aside Peggy Noonan Tells The President That America Is Not A Plaything

Two of my favorite columnists are the progressive leaning Maureen Dowd of the NY times and the conservative leaning Peggy Noonnan of the Wall Street Journal. The following is an example of a true conservative’s thinking about our republican President Donald Trump’s circus come to town.

On 5/18/17, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal penned the following op-ed piece, “Democracy Is Not Your Plaything.” (When the circus comes to Washington, it consumes everything, absorbs all energy).

“This will be unpleasantly earnest, but having witnessed the atmospherics the past 10 days it’s what I think needs saying:”

“Everyone, get serious.”

“Democracy is not your plaything.”

 “This is not a game.”
“The president of the United States has produced a building crisis that is unprecedented in our history. The question, at bottom, is whether Donald Trump has demonstrated, in his first four months, that he is unfit for the presidency—wholly unsuited in terms of judgment, knowledge, mental capacity, personal stability. That epic question is then broken down into discrete and specific questions: Did he improperly attempt to interfere with an FBI criminal investigation, did his presidential campaign collude with a foreign government, etc.”

“But the epic question underlies all. It couldn’t be more consequential and will take time to resolve. The sheer gravity of the drama will demand the best from all of us. Are we up to it?”

“Mr. Trump’s longtime foes, especially Democrats and progressives, are in the throes of a kind of obsessive delight. Every new blunder, every suggestion of an illegality, gives them pleasure. “He’ll be gone by autumn.”

“But he was duly and legally elected by tens of millions of Americans who had legitimate reasons to support him, who knew they were throwing the long ball, and who, polls suggest, continue to support him. They believe the press is trying to kill him. “He’s new, not a politician, give him a chance.” What would it do to them, what would it say to them, to have him brusquely removed by his enemies after so little time? Would it tell them democracy is a con, the swamp always wins, you nobodies can make your little choices but we’re in control? What will that do to their faith in our institutions, in democracy itself?”

“These are wrenching questions.”

“But if Mr. Trump is truly unfit—if he has demonstrated already, so quickly, that he cannot competently perform the role, and that his drama will only get more dangerous and chaotic, how much time should pass to let him prove it? And how dangerous will the proving get?”

“Again, wrenching questions. So this is no time for blood lust and delight. Because democracy is not your plaything.”

“The president’s staffers seem to spend most of their time on the phone, leaking and seeking advantage, trying not to be named in the next White House Shake-Up story. A reliable anonymous source who gives good quote will be protected—for a while. The president spends his time tweeting his inane, bizarre messages—he’s the victim of a “witch hunt”—from his bed, with his iPad. And giving speeches, as he did this week at the Coast Guard Academy: “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.” Actually Lincoln got secession, civil war and a daily pounding from an abolitionist press that thought he didn’t go far enough and moderates who slammed his brutalist pursuit of victory. Then someone shot him in the head. So he had his challenges.”

cartoon-kelly_resize“Journalists on fire with the great story of their lives—the most bizarre presidency in U.S. history and the breaking news of its daily missteps—cheer when their scoop that could bring down a president gets more hits then the previous record holder, the scoop that could bring down the candidate.”

“Stop leaking, tweeting, cheering. Democracy is not your plaything.”

“There’s a sense nobody’s in charge, that there’s no power center that’s holding, that in Washington they’re all randomly slamming into each other.”

“Which is not good in a crisis.”

“For Capitol Hill Democrats the crisis appears to be primarily a chance to showboat. Republicans are evolving, some starting to use the word “unfit” and some, as a congressman told me, “talking like they’re in a shelter for abused women. ‘He didn’t mean to throw me down the stairs.’ ‘He promised not to punch me again.’ ”
Image result for cartoons about white house chaos“We’re chasing so many rabbits, we can’t keep track—Comey, FBI, memoranda; Russia, Flynn, the Trump campaign; Lavrov, indiscretions with intelligence. It’s become a blur.”

“But there’s an emerging sense of tragedy, isn’t there? Crucially needed reforms in taxing, regulation and infrastructure—changes the country needs!—are thwarted, all momentum killed. Markets are nervous.”

“The world sees the U.S. political system once again as a circus. Once the circus comes to town, it consumes everything, absorbs all energy.”

Signe Wilkinson / Philadelphia Daily News“I asked the ambassador to the U.S. from one of our greatest allies: “What does Europe say now when America leaves the room?” You’re still great, he said, but “we think you’re having a nervous breakdown.”

“It is absurd to think the president can solve his problems by firing his staff. They are not the problem. He is the problem. They’re not the A-Team, they’re not the counselors you’d want, experienced and wise. They’re the island of misfit toys. But they could function adequately if he could lead adequately. For months he’s told friends he’s about to make big changes, and doesn’t. Why? Maybe because talented people on the outside don’t want to enter a poisonous staff environment just for the joy of committing career suicide. So he’s stuck, surrounded by people who increasingly resent him, who fear his unpredictability and pique and will surely one day begin to speak on the record.”

“A mystery: Why is the president never careful? He doesn’t act as if he’s picking his way through a minefield every day, which he is. He acts like he’s gamboling through safe terrain. Thus he indulges himself with strange claims, statements, tweets. He comports himself as if he has a buffer of deep support. He doesn’t. Nationally his approval numbers are in the mid to high 30s.”

Dave Granlund / politicalcartoons.com“His position is not secure. And yet he gambols on, both paranoid and oblivious.”

“History will see who cared first for the country and who didn’t, who kept his head and did not, who remained true and calm and played it straight.”

“Now there will be a special prosecutor. In the short term this buys the White House time.”

“Here’s an idea.”

“It would be good if top Hill Republicans went en masse to the president and said: “Stop it. Clean up your act. Shut your mouth. Do your job. Stop tweeting. Stop seething. Stop wasting time. You lost the thread and don’t even know what you were elected to do anymore. Get a grip. Grow up and look at the terrain, see it for what it is. We have limited time. Every day you undercut yourself, you undercut us. More important, you keep from happening the good policy things we could have done together. If you don’t grow up fast, you’ll wind up abandoned and alone. Act like a president or leave the presidency.”

“Could it help? For a minute. But it would be constructive—not just carping, leaking, posing, cheering and tweeting but actually trying to lead.”

“The president needs to be told: Democracy is not your plaything.”

8 comments

  1. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    The article provides a number of ways that tRump could find self redemption, and remain successfully in office to complete at least his first elected term. As I was reading her suggestions it reminded me of a beloved dog that I once had for many years. As my dog went thru life, as a puppy he was eager to learn and to please me, in his midlife he still was willing to learn if there was a good reward for doing so, but as he entered his final phase of life the only new trick he was willing to learn was to roll over and play dead and pleasing me was not on his mind as much as making sure he received what he wanted to eat. How does this little story apply to tRump, you might ask? As he is well past the puppy stage and mid life stage in his life, it only leaves the final stage, and to assume he is even capable of actually making real (not fake or temporary) changes is foolish at best. What you see in him is what you get, if you like him you will continue to like him and not expect changes to take place, if you don’t like him, it is not likely that any change he could make, be it real or only on the surface will not change your feelings about him. Personally, I see no real possibility that he would want to change, especially after having studied this mans history over a long period of time…

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      I concur with you 100%. Ms. Noonan has not had the experience of working closely with DDT in the past. He has been a liar and a cheat for all of his adult life. I took time to read the Huffington Post Thomas Well’s article as suggested by Keith of “Musingsofanoldfart.” This is the title, “Donald Trump Hired Me As An Attorney. Please Don’t … -www.huffingtonpost.com/ Jul 31, 2016. The person DDT’s former attorney described is the same man we see today. He is not about to change.

      Ciao, Gronda –

  2. I see this Conservative hasn’t bothered to make mention of the appointments made by Trump since he came to power. So many positions still unfilled but those that have been done like education and environment to name but two could prove a disaster. Don’t tell me that all Conservatives, all of Trump’s voters, believe that schools should revert to a voucher system and state schools closed. Not all of them can believe that the warnings about global warming are a lie. And yet so many are prepared to take a risk on their children’s future and not challenge these appointments.
    His behaviour is totally irrational for a POTUS, tweeting & hiding from the press. The Republicans had better get a grip with him soon or persuade him to seek treatment for his ‘stress’ while someone else tidies up his mess.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • David: You fail to take into consideration that the average member of American society today receives the bulk of their political (and other) information in either sound bites or from their friends. Can you honestly say that many of the supporters, or ever tRump himself would read the article that Mz. Gronda used as a basis for this report to us? With such a short and lazy attention span is it any wonder that the voters are so easily led to believe stories that simply do not make sense if one were to just think about them for a moment? How else could one explain the term “Fake News” and other terms used against the main stream news outlets causing any and all news to be disregarded and instead elevating late night talk radio news hosts as being the only source of truth and honest news for far too many of our citizens. The reason that the tRump fanz will continue to support him is because they all know that anything said about him that does not meet with their perception of him is simply false and an effort to install Hillary into the office by nefarious means. It was stated by a TV personality the other day, actually quite honestly, that the tRump could take a dump on the desk in the oval office and his supporters would find a way to defend him…

  3. Gronda, this article is well done and even-handed. Her opinion and where she writes are important, as the more the more financially interested Republicans will see it. Adding her voice to that of other conservative pundits – David Brooks, Michael Gerson, George Will and Charles Krauthammer – builds the momentum behind the concerns and are becoming a call to action. This is no longer a Democrat led issue, it is an American crisis. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      These are all real conservatives and including Mr. Crystal who all view thIS presidency with a dim view. Yet we have for example, those congressional freedom caucus members who claim to be conservative who are covering for DDT.

      This world has been turned upside down.

      Ciao, Gronda

      • Gronda, at some point, even these Freedom Caucus members will have to answer the question – do I serve Americans or Republicans? Keith

        • Dear Keith,

          It had better be soon. These guys and gals are clueless as to how incensed most folks are over their skirting their oversight duties.
          Ciao, Gronda

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