While watching G.W. Bush’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, I was quite startled by the expression of disgust on Miz “Plantation” Hillary’s face when the president made a gentle joke about his father’s saying that his two favorite people are turning 60 this year: Dubya himself and Bill Clinton. For your information, Senator, that was a gracious proffer of the bipartisan olive branch on a bipartisan evening. The proper response was a smile (even a glazed smile if you found the joke corny), not a sneer.

So I’m glad to read in today’s Wall Street Journal that columnist Peggy Noonan was also taken aback at Hillary’s singular want of civility. Peggy writes:

“There was only one unforgettable moment, and that was in a cutaway shot, of Hillary Clinton, who simply must do something about her face. When the president joked that two people his father loves are turning 60 this year, himself and Bill Clinton–why does he think constant references to that relationship work for him?–it was Mrs. Clinton’s job to look mildly amused, or pleasant, or relatively friendly, or nonhostile. Mrs. Clinton has two natural looks, the first being a dull and sated cynicism, the second the bright-eyed throaty chuckler who greets visiting rubes from Utica. The camera caught the first; by the time she realized she was the shot, she apparently didn’t feel she could morph into the second. This canniest of politicians still cannot fake benignity.

“Maybe she knew the habitués of the Daily Kos, and other leftwing Web sites, were watching.”

Yes, Hillary is playing to the Democratic Party base these days, as evidenced by her joining a mere 24 of her fellow Senate Dems, to call for a filibuster on the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. And what a base it is. Peggy continues:

“Conservatives are always writing about the strains and stresses within the Republican Party, and they are real. But the Democratic Party seems to be near imploding, and for that most humiliating of reasons: its meaninglessness. Republicans are at least arguing over their meaning.

“The venom is bubbling on websites like Kos, where Tuesday afternoon, after the Alito vote, various leftists wrote in such comments as ‘F— our democratic leaders,’ ‘Vichy Democrats’ and ‘F— Mary Landrieu, I hope she drowns.’ The old union lunch-pail Democrats are dead, the intellects of the Kennedy and Johnson era retired or gone, and this–I hope she drowns–seems, increasingly, to be the authentic voice of the Democratic base.

“How will a sane, stable, serious Democrat get the nomination in 2008 when these are the activists to whom the appeal must be made?

“Republicans have crazies. All parties do. But in the case of the Democrats–the leader of their party, after all, is the unhinged Howard Dean–the lunatics seem increasingly to be taking over the long-term health-care facility. Great parties die this way, or show that they are dying.”

For a taste of the lunatics’ suicide impulse, click over to the Huffington Post, where Arianna is still frothing that the Dems chose moderate Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine to respond to the SOTUS instead of the radicalized Jack Murtha.

SOTUSwear Update: Eurotrash-talking fashion blogger Manolo says that if he were in charge of the “Gestapo,” here is one law he would definitely enforce: 

“Under no conceivable circumstance should one wear the slogan-bearing t-shirt to the Statement of the Union Speech. And, if you are silly enough to do this, you deserve to be led out in shame to the Capitol Rotunda where the gay-but-fashion-challenged Fab Five they will publicly make you over into the ridiculous metrosexual. This they should do this even if you are the woman.

“Trust the Manolo, wearing the political t-shirt to the formal ceremonial event, it does nothing for your cause. Indeed, the trivality of such attire, it perhaps even undermines the seriousness of your position.”