I use the provocative header to justify Ms. Noonan's dispassionate observation:
Snooty lefties get angry when you ask them to talk about these things. They get resentful. Who are you to question my patriotism? But no one is questioning his patriotism, they're questioning its content, its fullness.She has raised the issue of what Hunter has rather aptly called "the eugenics of patriotism":
Is that not what we are speaking of here, in the most circuitous possible of ways: the pedigree of the man, the suspicious ethnicity, the unnerving multiculturalism? Are we not speaking of the eugenics of patriotism, patriotism as inherited, bred trait? Because if we are not, by what metric are we taking the measure of such things, and is getting teary-eyed at the mention of gold prospectors truly the test to be administered?Noonan raises the most absurd question, one I can only make sense of it in terms of the worst jingoistic racism:
Main thought. Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama's problem. America is Mr. Obama's problem. He has been tagged as a snooty lefty, as the glamorous, ambivalent candidate from Men's Vogue, the candidate who loves America because of the great progress it has made in terms of racial fairness. Fine, good. But has he ever gotten misty-eyed over . . . the Wright Brothers and what kind of country allowed them to go off on their own and change everything? How about D-Day, or George Washington, or Henry Ford, or the losers and brigands who flocked to Sutter's Mill, who pushed their way west because there was gold in them thar hills? There's gold in that history.In contrast:
John McCain carries it in his bones. Mr. McCain learned it in school, in the Naval Academy, and, literally, at grandpa's knee. Mrs. Clinton learned at least its importance in her long slog through Arkansas, circa 1977-92.So, growing up in Hawaii doesn't count because it's not really America? (Where was McCain born? Oh yes, Panama.)
Hunter goes on:
Noonan offers not a single element of evidence to support her hypothesis that the patriotism of one candidate needs evaluation, but that of the other two does not. It is a hypothesis not simply devoid of fact, but devoid even of blind assertion: there is no anecdote given to support the theory. There is no past event to be pointed at, or suspicious phrasing to be parsed, or even hushed conspiracy theory. Noonan at no point, during her channelling of the American psyche, offers even one thin word towards explaining why Obama's patriotism needs questioning: she merely asserts that it does, in comparison with the candidate that "carries it in his bones," and "learned it in school, in the Naval Academy, and, literally, at grandpa's knee."The crux in Hunter's analysis?
Does Barack Obama, in other words, as a black man who grew up exposed to different cultures, from Hawaii to Jakarta to Harvard to Chicago, have the genes for true patriotism?You can read Hunter's fine dissection of Noonan's twaddle here.
Noonan's lofty perch for all this?
So: Pennsylvania. As seen from the distance of West Texas, central California and Oklahoma, which is where I've been.Well, Ms. Noonan, I was born and raised in central California. I have grapevines in my New Mexico back yard to honor the soil from which I come. My uncles were farmers and I have fruit trees in my yard too. Just because you have visited these places doesn't mean you ever took your head out of
This pissed me off so I must be a snooty lefty, and believe me, I am damn proud to be one. I fly the flag proudly. I cry when I hear the national anthem. I read and re-read the Constitution. I honor and support our troops whether I support any given war or not. I hold the government accountable because I believe in government of, by, and for the people. Question my patriotism and damn right I get angry. Publish codswallop like this - with its endless, baseless speculation and obvious inferences - and it ticks me off. What a disingenuous pantload you dumped on America's doorstep, Ms. Noonan!
Peggy Noonan should never again be taken seriously except as a widely published threat to common sense and rational discourse.