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‘Shut Your Mouth. Do Your Job’

Peggy Noonan puts the smackdown on everybody. [1]Excerpts:

Mr. Trump’s longtime foes, especially Democrats and progressives, are in the throes of a kind of obsessive delight. Every new blunder, every suggestion of an illegality, gives them pleasure. “He’ll be gone by autumn.”

But he was duly and legally elected by tens of millions of Americans who had legitimate reasons to support him, who knew they were throwing the long ball, and who, polls suggest, continue to support him. They believe the press is trying to kill him. “He’s new, not a politician, give him a chance.” What would it do to them, what would it say to them, to have him brusquely removed by his enemies after so little time? Would it tell them democracy is a con, the swamp always wins, you nobodies can make your little choices but we’re in control? What will that do to their faith in our institutions, in democracy itself?

These are wrenching questions.

But if Mr. Trump is truly unfit—if he has demonstrated already, so quickly, that he cannot competently perform the role, and that his drama will only get more dangerous and chaotic, how much time should pass to let him prove it? And how dangerous will the proving get?

Again, wrenching questions. So this is no time for blood lust and delight. Because democracy is not your plaything.


It is absurd to think the president can solve his problems by firing his staff. They are not the problem. He is the problem.

… It would be good if top Hill Republicans went en masse to the president and said: “Stop it. Clean up your act. Shut your mouth. Do your job. Stop tweeting. Stop seething. Stop wasting time. You lost the thread and don’t even know what you were elected to do anymore. Get a grip. Grow up and look at the terrain, see it for what it is. We have limited time. Every day you undercut yourself, you undercut us. More important, you keep from happening the good policy things we could have done together. If you don’t grow up fast, you’ll wind up abandoned and alone. Act like a president or leave the presidency.”

Could it help? For a minute. But it would be constructive—not just carping, leaking, posing, cheering and tweeting but actually trying to lead.

The president needs to be told: Democracy is not your plaything.

Read the whole thing. [1] Truer words…

61 Comments (Open | Close)

61 Comments To "‘Shut Your Mouth. Do Your Job’"

#1 Comment By Hunk Hondo On May 21, 2017 @ 10:25 am

Tru dat, Peg. All of it. But your proposal couldn’t go anywhere.It would need a Trump with the capacity to listen, to consider, to learn. But there ain’t no such animal. Vae patria ubi puer regnat.
But you know, I can’t help asking: What took you so long? Surely you saw from the beginning what he was. It reminds me of the scene in “A Man for All Seasons” in which Richard Rich has just agreed to spy on Thomas More for Cromwell.
Cromwell: (frowning) It’s a bad sign when people are depressed by their own good fortune.
Rich: I’m not depressed.
Cromwell: You look depressed.
Rich: I’m just reflecting. I’ve lost my innocence.
Cromwell(archly): Some time ago. You’ve only just noticed?

#2 Comment By PeterK On May 21, 2017 @ 10:55 am

Scot Adams offers an interesting viewpoint

“if you see a person who is a failure in life ignoring advice and eschewing knowledge, the best explanation for that situation is you are dealing with an incompetent person.

But if you hear allegations of a short attention span in someone with a multi-decade history of successfully navigating complicated industries, be open to the possibility that the messenger is pushing useless information on an executive who is good at knowing what matters and what does not.”

#3 Comment By Mace On May 21, 2017 @ 11:57 am

I voted for Trump because I am sick of politicians with poly Sci and law degrees who have never held a real job, managed budgets and employees, or run a company. I am pleased that they are deeply unhappy with President Trump. Bring it on. But, if they do try to oust him for Pence our unmanufactured and authentic outrage will spill out of our homes. Something to consider.

#4 Comment By Adriana I Pena On May 21, 2017 @ 12:26 pm

Bob K.

Wonderful. You are another John Lukacs fan.

“Fear and Hatred” predicted that sooner or later someone like our current manchild would be elected. He already talked about the puerilization of our culture. Now we are seeing the toddlerization of our politics.

#5 Comment By Adriana I Pena On May 21, 2017 @ 12:34 pm

Alas, Peggy is giving Trump advice.

Talk about an exercise in futility.

You can lead a horse to water….

I suspect that the only way Trump will take advice is to hit him repeatedly over the head beforehand.

#6 Comment By Adriana I Pena On May 21, 2017 @ 3:35 pm

John, I can tell you that if H. had been elected, she would not casually blurt out state secrets to the Russians.

It is a low bar, I agree. But who lowered it?

#7 Comment By MikeCLT On May 22, 2017 @ 7:58 am

@ Adriana I Pena

The Russians, Chinese, Israelis, North Koreans, etc. already have 4 years of state secrets via Hillary’s use of an unsecure email server.

#8 Comment By bkh On May 22, 2017 @ 10:02 am

But just what happens if through all his ramblings things do actually get accomplished like he said?

#9 Comment By Alan On May 22, 2017 @ 2:38 pm

Peggy Noonan?? You mean Peggy Noonan, establishment, elitist, aristocrat? She’s a huge part of the group that ruined this country. The only thing I’m interested in hearing from her is an apology.

#10 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On May 22, 2017 @ 3:10 pm

Peggy Noonan should know that presidential success is relative. Here’s Fletcher Pratt in *A Short History of the Civil War (Ordeal by Fire)*.

“In 1862 Abraham Lincoln was only the spokesman of an angry people, and no one realized more clearly than he {Trump can learn from this part] that he did not have *carte blance* from the nation–a fact which has been obscured by the halo that has since surrounded his name. To the majority he was at that time still the low, cunning clown, the President by hazard…”

“Bernard De Voto called it “The best one-volume history of the Civil War I’ve ever read.”)

#11 Comment By R.S. Rogers On May 22, 2017 @ 9:35 pm

What she advises Republican lawmakers to do is to go to the president, a 70-year-old man, and demand that he cease to have his own actual long-settled personality and become a different person. This is one of the least conservative, and most overtly radical Jacobin, statements about the nature of the human person that I have ever read. Even actual Jacobins more fully respected the continuity individual human personality than Noonan. Noonan asks that elderly people of settled habit change their ways; the actual Jacobins understood that no such change was possible, and so marked older opponents for the guillotine. Even the Jacobins understood that their ideal of the New Man had its limits. Noonan’s fantasy of the New Man, and the radical plasticity of human nature, knows no such limits, and so is a totalitarian vision beyone even the wildest fantasies of the Trotskyite or the Khmer Rouge.