Peggy Noonan has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about Sarah Palin. Despite the fact that I agree with many of Noonan's points, this column was a really bad idea. It was such a bad idea that Noonan should have known better than to write it.
Republicans that love Sarah Palin are not at all swayed by arguments about why Palin is bad for the party. Not only are they not swayed, but they react with great hostility to such arguments, which merely reinforce their beliefs about pointy-headed, intellectual, GOP elites who just don't get it. Noonan writes,
It's not a time to be frivolous, or to feel the temptation of resentment, or the temptation of thinking next year will be more or less like last year, and the assumptions of our childhoods will more or less reign in our future. It won't be that way.How is accusing Palin supporters of being childish, and implying that they need the leadership of their intellectual betters, somehow going to unify the party? Early in the piece Noonan accused Palin of being "the most careless sower of discord since George W. Bush." But by attacking Palin and those who support her, Noonan is doing exactly what she attributes to Palin: sowing discord within the GOP ranks.
Palin supporters, especially the hardcore worshippers, thrive on hostility and attacks from people they regard as RINOs. It confirms their belief that people like Noonan aren't real conservatives. Palin just resigned as governor. Even to me, someone who is not a Palin supporter, this article looks like a fellow Republican kicking her when she is down. How is that of any use to the GOP? All this article, and those like it will accomplish, is to fire up her supporters and make them more committed to her than ever, as well as feeding their persecution complex. For a smart woman like Peggy Noonan, writing this editorial was pretty stupid.