Nooners joins the Class of 2007
[NOONERS] I'm not referring to what used to be called Bush Derangement Syndrome. That phrase suggested that to passionately dislike the president was to be somewhat unhinged. No one thinks that anymore. I received an email before the news conference from as rock-ribbed a Republican as you can find, a Georgia woman (middle-aged, entrepreneurial) who'd previously supported him. She said she'd had it. "I don't believe a word that comes out of his mouth." I was startled by her vehemence only because she is, as I said, rock-ribbed. Her email reminded me of another, one a friend received some months ago: "I took the W off my car today," it said on the subject line. It sounded like a country western song, like a great lament...
Well, splendid. And thanks, thanks so much, Peggy, for your generous hat tip to the reality-based community--the DFH types; in fact, precisely those who were mocked, by your guys, for having "Bush Derangement Syndrome"--that did so much to help that Georgia woman out of her delusional state, and bring about your change of, er, heart... Oh, wait. Not there? No hat tip?
But why, why, would Nooners switch sides just now, just when [insert today's blast-faxed conservative talking point here]MR SUBLIMINAL fear fear Daddy fear Daddy fear fear fear?
It would be irresponsible not to speculate, and I suggest the answer is very simple:
Bush has so damaged the conservative brand that, soon, there's not going to be any money in it.
And a girl has to make a living.
So, with all the agility of one of Deborah Palfrey's service providers, Our Peggy's going for the side of the bread that's now buttered, she's gonna shift her nimble butt to the cool side of the bed, and she's going to swing the other way.
What I would like is a list of "honest conservatives" who fit into the following categories--and let me try to give an example of a person whose existence is recognized by the mainstream media for each class:
Class of 2000: People who in 2000 said, "George W. Bush is not qualified to be president, and we should be really worried about this."
Class of 2001: People who in 2001 said, "I supported Bush in 2000, but George W. Bush is not listening to his honest conservative policy advisers, and we should be really worried about this." John DiIulio
Class of 2002: People who in 2002 said, "I supported Bush in 2000 and 2001, but 911 has unhinged the administration; it's detention and other policies are counterproductive; it needs to be opposed." Richard Clarke
Class of 2003: People who in 2003 said, "I supported Bush over 2000-2002, but enough is enough. That's it. I supported the invasion of Iraq because I was certain there was evidence of an advanced nuclear weapons program--otherwise invading Iraq was just stupid. Well, there was no advanced nuclear weapons program. Invading Iraq was just stupid. Plus there's the Medicare drug benefit. These people need to be evicted from power." Tim Barnett, Bill Niskanen
Class of 2004: People who in 2004 said, "I've been a Bush supporter. I'm a Republican and a conservative, but I've had enough: I'm voting for Kerry." Andrew Sullivan, Bruce Bartlett, Brent Scowcroft
Class of 2005: People who in 2005 said, "I voted for Bush in 2004. But I made a mistake. A big mistake."
Class of 2006: People who in 2006 said, "I know I supported Bush up to last year, but that shows I'm not the brightest light on the clued-in tree." Rod Dreher, Andrew Samwick
The class of 2007--people who are now opposed to Bush only because they think Bush will drag the Republicans down in 2008--doesn't count.
And what class would Nooners be in? Why, the class of 2007.
Then again... You can trust the conservatives to be conservatives. DeLong, quoting John Emerson, calls his shot:
I think that when the "honest conservatives" reject Bush they're just setting up their assault on the Democratic president they expect to see elected next year. Their way of digging themselves out from under the Bush disaster (and obscuring their own massive role in that disaster) will be to swear that "Never again can an American President be allowed that kind of free hand!" This will justify their fighting the new Democratic President tooth and nail for every inch of ground.
For example, Bush's politicization of the career staff in Justice and elsewhere was a very bad thing, no? And certainly this kind of thing has to stop, no? So we will forbid the new Democratic President to interfere with career personnel, with the result that all of the political hacks Bush put in civil service positions will be untouchable. (When that happens, can we expect the media to understand what's going on? No, of course not. Can we expect the Democrats to understand? Not really, but this is one area where I'd trust Rahm Emmanuel. Send a hack to catch a hack.)
Now that they've stolen the horse, they're going to lock the barn door. It's just like January 2001: once Bush was inaugurated, the media and the Republicans decided that sabotage by impeachment and Gingrichian nastiness are really very bad things after all. So now the same people who worked so hard trying to impeach Clinton for almost nothing are telling us that it's unthinkable to do anything serious about Bush's much graver crimes.
Bingo. (Perlstein calls this a "brilliant rant" about "moral cunning of conservatives", but I don't think it's a rant; I think its a clear-eyed assessment of where the Republican playbook will take Nooners and her ilk next.
You can see "moral cunning" at work in Nooner's column, as she writes, in that inimitably Norman Rockwellian, smarmy tone she's perfected so over the many years shilling for the movement she now claims to be gritting her teeth about:
Americans hire presidents and fire them. They're not as sweet about it as they used to be. This is not because they have grown cynical, but because they are disappointed, by both teams and both sides. Some part of them thinks no matter who is president he will not protect them from forces at work in the world. Some part of them fears that when history looks back on this moment, on the past few presidents and the next few, it will say: Those men were not big enough for the era.
Ah yes. Equivalate, Peggy! Equivalate. Next we're going to be hearing about teh Bipartisan, and Civility, and being Moderate, and Centrist and all the terms that translate to "Let the Republicans hang onto as much power as they can!"
And "some part of them" thinks that the conservative movement, brought to full flower by the Republicans under Bush, has not only perpetrated the greatest strategic disaster in American history, but replaced Constitutional government with authoritarian rule. And that would be the "some part of them" that you somehow forgot to mention.
By no stretch of the imagination can the Clusterfuck that has been and is the criminal Bush regime be laid at the door of "both teams and both sides." The Republicans controlled all three branches of government! The Republicans ruled without any accountability at all! There was no other team on the field!
Face it, conservatives.
Your guy shat the bed. Deal.
Hey, and take some responsibility, at long last, wouldja?
NOTE Incidentally, Al Gore is and was definitely "big enough for the era." Too bad your guys stole the 2000 election from him, eh? I bet you regret that now. Not.