Home / General / Peggy Noonan has a theory

Peggy Noonan has a theory


noonan reagan

Well it’s not really a theory yet, but it’s trending in that direction:

Last October I wrote of the five stages of Trump, based on the Kübler-Ross stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Most of the professionals I know are stuck somewhere between four and five.

But I keep thinking of how Donald Trump got to be the very likely Republican nominee. There are many answers and reasons, but my thoughts keep revolving around the idea of protection. It is a theme that has been something of a preoccupation in this space over the years, but I think I am seeing it now grow into an overall political dynamic throughout the West.

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.

I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.

They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.

Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.

Why it’s almost as if society were divided into different hierarchically-stratified groups (if we could just come up with a better name for these types of groups that would be super helpful) that have fundamentally conflicting interests.

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  • Nobdy

    Watching the lights slowly come on for certain Republicans would be much more satisfying if ANY of them said “Oh yeah, the liberals who have repeated this stuff constantly for the last century or so have had a point. Mea culpa! I should have listened!”

    Instead each of them acts like Moses coming down from the mountain with the revelations of god, and to make matters worse they are so committed to being against any liberal policy that they cannot come to any actually useful policy conclusions. They just kind of stare at income inequality and rub their chins thoughtfully, then throw up their hands and say “Tax cuts for the rich should fix this, right? That fixes everything?”

    It’s like a perversion of the allegory of the cave from Plato. They go outside, see the true shapes in the full light of day, then shrug their shoulders and go back to discussing the shadows.

    Reading David Brooks on Trump is so infuriating I almost physically cannot do it! I do, however, admire, in a perverse way, his ability to draw exactly the wrong conclusions from every single piece of evidence. He’s like reverse Sherlock Holmes!

    • Aaron Morrow

      “I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth.” – The Hound of the Baskervilles

      Peggy Noonan makes Nigel Bruce look like James Mason.

      • Rob in CT

        Well played.

    • werewitch

      It’s like a perversion of the allegory of the cave from Plato. They go outside, see the true shapes in the full light of day, then shrug their shoulders and go back to discussing the shadows.

      +1 Republic

      • toberdog

        But only if you can keep it.

        • efgoldman


    • los

      lights slowly come on for certain Republicans
      I think the majority of the plutocracy’s propagandists have consciously pushed the charade.
      What we’re seeing is “contrarian” tactics, which the propagandists desparately use to keep the charade running.

  • Honoré De Ballsack

    The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world….they make public policy and have for some time.

    So Peggy: you’re saying that…the ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas? You are, right?

    • Shorter Peggy Noonan?

      Workers of all nations unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.

      • Quite Likely

        That’s all I hear when most politicians say anything.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      “Two Deputies, one of whom is a Communist, have more in common than two Communists, one of whom is a Deputy.”

      I’d venture to guess that a significant majority of those who post here are members of the protected. President Cruz would be a disaster for our country but for most of us the direct effect would be greater on our sensibilities (sense of justice etc) than on our material situation in life.

      • Nobdy

        Today’s protected is tomorrow’s precariat. Plenty of people who felt “protected” found out that with enough income inequality and a big enough recession they weren’t so protected after all.

        Unless you’re rich enough not to have to work you’re not protected. They’re even firing tenured University professors these days. Give them 20 more years and the robots will be the only ones with job security.

        First they came for the unionized blue collar workers and I said nothing…

        Screw that, I’m saying something. I’m saying something loud and to anyone who’ll listen!

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          I hear there are growing opportunities for secure jobs in the area of ‘guillotine maintenance’.

          • “ISIS chops people’s heads off, with knives, axes, stuff like that, they think were weak because we don’t, Little Marco won’t, Cruz won’t ’cause he’s a pussy, I won’t stoop to their level, we’re America, I’ll do it better, titanium blades, world class stuff, the best, we’ll sell tickets, balance the budget, it will be Yuuuuuuge!”

          • efgoldman

            there are growing opportunities for secure jobs in the area of ‘guillotine maintenance’.

            If only.

            • los

              “We offer a generous severance payment for those who build the guillotine their replacement will use.
              Act quickly.”

        • rea

          Unless you’re rich enough not to have to work you’re not protected.

          “Once I built a railroad–now it’s done.
          Buddy, can you spare a dime.”

      • DAS

        Somewhat echoing on what Nobdy said below, I think that there are many of us who are protected* who still stand to loose a lot, especially under a Cruz presidency. In particular, not all of us are Christian, cis-gendered, straight males (or in families headed by same). I’m a cis-gendered straight male, but not a Christian, for example.

        I would say that in spite of his bluster on behalf of the unprotected provided they are of the right skin color (c.f. Roger Ailes’ point below), a Trump presidency would be unlikely to seriously harm protected folks like myself (even the non-white members of my family tend to be the right kind of non-white people: they are “my black friend, who is not like those people”, etc.), provided his antics don’t start WWIII in which case we’re all screwed, protected or not.

        * the DAS family is definitely on the protected side of the protected/unprotected divide, even if the economic status of people in our niche of the upper middle class is definitely slipping: e.g. a generation ago, a family with our income and resources would have enough money to live in a decent sized house in a nice suburb in a top-notch school district

        • Barry_D

          No Longer Middle Aged Man:

          “I’d venture to guess that a significant majority of those who post here are members of the protected. President Cruz would be a disaster for our country but for most of us the direct effect would be greater on our sensibilities (sense of justice etc) than on our material situation in life.”

          Nodby: “Today’s protected is tomorrow’s precariat. Plenty of people who felt “protected” found out that with enough income inequality and a big enough recession they weren’t so protected after all.”

          Think about how many people got screwed so hard by the Bush II debacle + the Tea Party sh*twave.

          Now imagine that all over again, but starting from now, as opposed to 2000. And more deliberate – I fear that the elites have learned that that trashing the country is quite profitable and quite safe.

    • DocAmazing

      You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is buying the drinks.

  • DrDick

    Heaven forbid we should use the “C-word” in public discourse.

    • Looks at internet handle.

      Looks at comment.

      Looks at internet handle.

      I’m not entirely sure I like where you’re going with this.

      • DrDick

        Hey now! Let’s keep this classy.

      • It’s a perfectly cromulent German adjective.

        • random

          Cromulent laughs at your Four Winds.

      • Hogan

        Ia anyone else flashing back to Arrested Development?

    • slothrop

      The real “C-word” isn’t “class,” but “capitalism.” As far as I know, neither Sanders or HRC touch the word.

      • Malaclypse

        That’s why true leadership is with the RCP. Chairman Bob won’t sell us out!

        • Lee Rudolph

          Among the staff here at the Old Fogies’ Home are several Albanian(-American)s, one of whom is surnamed Hoxha. I haven’t decided whether it would be crossing a line to enquire into her precise degree of consanguity (if any).

          • Karen24

            I once had a case in which one of my key witnesses was named Somoza. I finally caved and asked his assistant if he was related to the Nicaraguan dictator. Turns out witness was that guy’s nephew. I was rather more, um, respectful, after learning that. I didn’t want to learn exactly how much of a family resemblance there was.

            (In another case at the same time, my opponent was represented by Count Ciano’s great grandson. Brushes with a weird sort of greatness.)

          • trollhattan

            Maybe you can test the waters by having her sing along you to Coach’s Albania song.

            • John Revolta

              Scoff if you like, but I’ve remembered what Albania’s chief export is for thirty years thanks to this.

          • It sounds like a story by David Foster Wallace.

          • Mike G

            A friend has the same surname as the last communist leader of Bulgaria. I asked him if he was related, and he said if he were he’d be back home living extremely well off family loot and connections instead of immigrating to the US.

            • pianomover

              And there will always be Castro Convertibles.

              • efgoldman

                there will always be Castro Convertibles

                Almost all left over from before 1959. .

            • Camilla Highwater

              Is he a short-fingered Bulgarian?

      • werewitch

        “Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little, by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don’t.”

        –Bernie Sanders

        “Capitalism needs to be reinvented, it needs to be put back into balance.”

        –Hillary Clinton

        In speeches, Clinton derides “quarterly capitalism” and Bernie derides “casino capitalism” — it’s not that they don’t touch the word.

        • DrDick

          Clinton, however, does operate under the misapprehension that there has ever been anything resembling “balance” in capitalism. It has in fact reverted to the mean over the past 35 years.

          • Rob in CT

            The balance there was, briefly, was imposed politically. I do think Hillary Clinton knows that.

        • Jay B

          It’s central to his point!

  • ploeg

    And a brontosaurus is narrow on one end, gets really thick around the middle, and tapers substantially on the other end. Give Peggy a gold star.

    • Breadbaker

      We know this because we have photos of Jesus riding one.

    • Peggy Noonan’s thinking is narrow at first, gets very thick in the middle and then very narrow again at the end.

      • rhino

        Hey, Buddy! I got sixteen pallets of internet cluttering up my dock here! Where do ya want it sent?

  • Malaclypse

    I’s almost as if the history of all hitherto existing societies were some sort of, I dunno, conflict of some sort. I’d like to come up with a pithy catchphrase, but it is past noon on Friday, so I’m overdue for my bender.

    • kg

      Here you go!

    • Linnaeus

      Well, not according to our would-be tech overlords:

      The core philosophy of Silicon Valley is that nearly all change, over the long run, is progressive, and that there’s no inherent conflict between citizens, corporations, and the government. This helps explain why the tech community eschews traditional political tribalism, such as labor unions, sovereignty, militarism, or small government advocates. All these traditions assume some conflict of interest between major groups.

      Here’s more.

      • DrDick

        All these traditions assume some conflict of interest between major groups.

        Which makes all of them more realistic than techie libertarianism.

  • She must have switched from Skyy to Stolichnaya.

  • Patrick

    I’ve got a theory
    That it’s a demon
    A dancing demon!
    Nah, something isn’t right there

    • Thrax


    • Adam The K

      I’ve got a theory
      Some lady’s dreaming
      And we’re all stuck inside her crazy Reagan nightmare

      • Woodrowfan

        It could be witches, some evil witches!….

        ….. Which is ridiculous ’cause witches they were persecuted. Wicca good and love the earth and women power and I’ll be over here

        • werewitch

          I’ve got a theory, it could be Marxist

          I’ve got a

          or maybe centrist

    • Marek

      + Once More

      • werewitch

        You should put that in italics, to imply you’re saying it with feeling.

  • MedicineMan

    It is hysterical that they have to get to the point where their plutocrat political party is being ripped out of their grubby hands by the angry masses before they start to clue in. Oh what? You mean we actually *can’t* fool all of the people all of the time? Tsk tsk, they forgot the “trickle down” in their trickle down economics.

  • Roger Ailes

    “The peasants are revolting!”

    “You said it. They stink on ice!”

    One little problem with Nooners’ theory. The peasants aren’t revolting against the protected. They’re revolting against peasants of other races, faiths, orientations and abilities, at the command of, and for the ends of, the protected.

    • slothrop

      Right on. Yes, this!

    • njorl

      The first instinct of those being downgraded a class is to object to being lumped in with those filthy degenerates. Making common cause with those you’ve always despised comes slowly.

      • LosGatosCA

        Making common cause with those you’ve always despised comes slowly.

        Mostly never, unless there’s an existential threat, and then only for the duration.

  • wengler

    The blind squirrel just found a nut.

    • Grumpy

      More like discovered it was living inside a nut.

      • rhino

        About three inches back and a few inches higher up than the nuts, I’d say.

  • MacK

    You know everytime I hear an economist extoll the “free market” and talk blithely about the virtues of creative destruction, what pops into my head is that his/her livelihood and kids’ futures are not being destroyed.

    Noonan is very much a member of the party “establishment” – and I know many of them. Who they are is an interesting right now, given how much they are discussed in the current primary campaigns. Back in Rooseveldts day the establishment was people like Harry Hopkins, Frances Perkins, Eleanor Roosevelt and later guys like Jack Stack (who no one would know on this forum I suspect.) These were people who pushed the party objectives forward and sought benefits for its voters; sometimes they were in the unions.

    Today the establishment are pretty well to a man and woman lobbyists of some flavour or other, whether democrat or republican (or lawyers in firms with big lobbying practices which is the same thing) – and lobbyists in my experience have the views and beliefs that their clients want them to have, even when truly absurd (and some like John Roberts keep them even after they cease to be paid to have them.) For those people being big-in-the-party is a key line in their resumé – their role in the party apparatus is sought and held because it enhances their hourly billing rate; what it says to clients is that “I will be your guy on the inside.” Lobbyists will never bite the hand of their [current] employer, which means that the party establishment will always look after the interests of those who can afford lobbyists – while the interest of those who can’t is at best negotiable.

    The rest of the establishment are a floating class of campaign consultants, media advisors and advertising buyers, who are lucratively paid every two years in election season. This creates a bizarre situation where, in practice money is not really that important in an election – media spend shifts the needle much less than people think, maybe a percent or two, at the outside 5-7% (¡Jeb! just demonstrated this.) But the advisor class must maintain that a big campaign war-chest is the most important thing, they tell candidates and incumbents that every day, keep them “dialling for dollars,” keep them beholden to the donor class, because how else are the campaign consultants going to get paid? And this part of the party establishment is always there whispering – “don’t piss off a donor…”

    And there you have the issue – if you are not in the lobbyist-hiring-class and the usually intersecting political-donor-and-bundler-class, you have no influence. Indeed if it comes to a choice between voter interest and those classes, if the slightest interest of the donor/lobbyist hirers is at stake, politicians are urged by the establishment to quietly shove the voters “under the bus.”

    Oh some of the establishment are political scientists too.

    • efgoldman

      Oh some of the establishment are political scientists too.

      How can you define the political establishment without the, you know, actual politicians and office holders?

      a floating class of campaign consultants, media advisors and advertising buyers, who are lucratively paid every two years in election season.

      These are really hangers-on, the remoras of politics, if you will.

      Back in Roosevelt’s day the establishment was people like Harry Hopkins, Frances Perkins, Eleanor Roosevelt

      Would you say that the Kennedys were pretty much the last of the aristocrat Democrats?

      • MacK

        Actual politicians and elected office holders are ancillary to the establishment, the condiuits the establishment act through, at most proto-members who may join, if and when they give up elected office and join the lobbying class (their staff are in fact closer to being the establishment.) Appointed office holders who revolve in and out of the lobbying class are members though.

        A key aspect of the establishment is that they do not run for election – instead they are a near permanent group, always there, always with pols they act through, who take their advice.

        The Kennedys were not aristocratic democrats – Joe was too recent, John, Bobby and Ted first/second generation.

  • BigHank53

    Christ, Noonan would lecture the donkeys hauling her tumbrel to the guillotine.

    • postmodulator

      Happily, unlike Nooners’ theory, this one is falsifiable.

  • bobbo1

    Every reference to “they” in this column should be changed to “we.” Is Noonan really that stupid/lacking in self-awareness, or does she just imagine that the people who read her are?

    • JKTH

      She’s not alone in this. There’s already been plenty of “That damn out-of-touch establishment caused the rise of Trump” (says most establishment person ever)” pieces.

      • los

        the msm says, “pay no mind to the terrible msm!”

    • Boots Day

      It’s kind of jaw-dropping to read those last two paragraphs in the excerpt and realize that she is not talking about herself.

      • weirdnoise

        She’s developed projection into a fine art.

        • los

          protection by projection… no, projection by the protected… ?

    • ColBatGuano

      To Noonan, “they” is college professors, actors, and liberal politicians. Oh, and trial lawyers.

  • JohnPDarling

    So Ms. Noonan has finally figured out that people who were born on third base and think they hit a triple have been writing, and re-writing, the rules to their benefit and to the detriment of everybody else? She’s not as dumb as I thought. Maybe.

    • Nobdy

      She’s 65 years old. Didn’t everyone else figure this out as a teenager?

      • petesh

        In my case, incoherently at about 13, and definitively at 18 when I griped to a teacher (not previously of me, alas) at my former school that all they were interested in was the quality of college they could get me into to boost their stats, and he said, “So?”

        I had made that connection myself but being young thought it original. What’s Peggy’s excuse?

      • JohnPDarling

        When you’re born on 3rd base, you really don’t have any clue how hard it is to get there from home plate. Mitt Romney is pretty much the same story: “Gee, why doesn’t everybody just go to Harvard like me and get a job and work real hard? If these people would just get off welfare and work hard, they too would have a house with a car elevator and a house on a lake.” How old is Mitt Romney? It’s pretty clear he still hasn’t figured it out. He’s not alone in the Republican establishment either.

        • Nobdy

          I think it’s willful ignorance.

          I wasn’t born as rich as Bush or Romney, but probably richer than Noonan. It was always expected I’d end up going to an elite college etc… and I did (even with significant F#@$-ups along the way that would have derailed someone with less privilege.)

          I always understood the basics of how privilege worked to reinforce itself, but it really hit home one day when I was in college teaching a free GED class for locals. I had a student who came to class with his arm in a cast. I asked what happened. He was a bike messenger and he said that earlier that day he had been hit by a car and broken his arm, but he didn’t want to miss class.

          It was at that point that the light bulb went on and I fully understood that dedication to getting an education and a desire to pull himself up by his bootstraps were not what this fellow was missing in his life. He was a bright guy, and I hope he has prospered in the years since, but as an adult getting a GED he was already well behind the curve for middle class, and it’s only gotten harder since then.

          All it takes to observe that poor people do not lack grit or character or determination or intelligence is a willingness to be exposed to poor people.

          If you choose to remain in your privileged bubble that’s on you after awhile. If you DO take the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and you STILL believe that their poor character is what’s holding them back then you’re just an a#$hole. Or, like Romney, a sociopath.

          • Karen24

            Kudos to you for teaching the GED class.

            I’m from an upper middle class family. Everyone in my childhood expected me to go to college, but I would have to actually get a job afterward. Even that much privilege — the assumption that I would be able to go to school after I graduated from high school on my parents’ dime — can be an impenetrable bubble. I learned this when in a period of unemployment I volunteered for Legal Aid and interviewed a woman who wanted to sue her landlord for failing to repair the lock on her apartment, leading to her being robbed at gunpoint. She had been a supervising legal secretary at the biggest law firm in Austin, but had lost one of her hands to the bite of a brown recluse, and in consequence lost her job. She was now living on a very small disability check in a Section 8 apartment.

            • osceola

              Had a similar epiphany tutoring college football players one year. The stories about the jocks who don’t put in the academic effort are certainly true, and I think it’s due to a lack of appreciation for what’s been given to them.

              But there were guys (almost all black) who understood that a college education otherwise unavailable to them was a tremendous opportunity. (They also didn’t kid themselves about their chances going pro.)

              One of them went to the NFL combine but didn’t get drafted. He’s now a loan officer at a bank in his hometown. Another is a teacher (OK a gym teacher, but still).

          • Rob in CT

            Totally agree on willful ignorance.

            I mean, shit, you don’t even need personal experience (like you got in that GED class). It helps, but it’s not necessary. You could read. You could have a basic understanding of statistics (like, huh, median household income is ~$50k, majorities don’t have college degrees, median household net worth for black Americans is ~$10k… shit like that).

            And develop semi-functional empathy. That’s kind of important too.

            Some people have hands-on experience with poor people and come out of it hating them. Others go your route. Some people are born elite and stay there and yet spend their careers trying to help the poor. Others decide they virtuously chose to start on 3rd base…

        • The Lorax

          And borrow money from your parents to pay for college.

      • Malaclypse

        Couldn’t someone, along the way, have just bought her Leonard Cohen’s Greatest Hits?

  • Dagmar

    It sounds like a Marxist dialectic to me.

  • Joseph Slater

    As Trump might say, classy theory, Peggy. Very classy.

  • SP

    This reminds me of the biology paper where the author figured out a method to approximate the area under a curve by cutting it up into rectangles and adding together the areas of the rectangles. She even named the method after herself.

    • The Temporary Name

      Link please! Sounds awesome.

      • Turkle
        • The Temporary Name

          Sooooo satisfying.

          • SP

            I’m impressed by the number of papers citing it. Truly research was held back by the lack of such a method, but has now been unleashed by this clever invention.

        • BigHank53

          How does one get an MS degree without a calculus course? I’m asking for a friend.

          • petesh

            The even more constructive question that MY friend wants answered is, how do you get this past peer review? In the old days, paperclipping a portrait of Franklin (hell, Jackson) might have done it, but paperclips seem to be obsolete nowadays.

        • Bernhard Riemann

          I’ve been plagiarized! Too bad I’m dead, or I’d sue.

          • los

            Even worse is that you can’t hire a live lawyer because you’re dead.

    • sonamib

      There is also that all-time classic “Creationist almost discovers the sun” :

      One of the most basic laws in the universe is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This states that as time goes by, entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently against a law that is accepted EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE. Evolution says that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn’t possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it.


      • Rob in CT

        Hahahahahaha! Thanks for that.

      • Wow. Someone wrote that. Put on a pedagogical tone and everything.

      • efgoldman

        There is also that all-time classic

        “Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in.”

        • sonamib

          “Fucking magnets, how do they work”

    • rhino

      Think about it this way though. She obviously made that up herself. Obviously had no idea it had been done before. I mean we do, but she had to think that up on her own…

      That ain’t stupidity, it’s actually genius albeit coupled with horrifyingly inadequate education and ignorance considering she somehow has a degree in biology…Or are we making fun of her because shes not quite as bright as newton and leibnitz, and didn’t independently reinvent calculus?

      • los

        nobody can be expert in everything. isolation of specialties may be the problem. i think there’s a general tragedy in it. ( < ugh, that grammar is clumsy)

        I wonder if Tai's conception of error is out of whack. She uses the word "curve", yet mentions varied time (x axis) intervals, suggesting that she's measuring areas under a "jagged curve".

  • DW

    Comedy Central’s retooling of Jon Benjamin Has A Van has certainly taken an odd direction.

  • CD

    Noonan follows this apercu by going full-on anti-immigrant e.g.

    Many Americans suffered from illegal immigration—its impact on labor markets, financial costs, crime, the sense that the rule of law was collapsing.Many Americans suffered from illegal immigration—its impact on labor markets, financial costs, crime, the sense that the rule of law was collapsing.

    and defending anti-immigrant racism.

    In other words if Republicans just adopt Trump-style rhetoric and policy against immigrants, they can get the unwashed Trump supporters back in line.

    • libarbarian

      Illegal Immigration convinced people that the “rule of law” was collapsing?

      I wonder if watching white collar criminals get off consistently didn’t send a message too.

      • Rob in CT

        Also, too, on the self-awareness front… Reagan signed an immigration law that the anti-immigrant righties now bash as “Amnesty” (and blame on Democrats exclusively, of course, because St. Ronaldus Augustus only ever did things they don’t like because of Democrat perfidity).

        • Mike G

          Magic Dolphin Lady probably wrote some of Reagan’s speeches supporting the 1986 immigration bill. Funny how she doesn’t mention that.

          • los

            Peggy Nooner: “I was just following orders”

    • JustRuss

      Oh Nooners, let’s review your list….re the labor markets, illegals take the crappiest jobs, because employers who pay decent wages would rather hire workers who speak English and aren’t likely to be deported. And ask the state of Georgia who picks the crops if you do manage to keep out the undocumented workers. You know what does hurt American labor markets? When your “protected” buddies decide to move their factory to Guam.

      Financial cost? Uh-huh. Could you be a little more vague please?
      Crime? Despite what Mr. Trump and Fox News tell you, the data on illegal immigrant crime is pretty murky. An epidemic it is not.
      “The sense that the rule of law is collapsing”? Stop listening to Trump and Fox and you’ll sleep much better, trust me.

      • efgoldman

        Oh Nooners, let’s review your list

        Well, as Mike G just above you points out, she was a speechwriter for Sanctus Ronaldus Magnus; she’s used to making shit up.

        • los

          Nooner “decries” the result of decades of unprotected exposure to Nooner’s “liberul media” (owned by her masters)

      • Matt McIrvin

        What burns me is that when these people were actually streaming into the US during the George W. Bush administration, it wasn’t such a big problem, but now that Obama has started enforcing the laws and the flow has essentially stopped, NOW they’re upset about Obama opening the borders to these waves of immigrants supposedly flooding into the US and talking about building a wall. The rhetoric is essentially 100% opposite to the reality on the ground.

        Aside from the president being black, I think the main thing that triggered it was the Central American refugee crisis of 2014. I suspect most Americans don’t even know those kids were from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, not Mexico, and that the reason the flood has abated a bit was that Mexico stepped up and started preventing them from coming through. Noel Maurer recently pointed out a really scary thing: if Trump gets elected on anti-immigrant hysteria, takes office and ruins relations with Mexico, those Central American kids are going to start flooding into the country in large numbers again, creating more hysteria. Positive feedback loop.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    the people in the second photo look so much more intelligent

  • mikeSchilling

    We could call them “sets”. Or maybe there’s another word that’s mire proper.

    • Moondog

      May I borrow that for my dystopian YA novel about Protecteds and Unprotecteds?

      • mikeSchilling

        What’s mine is yours, Comrade.

  • pianomover

    It’s the same old talking points from the same flapping jaw.
    Trump is Tyson

    • Paul Campos

      Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get hit.”

  • Ronan

    We’re all charles Murray now.

    • Ronan


      • Hogan

        Wait, you can do that to your own comments?

        • N__B

          You’ll grow hair on your avatar.

          • Hogan

            And you would know.

            • N__B

              Fuckin’ A, bubba.

              And as that I type out that phrase, reasonably common among teens living in 1970s Queens, I realize the importance of the comma.

        • mikeSchilling

          You can if you’re Charles Murray.

  • BoredJD

    Interesting theory. The “protected” class in America apparently consists entirely of 1) Hollywood liberals, and 2) undefined “Washington establishment” types (i.e. government workers making a GS-12) who send their kids to private schools. So long as you are a Wall Street banker living in Scarsdale or Greenwich who sends their kids to the local public school, you stand arm in arm with the Trump movement.

    I also had no idea that the overwhelming concern of the largely white suburban/rural voters who make up Trump’s base was really whether urban kids would should go to charter schools or not. And who knew that all that was holding back the “protected” Republicans from stopping illegal immigration was a fear of being called racist by liberals, and not, I don’t know, the overwhelming financial interest of businessmen and bankers for cheap labor.

    • los

      Nooner: “The Crony Capitalists for whom I propagamdize are saints. Thus, my lies are holy.”

      • los

        propagandize (typo)

        • LosGatosCA


  • [The protected class] make public policy and have for some time.

    Where “some time” = “last seven years”.

  • Matt

    With that title, this was the Python sketch I was expecting:


    Ann Elk (Miss) would need to down a fifth of vodka just before going on stage to really capture Nooners, tho. :)

  • Mike in DC

    Eagerly awaiting the Pat Buchanan column, “I just found out Hitler was actually kind of a jerk”.

    • Buchanan is a yuuge Trump supporter.

      • Roger Ailes

        It’s because Dump called Pat a neo-Nazi when the Reform Party was attempting to draft Dump.

        Pat is just returning the compliment.

  • Their families function

    Translation: No one has ever been in any trouble that lawyers couldn’t solve.

  • efgoldman

    Peggy Noonan has a theory


  • Docrailgun
  • Charlie S

    I see, and Trump is standing up for those who are unprotected, like economic migrants and suffering refugees…

    • los

      Yes! Trump promises to stand up for the “unprotected” by yooogedly reducing the tax rates of the “protected”.

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