Peggy Noonan: 'A Leader Leads,' Obama's 'Never Been Able To Do It'

On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wheeled out the typical Democrat talking point that President Obama can't get anything accomplished because of Republican obstructionism in Congress.

Not buying this nonsense was the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan who smartly responded, "A leader leads. Part of the president's problem is that he has never, from day one, been able to really pull in bipartisan support, either make Republicans afraid of him or want to follow him. He's never been able to do it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

 


E.J.DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Could, could I just say that a lot depends on whether Obama can hold the Republicans accountable for blocking this? And we--you can't--it's not some vague, "This can't get done." There's a very specific obstacle--Harry Truman did a good job in 1948 at identifying the obstacle as Republicans, and that's what Obama has to do. We don't know if he can do it yet.

REP. XAVIER BECERRA (D-CALIFORNIA): But his...

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Let's--Peggy, go ahead.

PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: A leader leads.

MR. GREGORY: Go ahead.

MS. NOONAN: A leader leads. Part of the president's problem is that he has never, from day one, been able to really pull in bipartisan support, either make Republicans afraid of him or want to follow him. He's never been able to do it. Part of the reason people are talking about Chris Christie is that he's in a Democratic state, he's a Republican governor, but he has made progress on deficits, spending, pensions, property taxes with a Democratic legislature. It's never an excuse that washes to say, "Oh, the other team, the other party are bad guys. They wouldn't follow me." If you're a leader, you make them...

REP. BECERRA: Well, then let's put the president's jobs bill on the floor of the House...

MS. NOONAN: But if you're a leader, you make them follow you.

Indeed. And as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough accurately noted regarding a similar charge by Dionne in a September 1 column:

The President owned – OWNED! – Washington, D.C., in 2009 and 2010. Owned it! Fifty, at points he had a filibuster-proof Senate. He had a seventy-nine vote margin in the House. And E.J. Dionne, again with all due respect, he’s a nice man, but he was blaming Republicans then as well.

At some point, E.J. Dionne and other people who celebrated the triumph of Barack Obama are going to have to turn the mirror on the man that they adore and realize that they’ve been writing the same columns whether this president was, had a filibuster-proof Senate or whether they had John Boehner as Speaker.

Exactly. And now a month later, Dionne is saying the same nonsense on "Meet the Press."

Fortunately, Noonan was there to set him and the viewers straight.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.