Cue the mob violence. Or, Peggy Noonan has really, really bad timing

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Arriving online the morning after right-wing teabaggers sparked arrests, fights and mayhem at town hall meetings across the country, Noonan warns it's Democrats who are unleashing an "ugly" tone to the health care debate. It's Democrats who are being "unhelpfully divisive and provocative."

Oh, brother.

The column really is one of Noonan's worst, and most intellectually dishonest, in years, as she whole heartedly defends the mini-mobs and berates Democrats for having the nerve to push back rhetorically. Noonan ignores the death threats issued to at least one Congressman. She ignores that members of Congress now routinely have to be escorted to their cars by police after mini-mobs unleash their wrath.

For Noonan, the mob mentality is good. It's just democracy at work. It's just "concerned" citizens. It's just "democracy's great barbaric yawp."

In the wake of the violence unleashed at yesterday's town hall meetings, we'll see if Noonan backtracks, let alone apologizes for egging on the physical attacks; for legitimizing their brand of terror in the pages of the WSJ.

And oh yeah, Noonan lectures the White House that nobody in the administration--nobody--should be using Nazi references in the context of the health care debate. Ever. This, of course, one day after Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck both accused the White House of acting like Nazi's.

Noonan, of course, won't acknowledge that fact. She won't criticize Beck or Limbaugh and their "ugly" tone. Why? Because they now lead the conservative movement in America and formerly serious people like Peggy Noonan have to play along. And they have to play dumb.

Noonan has clearly mastered the latter.

UPDATED: Did I mention just how God-awful this Noonan column is?


And frankly they ought to think about backing off. The president should call in his troops and his Congress and announce a rethinking. There are too many different bills, they're all a thousand pages long, no one has time to read them, no one knows what's going to be in the final one, the public is agitated, the nation's in crisis, the timing is wrong, we'll turn to it again—but not now. We'll take a little longer, ponder every aspect, and make clear every complication.

According to Noonan, the White House should give into the mini-mobs and take health care reform off the table because a loud and increasingly violent minority number of demonstrators hate it. (The definition of mob rule, no?) Obama should try the initiative later when everyone will have cooled off. Because, presumably, in the future all the teabaggers will act civil and Fox News won't fear monger about the government killing old people. And critics will have time to read the legislation and things will be much more calm, and the country can have an informed debate about health care.

Can't wait for Noonan's next installment when she tells us about a must-see bridge that's for sale in Brooklyn.

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