From their elite cocoon, they continue to indulge the hauteur that put off ordinary voters who had grown tired of a fossilized political class that serially ignored their interests, and seemed more concerned with their own insider perks and privilege, rather than in repairing the damage that decades of bipartisan progressive technocracy had inflicted on the Constitutional order.
grande dame of the disgruntled NeverTrump Republicans has been the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan, whose columns on Trump usually sound like a mash-up of the prescriptions of Emily Post and a snobbery redolent of Lady Violet Crawley from Downton Abbey.Noonan’s latest is an attack on the Republicans’ behavior during the House impeachment hearings, coupled with a scolding of the anonymous author of the anti-Trump book A Warning. We should credit her takedown of “anonymous” as “self-valorous and creepy.”
But her comments about the Republicans reveal the underlying grounds for NeverTrump hatred: the resentment against those who don’t accept the progressive assumptions that politics is the business of a self-proclaimed guild possessing knowledge, techniques, and professional manners and decorum that the voting masses don’t have.
As typical of a Noonan column, she starts with some sly preening of her insider-status as a wise political guru: “A young foreign-affairs professional asked last week if the coming impeachment didn’t feel like Watergate.” Unlike hoi polloi, Noonan knows “foreign-affairs professionals,” and they seek her out for her wisdom.
She then proceeds to contrast the “dignity and professionalism of the career diplomats” whom the Democrats––“disciplined in their questioning and not bullying and theatrical”––called on to testify, with the Republicans’ “interruptions and chaos-strewing” that she compares to “some of what the Democrats did during the Kavanaugh hearings.
”We see here the NeverTrumper’s fundamental error: prizing sizzle over steak, words over deeds, appearance over reality. And, as usual with NeverTrumpers, she indulges an egregiously false comparison. The Kavanaugh hearings were a contrived political stunt constructed from preposterous charges from long ago, with no direct corroborating evidence to support them, but an abundance of evidence casting them in doubt.
The current House hearings are yet another Democrat political stunt, made up of witnesses who are recycling office gossip with varying degrees of separation from the originals, the contents of which are mainly subjective opinions or feelings that have no relevance for establishing facts.Consider this example from the testimony of acting ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor–– which the mainstream press hyped as a “bombshell,” and whom Noon praises as an exemplar of professionalism––as summarized by David Marcus in the New York Post:
“He said David Holmes, a counselor for political affairs at the US embassy in Kiev, told him that he had overheard a phone conversation between Ambassador Gordon Sondland and President Trump.” In what courtroom other than the old Soviet Union or Cuba today would this twice-removed hearsay be admitted?Likewise in the Kavanaugh hearings, the Democrats were contriving specious charges to derail a confirmation they had no plausible merit-based arguments for rejecting.
In the current hearings, the Democrats are again contriving specious charges for impeaching a president against whom three years of a Special Prosecutor’s investigation have not produced credible charges that rise to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” Constitutional standard. That’s why the Dems have dropped the “quid pro quo” and are attempting call the legal and obligatory conditions for giving a country foreign aid “bribery” and “extortion,” using the same Orwellian corruption of words that turns a mutually consensual but later regretted sexual encounter into “sexual assault.
”After three years of Dem calumny and dirty tricks, can we blame the Republicans for forgoing the usual preemptive cringe and vigorously contesting this blatantly partisan attack?
Noonan’s focus on her subjective disapproval of the Republicans’ unmannerly response to what is in effect an illiberal political show trial, replete with secret hearings, leaks to the press, and pre-coaching of witnesses, ignores the substantive consistency of the Democrats’ despicable and desperate attempts to invalidate the results of an election and disenfranchise 63 million American voters.
Noonan goes on to expand on her elevation of “professionalism” by giving us the res gestae of acting ambassador William Taylor, consisting mainly of his military record.
She also singled out George P. Kent, highlighting his degrees from Johns Hopkins and Harvard, and his 27 years in foreign service. Again, the NeverTrump preference