Noonan tells us that we all share "a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks" and goes on to say:
elites, our educated and successful professionals, are the ones who are
supposed to dig us out and lead us. I refer specifically to the elites
of journalism and politics, the elites of the Hill and at Foggy Bottom
and the agencies, the elites of our state capitals, the rich and
accomplished and successful of Washington, and elsewhere. I have a
nagging sense, and think I have accurately observed, that many of these
people have made a separate peace. That they’re living their lives and
taking their pleasures and pursuing their agendas; that they’re going
forward each day with the knowledge, which they hold more securely and
with greater reason than nonelites, that the wheels are off the trolley
and the trolley’s off the tracks, and with a conviction, a certainty,
that there is nothing they can do about it.
Rich, because the current state of affairs owes much to the fact that
the Republicans — her party — won, and have controlled our nation’s
public affairs for most of the past 35 years, and achieved so many of
their ambitions during that time. Achieved ambitions that have produced the results she now bemoans: the total disdain for governance and government, the active rejection of the idea that any good could come from any communal action, the complete belief in individualism and the power of greed for good, the willingness to use politics of division and personal attack to win power.
Rich because her party, the Republicans, have so effectively cultivated a hatred for the very "elites" Ms. Noonan now summons among many working class, and middle income voters, in order to wage a permanent campaign of insurgency, even as the incumbents.
Rich, ultimately, because it almost seems like she is outlining the next chapter in the "blame the liberals and the media" playbook that Noonan and her cohorts have been running for thirty years now. And now that it has become clear what her party’s regime has wrought, now it’s the fault of these so-called "elites" — for not stepping up and keeping things from going to hell in a handbasket.
If it wasn’t all so sad, it would be funny.
NB: Oh, and the "WWLD" title? A plaintive cry to the Original Republican — What Would Lincoln Do?