 60 sources I consider important--and that doesn't count the hundreds of others I've linked to in my posts and used in my research. Get real.]

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