Saturday, January 20, 2007

Peggy Noonan on the State of the Union

It's too late for this:
It's been an era of soft thinking and hard words. Those who opposed the war were weak and craven; those who supported it were dupes and bullies; those who came to oppose the war were cowards bowing to polls; those who continue to support it love all war all the time. Some of this was inevitable -- the stakes could barely be higher; passions flare. But it's not getting us anywhere. And it's limiting debate. It's making people fearful.

It is time for a kind of verbal amnesty in which thoughts are considered before motives are judged. An admission that the White House is as responsible for this situation as everyone else would help clear the air -- and just might prompt some soul-searching in members of the audience. An honest plea here could break through the cement that has hardened over the debate. Who could answer harshly when a president who loves his country admitted the problem and pleaded for change? That's what might really hit reset.
And Bush has given no indication he could ever restrain himself or his White House from the use of "hard words." Maybe if there were a reservoir of good will that Bush could tap into this suggestion might resonate. But this is a White House and President that have tried to divide from the beginning and show no sign of easing up. Besides, Bush tried this before in his speech to the American nation leading up to the fifth anniversary of 9/11. He called for unity, etc. and then proceeded to run around the country during the midterms calling Democrats terrorist coddlers, terrorist enablers. Because that's who he is.