If anyone wonders why 24% of the population identify with the Tea Party movement, or what prompted Jane Hampsher of FireDogLake to note that Progressivism Is Dead, while expressing fury at being sold out to corporate oligarchs and government elite, look no further than Peggy Noonan’s WSJ piece, The Big Alienation, which aptly describes the growing sense of disenfranchisement felt by most conservatives, some progressives and many in between. It is as a good a definition as I’ve seen and Party identification seems to have little to do with it:

We are at a remarkable moment. We have an open, 2,000-mile border to our south, and the entity with the power to enforce the law and impose safety and order will not do it. Wall Street collapsed, taking Main Street’s money with it, and the government can’t really figure out what to do about it because the government itself was deeply implicated in the crash, and both political parties are full of people whose political careers have been made possible by Wall Street contributions. Meanwhile we pass huge laws, bills so comprehensive, omnibus and transformative that no one knows what’s in them and no one—literally, no one—knows how exactly they will be executed or interpreted. Citizens search for new laws online, pore over them at night, and come away knowing no more than they did before they typed “dot-gov.”

It is not that no one’s in control. Washington is full of people who insist they’re in control and who go to great lengths to display their power. It’s that no one takes responsibility and authority. Washington daily delivers to the people two stark and utterly conflicting messages: “We control everything” and “You’re on your own.”

All this contributes to a deep and growing alienation between the people of America and the government of America in Washington.

None of this happened overnight. It is, most recently, the result of two wars that were supposed to be cakewalks, Katrina, the crash, and the phenomenon of a federal government that seemed less and less competent attempting to do more and more by passing bigger and bigger laws.

Add to this states on the verge of bankruptcy, the looming debt crisis of the federal government, and the likelihood of ever-rising taxes. Shake it all together, and you have the makings of the big alienation. Alienation is often followed by full-blown antagonism, and antagonism by breakage.

Ms. Noonan also states:

The right never trusted the government, but now the middle doesn’t.

If Jane Hamsher is to be believed, many on the left aren’t thrilled either.

Of course, the White House is going to go after Social Security again. It’s the pot of gold at the end of Wall Street’s rainbow, and they desperately want that injection of cash which could keep their giant ponzi scheme from exploding. . . for a little while.

Lucky for them, Obama has successfully dismantled the opposition that kept George Bush from privatizing Social Security at Wall Street’s behest only a few years ago. Did anybody fail to get that message when majority whip Dick Durbin yesterday told “bleeding heart liberals” that they need to be willing to accept cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits for the economic well-being of the nation?

…Just as the choice groups sat on their hands for the Nelson amendment in the health care bill, just like the Sierra Club remains mute in the wake of an oil spill the size of Delaware, there will be nothing more than progressive window-dressing in opposition to cutting Social Security benefits this time around. Any of these groups utter so much as a whimper in response to Durbin’s very alarming statement yesterday? Nada. Zip. Zero.

The idea that the right is more “authoritarian” and top-down than the left is absurd.

Good point, Ms. Hamsher – I don’t much trust what’s coming out of either side.

Ms. Noonan then discusses the much criticized law that Arizona’s passed out of frustration to control its borders:

It is doing this because the federal government won’t, and because Arizonans have a crisis on their hands, areas on the border where criminal behavior flourishes, where there have been kidnappings, murders and gang violence. If the law is abusive, it will be determined quickly enough, in the courts…

But the larger point is that Arizona is moving forward because the government in Washington has completely abdicated its responsibility. For 10 years—at least—through two administrations, Washington deliberately did nothing to ease the crisis on the borders because politicians calculated that an air of mounting crisis would spur mounting support for what Washington thought was appropriate reform—i.e., reform that would help the Democratic and Republican parties.


The American president has the power to control America’s borders if he wants to, but George W. Bush and Barack Obama did not and do not want to, and for the same reason, and we all know what it is. The fastest-growing demographic in America is the Hispanic vote, and if either party cracks down on illegal immigration, it risks losing that vote for generations.

But while the Democrats worry about the prospects of the Democrats and the Republicans about the well-being of the Republicans, who worries about America?

No one. Which the American people have noticed, and which adds to the dangerous alienation—actually it’s at the heart of the alienation—of the age.

Both Hamsher and Noonan make clear that we don’t have much by way of allies in the persons of our government officials. It is apparent to anyone half awake that Democrats and Republicans, for the most part, capture an issue in furtherance of their careers and little else. There is a line in the movie “Syriana” –

“We want to give the appearance of doing our due diligence. But we don’t want to do our due diligence.”

Noonan uses the issue of government’s failure to secure the border to the same effect in her piece as Hamsher uses “the giant flaming ball of oil being pushed straight for the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi” that “[m]ight be the worst environmental event in decades” in hers – as examples of government ineffectiveness due as the result of succumbing to interest groups rather than doing what is best for the American people.

For those of us at NoQuarter long shouting in frustration for better leadership than what was being foisted upon us all, it is ironic that Noonan may be the first major pundit to make the following observation:

I asked a campaigner for Hillary Clinton recently where her sturdy, pantsuited supporters had gone. They didn’t seem part of the Obama brigades. “Some of them are at the tea party,” she said.

Though I don’t care for her “sturdy, pantsuit” snark –she notes correctly that we feel we have no place in this new world order of the Democratic party. Perrylogan, one of the commenters to Hamsher’s piece, makes clear why:

The progressive movement died during the primaries, when Obama’s supporters started calling their fellow Democrats racists.


In the universe of President Obama, the second “Great Uniter” in a row (George Bush II being the first), we are now more divided against ourselves than ever. It also looks as though many are feeling divided from the very people we have elected to protect our best interests.

Much of this is the result of the politics of demagoguery – served up to control the populace rather than to assist it, to divide us from each other, so we never take the time to notice we have far more in common than we realize.

All this jumble is to say that when two ladies from opposite sides of the aisle express this much anger and frustration, it is time for our politicians to wake up – lest we do figure out how to unite peacefully. Then those elitists Jane, Peggy and we all rage against might be ridden out of town on a rail.

  • Patti

    I stand by my comment. If you supported Hillary during the primary, there is no reason not to support her now. She is the same women, fighting for women’s causes among many other things. If you diss Hillary for wanting to continue to serve our country AND help women around the world, you are a traitor to women.

  • I’m a Linda too

    Excellent post.  Thank you.

  • Kathleen Wynne


    I am not comparing Sarah and Hillary, I am merely pointing out that she chose to resign rather than be unable to govern due to the Alaska dems hobbling her ability to govern.

    They are two very different women politically, but nonetheless, both are still extraordinary in their achievements.

  • lorac

    Docelder, I’ve always seen Hillary as a Centrist, center left.  If “progressive” means far left, then I never saw her that way….

  • lorac

    And don’t forget, Ani, his handpicked head of Homeland Security didn’t even know until a couple of days ago that the military had boats that could skim up the oil….   oy!

  • Justine

    Excuse me.  I meant to type “Can you please provide me some examples of her disagreements.”  Sorry.

  • Justine

    Ani:  “even though she clearly does not agree with some of the actions of this administration.”  Not that clear to me, Ani — can you please provide a couple of examples of his disagreements?

    Peggy Sue:  “But Hillary Clinton’s input at State is something I value.”  Why?  Obviously Hillary’s input is about as useful as ours — it is not taken into consideration at all. 

    I think Obummer and his minions must have something on Hillary or Bill that they’re holding over them, so Hillary will do whatever they want.  I have lost all confidence in Hillary’s independence.

  • lorac

    But Sarah doesn’t hold a public office, and even if she did, it would be in the opposite party.  I don’t think at this point in time, a fair comparison can be made between Sarah and Hillary.

  • lorac

    But Ferd, I think we may all have different ideas of when the time is “to take a firm stand”.  Doesn’t make us dittoheads if our time line is different  🙂

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  • helen aka d2i

    Outstanding piece, Ani. It’s women who seem to be stepping up these days leading and speaking the truth. I think it’s time for a woman’s revolution. No offense to the good men, but y’all have had more than 200 years at it and well, nuff said, I think it’s time for we women to lead.

  • sowsear

    Space article, above

  • Jackie

    “Have a good time, troll. You were had and we’re not surprised.”

    Does it ever concern you, Ferd, that your debating abilities are strictly limited to intimidation and harassment?

  • sowsear

    Comments are being covered by comments from new comments up above.

  • carol haka

    Susan Rice.


  • Kathleen Wynne

    Sarah also had to resign as governor for going against the power elite and they hobbled her ability to govern.  While she has power to inspire people and I like her for her ability to connect with average citizens, she has hurt her chances to be elected to office in the near future. 

    Nonetheless, I have high hopes for Sarah’s political future in the next 5-10 years.

  • Ani

    The day someone equates anything I have to say with something the obamabots would say, that is a sad day and an unfair comment to make.  I’m not making excuses for anyone.  If you no longer support Hillary, that is your right.  There is a big picture here and she has had foreign policy influence — it would be a lot worse were she not on board.  I am not happy with everything she is doing either.  By comparison, she’s stil l the best we’ve got.  I understand if you feel at this point that that’s not saying much.

  • Kathleen Wynne


    Let me know if there ever was a SOS who publicly defied the president’s policies, ok.  You totally leave out her obligation in her role as SOS and a member of Obama’s administration.

    I won’t go after her until she has left his administration.  If she continues to support obama and his policies then, I’ll not be gentle in my criticism of her.

  • Ani

    Thanks so much, FF.  I can always count on you to drop off these optimistic little factoids.  I sincerely hope these joyous missives have been having the desired result. =-O

  • No Longer an American

    I blame Hillary for this mess we are in more than obama. she caved. she sold us down the river. I’m done with that traitorous bitch

  • Freedom Fighter

    Americans are more optimistic about the future of the economy than they were last month, according to a new CBS News/ New York Times poll. Forty-one percent of Americans now say the economy is improving, up eight points from April and more than at any time during this recession. Just 15 percent think the economy is getting worse, according to the poll, conducted April 28 – May 2.

    There has also been a small bump in President Obama’s approval rating on the economy. In a five-point increase from last month, 48 percent now approve of the job he’s doing on the economy. That’s the highest approval rating on his handling of the economy the president has seen since last November. Forty-seven percent disapprove of his handling of it.

    Most Democrats (77 percent) approve of the president’s handling the economy, while most Republicans disapprove (86 percent). Independents are divided: 46 percent approve, while 45 percent disapprove. Last month, more independents disapproved than approved of how Mr. Obama was handling the economy.

  • Peggy Sue

    I agree, Rosa. 

  • Ferd Berfle

    They’re not coming for you, Jackie. You’re under the bus, too. Have a good time, troll. You were had and we’re not surprised.

  • Ferd Berfle

    They’re not coming for you, either, Jackie. You’re under the bus, too. Have a good time, troll.

  • Rosa

    is anyone else having a problem with this blog comments.the comments are covered by by past commentinging{in large blocks of by me and others} and its impossible to read anything for the most part?

  • Rosa

    I would hate to imagine who Obama would put in her position when she resigns….I think it is a scary thought .

  • No Longer Banned in Beantown

    even though she clearly does not agree with some of the actions of this administration.

    Bullshit! Hillary has always been in line with Obama, goose stepping all the way. She said she would follow Obama during the primaries, and in that regard she has not disappointed.

    Hillary has just proven that she is unprincipled.

  • Docelder

    See, Obama is a great uniter. He unites his enemies. He divides everybody who doesn’t realize he is their enemy.

  • Peggy Sue

    I, too, will always vote for Hillary.  She’s one of the few people in government right now that I still trust, someone who has always held ordinary Americans, women and children here and abroad as important, worth standing up for. 

    Do I like this Administration?  No.  But Hillary Clinton’s input at State is something I value.  Would I be terribly upset if she left the Administration?  Not particularly.  I’d hate to see her tainted by this WH.  But I think she’s done a good job staying out of the domestic food fight and allowed Obama to burn his own bridges [and unfortunately, ours]. I have no doubt that Bill and Hillary Clinton are two of the smartest people we have working in our behalf.  And I’m sure there is a lot going on behind the scenes that we are not aware of.

    Truth is, I don’t agree with Hillary Clinton on every point.  Nor should I.  I have my own point of view as we all do.  And we shouldn’t forget that the Clintons are master politicians.  But I trust them [even Bill Clinton with all his personal flaws].  I trust they have the Nation’s best interests at heart.  And trust is at a premium these days.

    I don’t give up on people I admire that easily.  You can look at the humanitarian work Bill Clinton is doing now and you can look at the work Hillary Clinton has worked and supported tirelessly in the past [because despite what the Obamatrons insist, past accomplishments are the measure of a person].

    My vote is still with Hillary.

  • Jackie

    “Then they CAME FOR ME”

    Godwin’s Law invoked, and it’s not even lunchtime.

  • Jackie

    What policy goals do Peggy Noonan and Jane Hamsher have in common?  Zero.  Wishing for Obama’s demise alone is a substance-free bond.  If you got these two in a room together to share their visions for this country, they would either be shrieking at each other or exiting with slammed doors within 5 minutes.

  • Ferd Berfle

    However, I think the point that commenter was making was not about what Hillary stands for but what the Democratic Party was supposed to stand for
    Ani, that is an excuse the obamabots would use. I know you support her but HRC made a conscious decision and a lot of us don’t agree with it. She has sided with That One. That is the crux of the matter and nothing else.

  • Obamastolemyhealthcare

    Sarah took many risks during the election and does every single day to get people out there.  What the hell is either Clinton doing?  They fell in line.  No guts, no glory.

  • Obamastolemyhealthcare

    All you need to know is Noonan is one of those women who could never stand it if a woman looked smarter then her and that is why she would support neither Clinton nor Palin!

  • starburst

    Yes, but part of the reason, I suspect, that she leaned toward Obama during the primaries is because he was running against Hillary — a woman Noonan has despised for decades.

  • Ani

    However, I think the point that commenter was making was not about what Hillary stands for but what the Democratic Party was supposed to stand for and when they chose to demonize their fellow Dems for not falling in line for The One, that was the death knell.  One could argue they had lost their way before then, but that was the final straw.  That is not to say that Hillary always represented everyone’s progressive ideals.  One can feel any way they want to about that, obviously.  
    But Dems calling other Dems racists — I think that commenter was actually saying the party died then (along with any hope for true progressive ideals).  Just my .02.

  • Ani

    However, I think the point that commenter was making was not about what Hillary stands for but what the Democratic Party was supposed to stand for and when they chose to demonize their fellow Dems for not falling in line for The One, that what the death knell.  One could argue they had lost their way before then, but that was the final straw.  That is not to say that Hillary always represented everyone’s progressive ideals.  One can feel any way they want to about that, obviously.

    But Dems calling other Dems racists — I think that commenter was actually saying the party died then (along with any hope for true progressive ideals).  Just my .02.

  • kenoshamarge

    I don’t expect her to be responsible for anyone’s actions but her own. Her actions to me are the actions of someone who is a good loyal Democrat. That’s not enough for me. If that’s being unreasonable, so be it. It happens to me MY opinion.

    I also base my opinion on the things she says and does. I was appalled at her stand on Zelaya and Honduras. Was that because she was following Obama’s orders or is that what she really thought? Either way I can not support someone who seems to think that the lawfully elected governments of other countries haven’t the right to decide things for themselves.

    Yesterday on meet the press  [blockquote]”Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that she doesn’t “think there is any doubt” that Arizona’s immigration law would invite racial profiling.[/blockquote] That’s not someone I can or will support.

    I respect your right to continue to believe. I don’t. And I don’t think that my position is any more “unreasonable” than yours.

  • Ladydawnelle

    thus proving the theory that they are “far too smart” is totally bogus!

    they are just average lemming 3rd rate msm window dressings that would rather drink the koolaid and dream (for party sake) then open their narrow minds to logic, reason and REALITY!!  (until it hits them sqare between the eyes)  by then they’ve already blindly propagandized us into extinction!  thanks alot ya dopes!

  • Ferd Berfle

    I believe you to be true to your convictions, Ani, and I applaud you for it. I, however, cannot allow my respect for HRC to direct my standards. She made a mistake (and so did I by allowing myself to believe it would be OK) by working for the incredible shrinking man in the WH. I won’t make that mistake again.

  • Ferd Berfle

    I understand, Docelder, from one Okie to another. Pity, actually.

  • wbboei

    The PINOs should should wake up. There is an end game here for those who are wise enough to see it. It is the totalitarian mind at work, seeking to reshape our society by silencing all opposition. New lyrics but the same song. Watch:
    First they called us RACISTS, and I did not speak out—because I was not a racist;Then they called us a MOB, and I did not speak out—because I was not a mobster;Then they threatened a NEWS NETWORK who opposed them, and I did not speak out—because I was not a journalist;Then they LOOTED OUR WEALTH, and I did not speak out—because I wanted to believe they would take care of me;Then they UNDERMINED OUR CONSTITUTION, and I did not speak out- because he is a law professorThen they CAME FOR ME– even though I never opposed them—–BUT THERE WAS NO ONE LEFT TO SPEAK FOR ME. . .

  • Kathleen Wynne


    No, you’re not a traitor, but you are being unreasonable in your criticism of Hillary.  Why do you and others expect her to be responsible for everyone else’s shortcomings? 

    As I mentioned above, focus your anger and frustration at those responsible and hold them accountable for their own actions. 

    Hillary has been there for us more than any other public servant, which is why her approval ratings are the highest of any in the obama administration.

  • Sassy

    I agree wholeheartedly with Kenoshamarge and Ferd!
    I’m not a clone and I choose to think and act for myself, until demented or dead, whichever comes first!
    Hillary is an admirable woman and I do not regard her as my enemy, but we no longer share the same perspective on political issues!
    I won’t wear the “traitor” label, and that also goes for the “racist” label!

  • wbboei

    the growing sense of disenfranchisement felt by most conservatives, some progressives and many in between
    ani, excellent analysis and synthesis of opinion and reaction across the political spectrum.  To the above statement I would add only this.

    First, I have done some pro bono legislative work for the small ranching community before Congress and have been told by more than one cattlemen that the night before the animals are slaughtered there is a restlessness and uneasiness that stirs through the herd.  And so it is here.  This situation is far more serious than most people realize and they should listen to their instincts.  Indeed, Michael Barone’s apt description of the Age of Obama–that the goal is to take from the politically unprotected (the middle class) and give to the politically connected is the temper of out time.  If the American People do not wake up they will not recognize this country in another 20 years.  Not for nothing did Obama enabler John Dingell say our goal is to put in place a set of laws which will enable us to “control” the people.

    Second, the following article by Mr. Justice Markman of the Michigan State Supreme Court which appeared in the latest edition of Imprimus. This article sets forth in haec verba the master plan of Obama to transform our society though the court system, substituting the system of representative government embedded in our Constitution with a new Constitution that sets up a bevy of Platonic Guradians in its stead and place. Here is the link: http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis.asp The books written by Obama’s Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein who is married to Israel hater Sam Power are incontrovertible proof of their intent.