I don’t read her for the arguments any more. But she sure is feeling things:
I think a lot of people right now, certainly Republicans and conservatives, feel like a guy in a batting cage taking ball after ball from an automatic pitching machine. He’s hitting the ball and keeping up and suddenly the machine starts going berserk. It’s firing five balls a second, then 10. At first he tries to hit a few. Then he’s just trying to duck, trying not to get hurt.
That’s how people feel about the demands and dictates. The balls keep coming at them politically, locally, culturally. Republicans and conservatives comprise at least half the country. That’s a lot of people.
Ten balls a second! So I ask myself, as one does: what does she mean by balls? I can glean the following:
Rules, regulations, many of them stupid, from all the agencies—local, state, federal—on the building of a house, or the starting of a business. You can only employ so many before the new insurance rules kick in so don’t employ too many, don’t take a chance! Which means: Don’t grow. It takes the utmost commitment to start a school or improve an existing one because you’ll come up against the unions, which own the politicians.
Okay, so Obamacare. And yes, it does add a burden of mandated responsibility for employees’ healthcare and your own. Here at the Dish, we’ve gone through the tedious and time-consuming business of figuring out our new insurance policy in the exchanges, and I’ve found a new policy for myself here in DC. It was a hassle, but it would be hard to argue that it’s that much more burdensome than figuring out our insurance before Obamacare. And, in my case, for the first time in two decades, I feel secure in being able to keep my insurance regardless of what happens to my employment situation. I’d go further and say that Obamacare helped give me the security that allowed me to start a new small business. Has that ever occurred to Noonan? Maybe it takes having a pre-existing condition to see it from one potential employer’s point of view.
As for “local, state, federal” regulations on building a house or starting a business: is Noonan really saying that these only exist because of “angry progressives”? Please.
And she fails to provide any evidence that this kind of regulation has intensified these past few years.
Then there’s the invocation of the poor citizens of Arizona, being pelted with gay balls. I understand and sympathize with a sense of bewilderment, especially among fundamentalists and the older generations, at the advance of gay dignity and equality. But, as Jan Brewer noted, there had not been a single incident of alleged gay aggression in Arizona. If any group could be forgiven for feeling that it was being pummeled with a fusillade of balls, it has been the gay and lesbian community, suddenly confronted across several states with bills that would have decimated any protections against discrimination. Has it ever occurred to Noonan that gay people might feel under siege as well? From Russia to Uganda and Nigeria, aided and abetted by American Christianists, gay people are experiencing a wave of hatred and hostility far surpassing the discomfort of a fundamentalist wedding planner. And yet Noonan can only see things from the perspective of those seeking to keep sinners at arm’s length.
At some point, her editors might ask her to complement her feelings with actual arguments. But one senses she doesn’t really have any. Just a hell of a lot of balls.