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August 23, 2011


I agree with Brendan that Noona's mind-reading is largely fiction, but there is one difference between Dowd and Noonan. Noonan acknowledges that she's speculating, using phrases like "I'm wondering", "probably", "maybe", and "how could he not". OTOH Dowd often presents her mind-readind as fact, e.g. "he is frantic" or "McCain really doesn't like Obama".

Here's WaPo columnist Eugene Robinson reading the minds of Republicans:

In theory, Democrats should be nervous about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to enter the presidential race. In practice, though, it’s Republicans who have zoomed up the anxiety ladder into freak-out mode.

In this column, Robinson says Perry holds "radical loony views" because Perry called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme". Of course, SS is a Ponzi scheme. That is, it's essentially pay-as-you-go. Benefits to retirees are paid from current workers' FICA assessments. A true pension plan would save the assessments on today's workers and eventually use that money (plus accumulated interest) to pay benefits to today's workers after they retire.

Yes, Noonan's comments are pure speculation, but so what? She labels them as so and they should be taken as such.

Are you saying knowingly speculating on something that is factually unknowable should never be done, or only never done regarding a politician? That seems highly debatable.


California David doesn't seem to recognize that the fundamental aspect of a ponzi scheme is an intentional pyramidal structure. Demographics change over time but there is no purposeful funneling of more and more money to fewer and fewer people.

And Robinson is correct to say that Perry has "radical, loony ideas" because of what Perry says, not what Perry thinks. Saying that Fed policy that has been going on for decades under Dem and Rep Presidents is treasonous is unarguably loony. You don't have to be a mind reader to know that.

I almost burst out laughing when I read these excerpts from Noonan's column. Seems to me that Obama has numerous reasons to feel successful and optimistic.

He's governing exactly the way he said he would and his continued commitment to "crossing the aisle" just keeps highlighting how extreme the Republican Party has become. His approval ratings are higher than even Saint Reagan's at a similar point in his presidency. Tens of millions of voters "get" that he has acted intelligently and in good faith for the good of the nation and has done fantastically given the situation he inherited plus the complete animus of most Republicans.

Is he satisfied? I suspect not. Is he happy? Maybe with his family, but messes abound everywhere else. But is he despondent? Depressed? Beaten down and ready to give up? Oh puh-leeze. The picture that Noonan paints just strikes me as nothing more than the hopeful fantasy of someone who wants to see him fail.

Noonan has been doing this for years. She even wrote a book where Hillary Clinton is having imaginary conversations. Of course the imaginary conversations make Hillary look evil.

Dowd is another mind reader.

Safire specialty was in mind reading colums.

These pundits are not intellectuals or policy wonks. They are writing gossip.

I remember Noonan writing a column anout how truly wonderful, smart,engaged, and moral George Bush was. That worked out well.

I just wonder what Republicans would be saying and
doing if Obama had lost the popular vote in 08
and relied on the Supreme Court to install him
as president? Whenever I ask this question I
usually get a response that has nothing to do with
the question. That this is the main reason why people
questioned the legitimacy of the Bush presidency.

No one wants to or is even capable of imagining what
would be going on in the Republican reality distortion
machine or in Peggy Noonan's mind under such circumstances.

The main reason why Republicans question the
legitimacy of the Obama Presidency is b/c he has the
nerve not to be republican. If certain words are repeated
again and again (in a Jon Stewart compilation) the American people will come to see the wisdom behind the Republican manufactured reality.

Yes, I saw the picture of Obama and Michelle in a
lobby while on vacation. The lighting seemed to
conspire to captured a moment of "dispirited depression"
in the face of Obama. Such moments, true or not, bring
sparks of inspiration and illumination into the minds
of Republican journalists as they gaze into a bright
future filled with "real" Americans like Rick Perry
as VP to that square jawed Mitt Romney. My my my.

Whenever I have doubts about Obama all I have to
do is consider the alternative and which party was
in office when 700,000 jobs were being lost in 08
and which party was in office during the previous
economic crisis when we had to bail out 2000
banks and S&L's in 1989?

I know, stop thinking those nasty thoughts b/c
that was a total coincidence and just not true
b/c it can't be true. What would Peggy say?

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