Noonan: Bush speech: “Over the top”

Peter Robinson (see below) is not alone in his uneasiness with Bush the Conqueror’s ultimatum to the world. Even Peggy Noonan, usually a Bush suck-up, caught a whiff of fanaticism:

“The inaugural address itself was startling. It left me with a bad feeling, and reluctant dislike. Rhetorically, it veered from high-class boilerplate to strong and simple sentences, but it was not pedestrian. George W. Bush’s second inaugural will no doubt prove historic because it carried a punch, asserting an agenda so sweeping that an observer quipped that by the end he would not have been surprised if the president had announced we were going to colonize Mars.”

The vow to “end tyranny” in the world “seemed to me to land somewhere between dreamy and disturbing.”

From the general tenor of this Wall Street Journal piece, however, it seems clear that Noonan, try as she might to give W the benefit of a doubt, is more disturbed than lulled by the soaring rhetoric.

Good old Peggy, a party-lining girl, is full of apologias and equivocations: she even defends that nameless White House advisor who disdained the “reality-based community“: she loyally avers “he meant that the administration sees history as dynamic and changeable, not static and impervious to redirection or improvement.” Yeah. Sure. But she doesn’t sound very reassured herself:

Citing the President’s declaration that “Renewed in our strength–tested, but not weary–we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom,” she avers:

“This is–how else to put it?–over the top. It is the kind of sentence that makes you wonder if this White House did not, in the preparation period, have a case of what I have called in the past ‘mission inebriation.’ A sense that there are few legitimate boundaries to the desires born in the goodness of their good hearts.”

God knows our Commander-in-chief is no stranger to inebriation, but a power-drunk President is far more dangerous than some spoiled frat boy DUI. Noonan has some good advice for Team Bush, not that they’ll take it:

“One wonders if they shouldn’t ease up, calm down, breathe deep, get more securely grounded. The most moving speeches summon us to the cause of what is actually possible. Perfection in the life of man on earth is not.”

The War Party will never ease up. Which is why the rest of us dare not ease up in our efforts to restrain them.