Thursday, October 21, 2010

Viva Chile!

When Peggy Noonan's writing started wandering down a strange path (this started when Obama was campaigning in 2008), it was a big disappointment for me.  I used to eagerly await her new column each week, and only rarely did she fail to deliver an interesting insight.  For a couple of years, one got the sense that somehow she'd been partly hijacked by the progressives.  I stopped reading her column altogether, and only when some other bloggers started mentioning her writing again a few months ago did I pay attention myself.

Now I'm back reading her column each week, for she seems to have shrugged off whatever “infection” she had.  Her column from last week is a great example of the kind of writing I cherished before.  Here she's commenting about Chilean President PiƱera's reaction to learning about the mine collapse and missing miners:
What do you do? You throw yourself at the problem. You direct your government: This is the thing we do now. You say, "We will get the men." You put your entire persona behind it, you put it all on the line, you gamble that your nation can do it. You trust your nation to do it. You do whatever possible to see your nation does it. And the day the rescues are to begin, you don't show up and wring your hands so people can say "Ah, he knew it might not work, he was not unrealistic, he was telling us not to get our hopes up." No, you stand there smiling with joy because you know it will work, you know your people will come through, you have utmost confidence. And so you go and radiate your joy from the first moment the rescue began and the first man came out straight through to the last man coming out. You stand. You stay.

It was the opposite of the governor of Louisiana during Katrina, projecting helplessness and loserdom, or the president flying over the storm, or the mayor holing up in a motel deciding this might be a good time for a breakdown. This was someone taking responsibility. 
This is the same comparison I made in an earlier post, though presented more eloquently than I ever could.  She's captured (in her entire post) exactly the set of reactions I had to Chile's oh-so-competent handling of the mine collapse, and our governments “loserdom”.

Nice to have your old self back, Peggy...

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