Peggy Noonan's Giuliani Syndrome
Just as Rudy Giuliani simply asserts that there were no terror attacks on the US under Bush, so Peggy Noonan gives us this view of Obama's first year. She argues that the only focus of Obama's attention was the health insurance reform bill which she says proves he is a leftist president, not a center-left president:
It was not worth itnot worth the town-hall uprisings and the bleeding of centrist support, not worth the rebranding of the president from center-left leader to leftist leader, not worth the proof it provided that the public's concerns and the administration's are not the same, not worth a wasted first year that should have been given to two things and two things only: economic matters and national security.... [Obama] had frittered his attention on issues that were secondary and tertiaryclimate change, health carewhile al Qaeda moved, and the system stuttered.
So Obama put health insurance reform before the economy and national security. She writes this in a newspaper. She states this as fact. But it is not fact. It is patently false in every single respect.
The following is indisputable. Obama's first act was increasing national security by ending the torture program, and pledging to remove the biggest recruitment tool for our enemies: Gitmo. His second focus was a stimulus package, which, according to AEI, added four points to economic growth. His third focus - how soon they forget - was on rescuing the banks. Before health insurance reform passed, he initiated and completed and implemented a total overhaul of the Afghanistan war. He maintained rendition and the Bush time-table for Iraq withdrawal. He tried (and failed) to restart the Israel peace-process but was stymied by Netanyahu. His policy toward Iran has seen the regime more vulnerable than at any point in its history. His success at finding and killing many Qaeda operatives, his dispatch of Somali pirates, his intense focus on drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan: these are also simply facts of history.
And the health insurance reform has no public option, pledges to cut Medicare, and will reduce the deficit, according to the CBO. It brought 30 million new clients for the private drug and insurance companies. This is leftist.
Noonan's column is a fantasy, a dream, a weird incantation of a thesis that is merely how she feels, without any substantive relati0nship to reality. Well, at least she understand that the GOP is offering nothing - nothing - substantive as an alternative except oil drilling and torture and more bellicose rhetoric toward the rest of the world because that worked out so well under Bush.