Ten Miles Square


November 06, 2012 11:35 AM Fantasy and Reality

By Mark Kleiman

It’s hard to sum up the mendacity and the obscurantism of today’s GOP in a single column. But the real pros are up for the hard tasks.

Peggy Noonan, who taught Ronald Reagan the fine art of political lying, has her pants on fire (again). She starts out with a pround proclamation of ignorance: “Nobody knows anything.” But she doesn’t mean it; what she means is that she knows everything, based on nothing in particular, while those who study datam are mere menials, beneath her notice. Then she explains how she knows that Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama: she can read it in Obama’s body language:

This is not a man who feels himself on the verge of a grand victory. His campaign doesn’t seem president-sized. It is small and sad and lost, driven by formidable will and zero joy. I suspect both Romney and Obama have a sense of what’s coming, and it’s part of why Romney looks so peaceful and Obama so roiled.

Keep that in mind as you watch what Obama describes as “the last political rally I’ll ever do – for me.”

“Small and sad and lost”? In Peggy Noonan’s dreams.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.


  • Bokonon on November 06, 2012 12:57 PM:

    Characterization and framing is everything. Noonan is branding Obama as looking "small and sad and lost" so that the public will form a narrative in their minds and then INTERPRET Obama that way - particularly if the GOP repeats the concepts over and over. As a beaten man. Someone out of his depth. Diminished. A loser. A repeat of Jimmy Carter. Some sort of spoiled, scolded child. Even though that isn't what is really going on with Obama in this election at all.

    One of the characteristics of conservative pundits like Noonan (or ranging from David Brooks to Pat Buchanan) is that while they pose as neutral, independent and objective observers of the political scene, they are actually serving as partisans. Active partisans. They are part of the politics, not separate from it. The pose of objectivity is just stagecraft - and a weapon.

    But seriously - body language?