I was perusing the news this morning. On Saturday’s I like to read Peggy Noonan’s column. Sometimes I agree with her, and sometimes I don’t. Today I agreed with her until the end. Here is how she finished her column.
This is all so dire and critical that I will swerve and end with three things I’ve admired about the president since he entered the White House.
The first is that he has an intact, multigenerational family, a wife and kids and mother-in-law all living together in that big house. This is no doubt a source of strength for him, but it’s also moving and impressive to see in a country ravaged by family breakup and fatherless—and sometimes motherless—children. It is a needed example. As nothing human stays intact without great effort, all credit to him, and them.
The second is that he isn’t mean. His staffers do snark and push-back, but they don’t do targeted abuse, they don’t seem to try to take down foes in a personal way, as administrations before them have. Credit goes to the president because it’s always the boss who sets the tone.
The third has been a relative absence of deep political scandal. It’s been good not to have a Watergate, a Whitewater. But there are signs this week that could change with the Solyndra loan scandal. The White House apparently tried to rush almost half a billion dollars of taxpayer loans to a solar panel manufacturer that later went belly up and took a thousand jobs with it. The reason for the rush: The awarding of the loan would make good PR. This looks bad, and if it’s true, heads should quickly roll. It’s one thing to be branded as “out of your depth but not corrupt,” quite another when it’s “out of your depth and corrupt.” That is much worse.
I disagree with her. As regular readers of this blog know, Obama and his administration are a frequent pin cushion for barbs. However, few things are 100% bad, and Obama is one of them. There are some things that I actually admire in Obama-I’ll list them later after using Ms. Noonan as a pincushion.
Isn’t her first statement about an intact family sort of racist? It’s similar to pundits saying, “he speaks well” back in 2007. Are expectations in America so low that we don’t strive to have an intact family? Shouldn’t we at least set expectations there so that our standards are there? Especially given all the stats on how damaging one parent families, and the difficulties encountered by out of wedlock children. I would agree it would be tough to live in any house with your mother in law-no slight to my mother in law intended. (She reads this blog!)