The double standard lives


I admire Peggy Noonan's writing and I enjoy her style. She has a wonderful way of being "soft—hard": that is, she can express hard—edged opinions with softness and subtlety. It's masterful, elegant, and sophisticated.

But as much as I like to read her columns, she's just plain wrong in her most recent one (Opinion Journal 6/9/05):

Her contention that Howard Dean's and Hillary Clinton's recent extreme outbursts will be thought of as offensive and off—putting by "regular, decent Americans," and therefore will be damaging to the Democratic party is wishful thinking at best and stunningly naive at worst. Yes, her example of how awful it would be if President Bush said those same things as a Republican is all too true. There would be a public outcry to end all public outcries, and the national media would be howling for Bush's head on a platter.

But Dean and Clinton HAVE said those things and there is NO public outcry.

As Brent Bozell pointed out, the national mainstream media have "blacked out" Dean's comments, so that most people are only dimly aware of them, if at all.

However, even if the average Jason/Jennifer in the burbs (the educated swing voter that Ms. Noonan implies would be just so offended) were fully cognizant of their remarks, it would hardly matter. Democrats get cut such double—standard slack from the MSM when it comes to public statements that no ill effects would result.

In today's America, only Republican verbal transgressions count. One of these fine days, the Republicans will realize that and change their game strategy accordingly. If they can do that, the days of razor—thin 51—49 election wins will change into the comfortable——and convincing—— 55—ish to 45—ish victories that more likely represent how the country actually feels.

Steve Feinstein    6 9 05