August 18, 2008

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The server switch has been successful, and so our comment boards have been re-opened up and posting will soon resume at Taki’s Daily and The Sniper’s Tower!

While on the Brooklyn-bound F this past Saturday, I was reading the Weekend Journal, and when I stumbled upon Peggy Noonan’s latest, I was struck by a strong sense of d?j? vu. Noonan laments that neither Obama nor McCain “has or gives a strong sense of place in the sense that American politicians almost always have, since Mr. Jefferson of Virginia, and Abe Lincoln of Illinois, and FDR of New York, and JFK of Massachusetts”:

[Obama]‘s from Young. He’s from the town of Smooth in the state of Well Educated. He’s from TV.

John McCain? He’s from Military. He’s from Vietnam Township in the Sunbelt state.

It’s an important point, and one which Bill Kauffman made eloquently and incisively back in April: 

The last three major-party presidential candidates standing have this in common: the state abbreviations after their names—John McCain (AZ), Hillary Clinton (NY), and Barack Obama (IL)—are no more meaningful than the random pairings of letters in a spoonful of alphabet soup. These are the candidates from nowhere. Or in Obama’s case, from everywhere. And this rootlessness has policy consequences.


Obama’s limitless internationalism is encapsulated in his statement that “When poor villagers in Indonesia have no choice but to send chickens to market infected with avian flu, it cannot be seen as a distant concern.” This is, quite possibly, the most expansive definition ever essayed of the American national interest. It is a license for endless interventions in the affairs of other nations. It is a recipe for blundering into numberless wars-which will be fought, disproportionately, by those God & Guns small-town Americans evidently despised or pitied by Mr. Obama. It is redolent of the biblical assurance that not even a sparrow can fall to the earth unnoticed by God. The congruence of the roles of the deity and U.S. foreign policy in Obama’s mind is not reassuring to those of us who desire peace and a modest role for the U.S. military.

I find it hard to believe that Noonan had not read Kauffman’s earlier article. You can’t really put a patient on political ideas, and it’s certainly fine and good for a writer to be inspired by the work of another; however, some acknowledgement, a citation or two, seems to be in order here. Over the past few months, I’ve gained respect for Noonan for her willingness to criticize Bush and the GOP. She probably shouldn’t be too afraid to admit that she’s influenced by the alternative Right. After all, this is where all the ideas are to be found.

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