Peggy Noonan has some bon mots about the Obama adminstration’s incompetence

Obama looking stupidI seldom quote Peggy Noonan here because I think she’s usually a day late and a dollar short when it comes to discussing the current administration. It seems that, just as Baa-baa Waw-waw did, she drank deep of the Obama Kool-Aid.  Noonan is an inside the Beltway gal and, just as David Brooks did, swooned about Obama’s Harvard degree and well-pressed pants.  She had enough conservative in her to criticize him and his administration a bit, but she was also enough of a disciple to dance around her own criticism whenever she could.  And now, just as happened to Baa-Baa Waw-Waw, Noonan is snapping out of the enchantment that gripped her for five long years.  Freed from the Kool-Aid induced hallucinations, Noonan is finally making sense.

Today’s blog post from Noonan has some nice turns of phrase about the Obama administration’s incompetence — an incompetence for which we must all be grateful, because it revealed Obamacare’s failures in such a delightfully spectacular way:

It all looks so lax, so loosey-goosey. In the place of the energy and focus that would go into the running of things, the administering and managing of them, we have the preoccupation with spin, with how things look as opposed to how they are. The odd thing still is that the White House never misses a speech, a list of talking points, an opportunity to shape the argument on TV. They do the talking part, but the doing? They had 3½ years to make sure ObamaCare will work, three years to get it right top to bottom, to rejigger parts of the law that they finally judged wouldn’t work, to make the buying of a policy easy on the website. And they not only couldn’t do that, which itself constitutes an astounding and historic management failure, they make it clear they were taken aback by their failure. They didn’t know it was coming! Or some knew and for some reason couldn’t do anything.

And it’s all going to continue. One reason this scandal isn’t Katrina is that Katrina had a beginning and an end. The storm came, the storm left, the cleanup commenced and failed and then continued and succeeded. At some point it was over. ObamaCare will never be over. It’s going to poison the rest of the administration. It’s the story that won’t go away because it will continue to produce disorder. Wait, for instance, until small businesses realize it will be cheaper to throw their people off their coverage and take the fines than it will be to reinsure them under the new regime.


“They mistook the White House for the government,” said an experienced old friend, a journalist and Democratic sympathizer. We were having holiday dinner and the talk turned to White House management. His thesis was that Obama and his staffers thought they could run the government from there, from the White House campus, and make big decisions that would be executed. They thought the White House was the government, but the government is a vast web of executive agencies that have to be run under close scrutiny, and within their campuses, to produce even minimally competent work.

I have come to see this as “West Wing” Disease. Young staffers grew up watching that show and getting a very romantic and specific sense of how government works. “The West Wing” was White House-centric. It never took place at the Agriculture Department. But government takes place at the Agriculture Department.

(Read the rest here.)

Sadly, the only area in which the administration is showing a great deal of competence is when it comes to Israel: in just five years, Obama has managed to back that nation into a corner from which there seems to be no escape, something I’ll discuss in a later post today.

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  • jj

    As previously noted, Walters reached the peak of her personal competence when wandering the halls of Rockefeller Center dressed as a pack of Camels.  That she ever got farther than that was a function of who she screwed.

    • lee

      And largely who her Daddy was, Lou Walters (Broadway producer, nightclub–and a major one at that–owner, “entertainment director” for the Tropicana…) Lots of people “owed” him “favors.” Helping Daddy’s little girl was undoubtedly one way to pay him back.

  • Libby

    “I would add that in recent weeks I have begun to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management.”
    Amazing that it took her long. Where was she when the Benghazi fiasco went down over a year ago? That wasn’t just another example of his incompetence, it was reckless endangerment. Also amazing is that people like Peggy and Barbara Walters can admit that they were so effectively snookered by the cult of Obama, without even a bit of shame, while still giving him the benefit of the doubt.
    “There’s no particular reason to believe next year will be better…” Gee, ya think?

  • barbtheevilgenius

    As many people have said, too little, too late, Peggy. And as for Walters, she’s still waiting for her messiah to pull some kind of miracle, so I wouldn’t take her out of the true believers’ club yet. After all, he still has three years! It’s just taking him a while to get going, that’s all.

  • Call me Lennie

    The fact that she swooned for Obama at first, is in fact a plus in the end.  In our ridiculous world, this gives her credibility.   She was “open-minded’ about Obama at the start and now her open mind has caused her to reconsider based on Obama’s actual performance.  This is significant; this will sway the squishy middle.
    I think some of the Peggy bashers are missing something here.  Peggy was born in 1950, which means she would have been at a deeply impressionable age when certain events in the Civil Rights struggle, such as the Church bombing and the thuggery at Selma took place.  It probably created serious feelings of guilt and a very deep desire to see that things were made right.  And these feelings of goodwill were manipulated by the liberals all around her and caused her to be blind to obvious flaws in Obama’s make up.
    I see the same thing in my own mother. She was born in 1922, so she actually did see blacks subjected to petty humiliations and injustices which made her feel guilty.  She didn’t vote Obama, but she has been turning on him at about the same pace as Peggy.  I, on the other hand, never personally witnessed any of this.  What I did see was blacks frequently abusing the goodwill that whites were trying to show them.  I saw myself wait-listed for a  two years at law school  in order to allow minorities to flunk out in their first semester.  I saw zero job opportunities in law open up because my graduation was pushed back into the 1982 recession — even as less qualified minorities somehow secured jobs. And I saw the same pattern of covert discrimination against white males take place over and over again
    So whatever guilt I should be feeling has long been cancelled out.  Which allowed me to see Obama for what he really was almost instantly.

  • Ymarsakar

    Peggy is only qualified to talk about her own competence. Not about other people’s, especially not about this “administration” (notice the lack of personal names there).

  • Caped Crusader

    Agree with all previous. Once a person has demonstrated such poor, emotion based, and shallow judgement in serious matters they are never to be trusted again. I am over her and have been for 5 years. Former book buyer and admirer, I was.
    Dedicated to Peggy with all my heart:

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  • Matt_SE

    Israel has a choice, the same as we all do: civil disobedience. They can take a gamble that the next administration will reverse the damage, but that’s a long way off. Or, they can give Obama the finger. This could take the form of either a strategic realignment with other powers (already underway), or they could attack Iran and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Charles Martel

    Too little, too late Peggy. “For faint hearted soldier will never gain the field.”