Peggy Noonan says that it's a terrible thing to insult people
when they're just trying to follow their beliefs:
The president has taken to suggesting that opponents of his immigration bill are unpatriotic--they "don't want to do what's right for America." His ally Sen. Lindsey Graham has said, "We're gonna tell the bigots to shut up." On Fox last weekend he vowed to "push back." Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested opponents would prefer illegal immigrants be killed; Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said those who oppose the bill want "mass deportation." Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson said those who oppose the bill are "anti-immigrant" and suggested they suffer from "rage" and "national chauvinism."
Why would they speak so insultingly, with such hostility, of opponents who are concerned citizens?
I hope you'll excuse me if I choose to see Noonan's whining as the punchline to the joke she has become. She wrote:
No matter what Mr. Bush chose (to do about Iraq), what decision he made, he would leave some angry and frustrated. No matter what he did, the Arab street would be restive (it is a restive place) the left would be angry (rage is their ZIP code, where they came from and where they live), and Democrats would watch, wait, offer bland statements and essentially hope for the worst. - December 15, 2005
Howard Dean is actually the most in touch with his base of all D.C. Democrats because he speaks to them the secret language of Madman Boogabooga. Republicans are racist/ignorant/evil. This is actually not ineffective. It's a language that quells the base and would scare the center if they followed it more closely, but they can't because it's not heavily reported because "Dean Says Something Crazy" is no longer news. - June 22, 2006
For fourteen years Republicans were in power in Washington because, in part, Newt Gingrich wrote up a list of bad words to call Democrats
and his followers used them often (and, remember, that list was called "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control," not "Let's come up with better policies and sell them well") . Being hostile and tossing disingenuous insults at your political enemies often seems the cornerstone of Republican rhetoric. It's the height of hilarity for Peggy Noonan to act shocked--shocked!
--to see those on her side of the aisle demonize those with whom they disagree and refuse to believe their opponents might be equally "concerned citizens."