The Corner

Joshua Trevino vs. Peggy Noonan

doesn’t like NRO’s editorial on Huckabee’s foreign policy, and Erick Erickson is touting Trevino’s piece over at RedState.

I think Trevino’s reading of the people he’s criticizing is frequently mistaken and sometimes bizarrely so. Take one small but revealing example, which concerns Peggy Noonan rather than NRO. Noonan wrote a column following Romney’s speech last week.

There was one significant mistake in the speech. I do not know why Romney did not include nonbelievers in his moving portrait of the great American family. We were founded by believing Christians, but soon enough Jeremiah Johnson, and the old proud agnostic mountain men, and the village atheist, and the Brahmin doubter, were there, and they too are part of us, part of this wonderful thing we have. Why did Mr. Romney not do the obvious thing and include them? My guess: It would have been reported, and some idiots would have seen it and been offended that this Romney character likes to laud atheists. And he would have lost the idiot vote.

My feeling is we’ve bowed too far to the idiots. This is true in politics, journalism, and just about everything else.

Trevino begins his piece by saying that Huckabee has moved one part of the Right to go to war with another. You can see this war in a variety of phenomena, including “Peggy Noonan’s peevish denunciation of social conservatives of faith as idiots’.”

Now the notion that Noonan was calling “social conservatives of faith” idiots, or denouncing them at all, peevishly or otherwise, is–well, it’s idiotic. And I think that similar misjudgments plague the whole piece.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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