(UPDATE: I’m putting this on the front page because it was mentioned on The Professional Left Podcast and people are looking for it. Fresher posts below. Thank you to Bluegal and Driftglass for the hat tip.)
Anatomy of a Column
eggy Noonan placed the now-empty Mai Tai glass on the top row of the pyramid of glasses in front of her, precariously perched on her stool as precariously as the glasses were on the bar. A fresh Mai Tai magically appeared before her and her appreciative audience at her new favorite watering hole, The Chelsea Pier, applauded her skill and accuracy. She quaffed deeply, smacked her lips, and gave a gimlet eye to the task before her.
Noonan looked up at the wall-mounted TV to see Chris Christie was still the subject of discussion on all the talking head shows. To no one in particular, she murmured,
“Chris Christie’s problem isn’t that he’s a bully, it’s that he’s selfish,”
She took a thoughtful sip of her drink and declared:
“Barack Obama isn’t stupid and therefore the maker of mayhem, he’s selfish.”
“Take that back, Pegs!” screeched her competitor, the 6-foot tall Nancy Reagan female impersonator (complete with 5 o’clock shadow, “just like the real one,” Noonan once snickered). It was troubling to Noonan that even an ersatz Nancy Reagan would defend the imposter sitting in the same chair as Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever. Her little bird-like hand fluttered up to the pearl necklace she always wore, a gift from the great man himself.
“OK,” Noonan sighed, “he is stupid.” and she put another empty glass on the pyramid. There was a sharp inhalation of air from the gathered crowd.
“But the odd thing, the destabilizing thing as you think about it,”…
the glasses wobbled for a second,
“is that we’re in a crisis. We’ve been in it since at least 2008 and the crash, and the wars.”
Noonan was pleased with herself for the “at least” part. It was her escape clause when challenged that these unpleasant events transpired under a Republican president, the unthinkably simple Dubya. “Not Babs best work,” she said to herself.
Noonan was warmed up to her subject and sipping on the next Mai Tai (“only for the pyramid,” Noonan chuckled about the original challenge of the egyptian tombs. “I thirst for knowledge.”).
“We are in unprecedented trouble. Citizens know this. It’s why they buy guns. They see unfixable America around them, they think it’s all going to fall apart.”
One of the highball glasses Nancy Reagan placed looked to be sliding for a moment and then steadied itself on the top row. The false Nancy Reagan exhaled.
“In Washington (and New York) they huff and puff their disapproval: Those Americans with their guns, they’re causing a lot of trouble. But Americans think they’re in trouble because their leaders are too selfish to face challenges that will do us in.”
Looking around the bar at her audience, Noonan suddenly declared,
“There’s an increasing sense in our political life that in both parties politicians call themselves public servants but act like bosses who think the voters work for them…”
Noonan noted with satisfaction that at least some of the heads in her audience with shaking with approval. She continued.
“Politicians who jerk around doctors, nurses and health systems call themselves servants, when of course they look more like little kings and queens instructing the grudging peasants in how to arrange their affairs.”
Just then there was a large crash, as the pyramid of Nancy Reagan’s highball classes crashed off of the bar, having been nudged by a shifting shoulder pad.
“It was political selfishness that blew up the American health-care system,”
Peggy Noonan exalted triumphantly, as she placed the last Mai Tai glass on the point of her pyramid.
Anatomy of a Column
eggy Noonan looked quizzically at the instructions of assembly for the new bicycle she was gifting herself for Christmas, her goal being to become fit for the new year, and took a deep quaff of her libation for both strength and courage in these trying times.
“One needs a better translation from the Chinese to understand these things,” she muttered darkly as she looked for something called a Hex wrench in the piles of metal thingies scattered about the Aviary 2, her new, grand penthouse, so spacious and chic. “But at least it wasn’t translated by the strange sign-language impostor at the Mandela memorial,” she giggled to herself.
Turning to her life-sized cut out of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, she muttered his name…
“My worries came home with a certain freshness after the Mandela memorial, where the United States Secret Service allowed the president of the United States to stand for 19 minutes next to the famous sign-language interpreter who, it was quickly revealed, was not only a fraud but a schizophrenic con man who is now said to have been involved in two deaths.”
She took a sip of refreshment and stared deep into Dutch’s eyes. He blinked back at her, or so it seemed. Her birdlike hand flew up to her ever-present pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself.
Ronnie’s voice filled the vast spaces of the penthouse, or at least her head. “Well, Mommie, er, Peggy, you know that virtually every head of government from the world was there, so it’s not exactly that you can blame his White House for this.”
Her stare broke and she looked downward at his cordovans, and whispered:
“In fairness, the event was in another country and the Secret Service wasn’t strictly in charge.”
Noonan perked up, and took a sip of her Mai Tai and said sprightly to the cardboard cut out,
“That said, it still looks like very basic negligence, as if no one is keeping enough of an eye on the Secret Service, no one’s checking the quality of the advance or sending emails asking: “Hey, what do we know about the sign language guy — any chance he’s a mentally ill criminal?”
Noonan clambered up from the floor, steadied herself, and marched into the kitchen to replenish her refreshment, and noticed that the bacon-wrapped cocktail weenies she nuked an hour ago were still in the machine. She re-nuked them, and called out to Ronnie,
“I’m worried, finally, that lines of traditionally assumed competence are being dropped. The past few weeks I can’t shake from my head this picture: The man with the football — the military aide who carries the U.S. nuclear codes, and who travels with the president — is carrying the wrong code. He’s carrying last month’s code, or the one from December 2012.
Ronnie seemed to groan, but Noonan soldiered on. “Hear me out, Chief, she said,
“And there’s a crisis — a series of dots on a radar screen traveling toward the continental U.S. — and the president is alerted. He’s in the holding room at a fundraiser out west.”
“Fundraising is a big part of the job, Peggy,” Ronnie grinned at her.
“The man with the football is called in and he fumbles around in his briefcase and gets the code but wait, the date on the code is wrong. He scrambles, remembers there’s a file on his phone, but the phone ran out on the plane and he thought he could recharge in the holding room but there’s no electrical outlet. All eyes turn to him.
“I remember this movie!,” Reagan gleamed happily at her. “It was a rip-snorter, wasn’t it? I don’t remember my leading lady in it. Was it Nancy?”
Noonan shuddered upon hearing her idol mention her rival’s name so fondly. She continued on,
“Wait — wait. No — uh — I don’t think that’s the code we use to launch against incoming from North Korea, I think that one takes out Paris!”
“But… but, Peggy, the nuclear launch codes have been the same since Truman was in office, all zeros. Even that drunk Bush kid could remember that one…”
Anatomy of a Column
eggy Noonan opened a bleary eye onto a new, cold, crisp New York day, with a dull throb in the back of her head. Instinctively her small, bird-like hand de-clutched the pearls given to her by Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, perhaps the greatest president ever, and reached on the Louis XV bedside stand for her First Aid Kit (the amusing name she gave her Christofle silver flask), only to discover—oh, horrors!—that it was empty.
“Half my kingdom for a horse,” she muttered to herself, “or at least an eye-opener.” She stumbled into the kitchen of the Aviary 2, the name she gave her new penthouse, so grand, so chic, and assembled her pitcher of breakfast (complete with a fresh wedge of pineapple, so juicy, so sweet), and the soothing relief it brought. “The good Captain never lets me down,” she nodded approvingly at her self-medication, a cup that indeed runneth-over onto the counter and momentarily on the floor. “Consuela will mop that up,” Noonan thought as relief dulled the throb in the back of her head.
Noonan thanked God for the miracle of modern science and that she did not have to go to the Park Avenue doctor for her remarkable headache, now that Obamacare was the rule of the land. “I’m not even sure if I’m insured any longer,” she thought. She considered the need for insurance, as healthcare is important to all of the rapidly aging Pundits in her cocktail circuit. “Well, I’m sure that Rupert has me covered,” she sniffed. “But what about others?,” the little people out in the heartland, which she was certain that existed on the other side of a bridge or tunnel somewhere. She had read about middle America once.
“People have seen their prices go up, their choices narrow. They have lost coverage. They have lost the comfort of keeping the doctor who knows them and knows they tend to downplay problems and not complain of pain, and so doing more tests might be in order, or tend to be hypochondriacal and probably don’t need an echocardiogram, or at least not a third one this year.”
Noonan took a thoughtful sip of her breakfast, and continued musing.
“Everyone understands in their own rough way that ObamaCare is a big mess. And that it’s not the website, it’s the law itself. They have seen systems crash. In the past 20 years they’ve seen their own computers crash. “
Noonan looked at her garage door opener as if for confirmation. She never got it to make a phone call, or listen to her music or her collection of Reagan speeches.
“They understand this new program was so big and complex and had so many moving parts and was built on so many assumptions that may or may not hold true, and that deals with so many people with so many policies—and they know they themselves have not read their own policies, for who would when the policies, like the law that now controls the policies, are written in a way that is deliberately obscure so as to give maximum flexibility to administrators in offices far away. And that’s just your policy. What about 200 million other policies? The government can’t handle that. The government can barely put up road signs.”
Noonan thought back fondly on her old insurance policies from years gone by, and the many hours she amused herself reading the small print, as she finished her breakfast. “So clear, so well-stated,” she smacked her lips as she slid off the kitchen barstool and made peace with the floor.
Bacardi Lifetime Achievement Winner Peggy Noonan is at odds with reality again:
By any definition, Nooners, Syria is already in a civil war.
Anyway, today’s column is another hot mess, essentially she channels her inner K-Lo and writes a mash note to the pacifist Pope, and seems to forget that in the ever-swirling, twirling mists of time (pre-happy hour? Yes.) that she was in favor of attacking it:
Mr. Assad is the first known leader to use chemical weapons since Saddam Hussein murdered his own people in the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988. The Syrian attack violates red lines Mr. Obama personally laid down.
Mr. Obama has strived mightily to avoid intervening in Syria, despite his repeated demands that Mr. Assad “must go.” The Administration’s U.N. gambit looks like one more way to avoid doing something it promised it would do if chemical weapons were used. Presidents who are exposed as bluffers tend to have their bluff called again and again, with ever more dangerous consequences.
Honest-to-Thor, there must have been a Captain Morgan two-for-one sale and the pineapple crop came in early or something, because her treatment of a Hillary BioPic is just completely unhinged:
“The dramatic template they’ll use is the life of Eleanor Roosevelt: Ugly duckling suffers much, finds her voice, leads. By the end she has become a thing of beauty, a real presence in the national life, a voice for the forgotten.”
“And Eleanor,” Noonan sniffed dismissively, “was also rumored to have had Sapphic desires.”
“She is an awkward teenager, can’t seem to get right what the other girls get so easily—the right headband, how to flirt. Scene: suburban basement party, 1963. The other girls dance to the Shirelles. Hillary, in a sad little flowered cotton dress, sits on a folding chair to the side. Next to her is a shy boy with a shirt-pocket pen protector. They silently watch, then talk about homework.”
“I wonder how I get across to the viewer that Hillary smelled funny, too?,” Noonan mused.
“She attempts to win her Republican father’s approval, becomes a Goldwater girl. It doesn’t work. He still criticizes her almost-perfect report cards. “Don’t they give A-pluses at your school?””
“And then Hillary practiced her Vince Foster kill shot on her dad.” Noonan poured another Mai Tai from the pitcher and resumed pecking at the keyboard of her trusty typewriter.
“She leaves home, goes to Wellesley, begins to study politics more seriously. Reading great texts, taking notes. Scene: Hillary in flared jeans, book in hand, running breathlessly down a dormitory corridor. She comes upon another student. “Listen to this, listen,” she says. “The working poor, especially those who are members of minority groups, are discriminated during the mortgage loan process at banks—especially women, who can’t even get a loan unless a man co-signs for it.” “
“Wanna go back to my room, sweetie?,” Noonan giggled as the words appeared, as if by magic on the 20-weight paper. “The writing takes care of itself,” Noonan murmured as she watched words, lovely words, fill up the sheet.
“Hillary insists, “We’ve got to do something about it!” and marches on. Another student pokes her head from a room, makes eye contact with towel girl, and they start to laugh. Rodham comes on a little strong.”
“Nuke all the men’s clubs,” Noonan’s typewriter slurred. “…and bayonet the survivors!”
“Moment of triumph: senior class address on graduation day. Hillary challenges the establishment, the entrenched powers. “We need more ecstatic modes of being.” It doesn’t make complete sense, but it’s the ’60s and nothing has to.
“This would be a great place,” Noonan mused, “for a 60s musical medley and perhaps some vintage footage of Ronald Wilson Reagan–the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever–calling out the National Guard at Berkeley back when he was governor.” Noonan took a big swig, smacked her lips, and then wiped them on the sleeve of her Lanz of Salisbury nightgown.
“In the audience, a mortified U.S. senator who’d come to speak at commencement. Hillary sees him squirm. We see on her face this thought: This thing I’m part of has power. The young have more power than we know.”
“I must ensure,” Noonan wrote in the margins with a fluid stroke of her fountain pen, “more hippie punching.”
“Yale Law school, long nights in the library. She meets Bill—charistmatic [sic], friendly, ambitious. This one knows how to dance the mashed potato and the Loco-Motion too.”
Noonan found her feet tapping out rhythms. “The Watusi,” Noonan shrieked, “the Pony!,” Noonan ran to the closet to find her vintage go-go boots, but they did not fit and the zipper hurt when they pinched her ample calves.
“Dates, movies, love. His mother, Virgina [sic] Kelley—antic, Southern white working class—doesn’t like her a bit. “She isn’t good enough, not your type—she doesn’t even wear mascara.” Bill holds firm: She is the partner I need for my journey.”
“Mascara,” Noonan burbled. “More mascara jokes!,” she looped in the margins.
“Marriage. Elections. First lady of Arkansas. Awkward. What is the line between feminist seriousness and movement priggishness? Where is the line between getting power and staying human? She wants to be serious and she wants, as always, to fit in. Intermittent mascara use.”
Noonan squealed, “Mascara!” Self-satisfied, she refreshed her Mai Tai and slurped on the pineapple wedge, so refreshing, so soothing.
Comic scene: Virginia gives her makeup lessons. Hillary walks out looking like a whore. But she’s learned something from their recently begun conversations: it’s a mistake to think you have nothing to learn from the Virginia Kelleys of the world. They know things they don’t teach in the Ivy League.”
“Note to self,” Noonan wrote in the margins, her handwriting getting cramped and tired, “Mascara jokes are golden.”
“Thrown out of office, back in office, baby Chelsea, inexorable rise. Rumors about Bill and women, works through it. Growing friendships with Democratic activists, movers and shakers, moneymen, pollsters. A new interest in children’s issues. Lucrative board memberships. She will fight the power from the inside. The shoulders of her power suit get bigger.”
Noonan ran back to her closet and pulled out a Reagan-era business suit with shoulder pads like linebackers. The chintz skirt, so flowing and feminine was not fitting right, needed to be let out just a smidgen, and the jacket was fitted with a peplum, very Alexis Carrington. She couldn’t breath.
“Bumps along the way in the primary: a woman, a tape. Hillary: I’m trying to be serious about policy here, I don’t bake cookies! The blows keep coming. She toughs it out. Her husband’s enemies are worse than he is. She loves him, and she didn’t come this far to let some personal nonsense take them out.”
“I wonder,” Noonan mused, “could cookies be the new mascara?” Noonan’s marginalia was starting to look a little shaky.
“Defeat, retreat, mascara. Triangulation: Is this good? Does it mean we’ve become what we hated? Or does it mean we’ve become practical? The point is power. Preserve it at all costs. Lincoln bedroom good place to park donors. You have to compromise to win.”
Noonan approved, “Reintroduce mascara,” she thought. “Power, that’s the new mascara…” the words were harder to write now, the typewriter was slower.
“Triumph. Economy good. Rope-a-dope Newt and the Contract With America nuts. Good legislation. Finally, everything good. The future all sunrise.”
“Meep, derp, mgnig,” Noonan sobbed into her typewriter.
“Then: Monica. Tears, “How could you ruin what we’ve built?” Scandal, horror, rage, slap.”
“Tear,” Noonan paused, “but no running mascara. Genius!”
“Repair. Reading. Eleanor Roosevelt biographies. Scene: Hillary is alone, looking out the window of the residence. In the background, Bill’s televised deposition. She stares at the tourists at the fence. They want in. She wants out. They’re freer than she is, locked up in this cage, locked in by her choices.”
“Note to self,” by now even Noonan’s handwriting was slurring, “reintroduce Sapphic regret.”
“She’s with girlfriends late at night in the residence. They’re telling stories, commiserating, drinking wine. “When Joe and I had our hard time we decided to stay in it, work it through. We had a life, a commitment, kids, a reasonable amount of love and a big sloppy dog. Looking back we did all right.” Another, a tough talking New Yorker: “Look, fall in love with a guy who can dance the Shirelles, ya gotta expect he’ll dance with a few shirelles!” Hillary laughs, hugs her.”
“Wine, soft lights, some lady friends…” Noonan spine shivered. “Need to talk to Lynn Cheney about Sapphic keywords,” Noonan scrawled.
“U.S. Senator. On her own. Major book contract, bestselling memoir. Rich. A house so big it has a name: Whitehaven. Only she appreciates the resonance.”
Noonan typed, “Vast spaces for entertaining,” but then X’ed it out.
“She runs for president and is done in by her staff, who make poor decisions. They let her down as much as Bill did. But there was that one moment in New Hampshire—”I’ve found my voice”—and there was at least that victory, before the end.”
Noonan took a thoughtful sip of her Mai Tai. “There must be more I can say about how Bill let her down.”
“Obama is president. Future? Phone call. Secretary of State? Yes.”
“Hillary is still dependent upon men,” Noonan sneered. “Where did I leave Lynn’s cell phone number?”
“Scene: A walk-on by a glamorous, willowy, exotic aid. At night, on the plane: “What do you really want, Huma?” “All I want is to be just like you.”
“Maybe I don’t need Lynn after all,” Noonan chuckled and blushed. “Another woman let down by another man obsessed with his willy,” Noonan started sketching out a love scene, but then got back on track. Noonan took a satisfying sip.
“Scene: a meeting with old campaign aides, veterans of previous political wars. One brings a surprise: a poll. “You’ll not just win if you run, you’re going to be elected by a group that’s made a journey very much like your own. You’re going to be elected by Republican women.”
“Where the hell did that come from,” Noonan wondered as she stared at the words on the page. “Fingers, do not betray me.” Noonan stood up to stretch and saw herself in the mirror: go-go boots, chintz skirt, ’80s power suit jacket, and mascara all over her face, and bits of pineapple pulp stuck to everything. “I don’t understand how these things happen to me.”
(Peggy Noonan’s Blog, Hillary: The Docudrama)
Anatomy of a Column
eggy Noonan swanned into the Bush Library Opening Gala, an elegant woman languidly riding a crest of self-confidence and self-entitlement, a woman in her prime. Sphinx-like she looked about the ballroom to see all the familiar faces, all the right faces, the cognoscenti of the conservative world.
A passing cater waiter delivered a Mai Tai. “Courtesy of Barbara Bush,” he declared, as a thirsty Noonan gratefully accepted the frosty libation. “Mrs. Bush told us to welcome you with Texas hospitality.”
“And where is Babs?,” Noonan inquired. “I would like to congratulate her on this momentous occasion.” Just then Laura Bush glided past as if on roller skates, and staring into space. “I hate the way she does that,” Noonan murmured.
The waiter pointed into another room, and Noonan was off.
Swimming into view was Condi Rice, Dubya’s National Security Advisor-Secretary of State.
“George W. Bush is back, for the unveiling of his presidential library. His numbers are dramatically up. You know why? Because he’s the farthest thing from Barack Obama,” Noonan declared, accepting a refreshing beverage from a waiter. “Obama fatigue has opened the way to Bush affection.”
“Peggy, Dubya will always be one of the most beloved of all presidents,” Dr. Rice replied, frostily. “Some of us never stopped loving him.”
Noonan gave Rice a sideways glance, and her hand instinctively reached up to her ever-present pearl necklace, a gift from Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever. “Of course, Condi dear. Of course.”
Noonan moved on, determined to find Barbara Bush, to thank her for the invitation to the gala. Another waiter pointed Noonan vaguely to where Barbara was holding court, and Noonan swam into the crowd like little Elian being nudged along by angelic dolphins.
“Saracen Pig,” Noonan exclaimed to Dick Cheney who quickly replied, “Spartan Dog!” and then the two old friends both broke into peals of laughter.
“How the hell are you, Peg?” Cheney asked as he munched on some Dancing Shrimp.
“Dry as a bone,” she laughed as another Mai Tai magically appeared. “I missed the speech, how was it?”
“Blah, blah, blah,” Cheney replied. “Tears.” He tore into another wiggling shrimp
“So, at the end Mr. Bush wept, and not only because the Bush men are weepers but because he means every word of what he says, and because he loves his country, and was moved?” she asked.
“Well, he didn’t announce that he was invading Syria. Now that would have been a speech, Peg.” Cheney replied. “Say, you don’t suppose that they could make these things with something larger, do you?” Cheney pointed to the shrimp.
“You mean something the size of a kitten?” The two old friend laughed and laughed again. Cheney pointed Noonan to where Barbara was. “She’s promising to have some entertainment,” he said raising his eyebrows.
“Oh, Christ, she’s not going to bring out the pickle jar again, is she?!” Noonan exclaimed. There was a crashing noise behind her as some French doors shattered and the former first daughters, the Bush Twins, covered in mud wrestled into the room, hoots and hollers and taking bets in dollars. “Hi Peggy,” Jenna called out. “Are you gonna work the pole with us later?” Noonan moved on.
The party was a mad swirl of noise and Bushes everywhere! Jeb was there and Noonan could swear she saw Columba lifting a silver service into her oversized bag; Noonan dared not to think of what mischief his children might be up to, but then saw the daughter, Nicole, sitting with Laura Bush on some steps, their gowns hiked up, both of them looking glazed and dazed, vague Mona Lisa smiles and unfocused eyes. “Family bonding,” she concluded.
At last, Noonan went around the corner and spotted The Matriarch and headed to her as Babs was concluding a virtuoso performance of the Star Spangled Banner on her armpit. “Oh, Barbara, you must be so proud,” Noonan gushed.
“Hella Proud,” Babs yelled back, “It took 67 years but we finally got Chimpy into a library!”
UPDATE: our own photojournalist Axel Grease was there, and took these exclusive photographs that you won’t find anywhere else!
I’ve been trying to find an angle for the latest column from Dame Lady Peggington Noonington of the Brooklynshire Nooningtons, but her lede tells me that she’s A) she switched to the plastic-bottle hooch recently and B) she’s stopped caring:
“Everyone has been wondering how the public will react when the sequester kicks in. The American people are in the position of hostages who’ll have to decide who the hostage-taker is. People will get mad at either the president or the Republicans in Congress. That anger will force one side to rethink or back down. Or maybe the public will get mad at both.”
Well, you covered all the bases there, Peg: we will get mad at:
- The President
- The GOP
This is why Rupert Murdoch pays Nooner a princely sum to offer up the bounty of her political acumen. Where else can you go for analysis that essentially comes down to Maybe/Maybe Not? But she then goes back to her Mai Tai and tries to clear up the ambiguity a couple of paragraphs later:
“If the sequester brings chaos and discomfort, it’s certainly possible the Republicans will be blamed. But it’s just as possible President Obama will be. “
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Anyway, it is a mess of wingnut talking points strung together, an echo of Grandpa Walnuts’ existential scream of The One, the Celebrity in Chief and so on. It’s not worth wasting the time to do an Adventure parody post.
I think Peggy has given up.
Anatomy of a Column
he doors of the Naples, Florida Walmart glided open, and Peggy Noonan glided in, majestic, like the Queen Mary entering the port, an elegant woman languidly riding a crest of self-confidence. She swanned into the store to gather replacement supplies for her annual Oscar party (Ronald Reagan Salutes the Academy was the theme as usual), and the supplies were already running low and it was still hours until the Red Carpet.
The place was different from what it was two and five years ago, Noonan noted. Then, things seemed dynamic—what buys, what an array of products, what bustle in the aisles. This time it seemed tired, frayed, with fewer families and scarcer employees. “It looks like a diorama of the Great Recession,” she mumbled. Nevertheless, Noonan soldiered on with sturdy legs and ample calves to the libations aisle in the empty store.
Noonan grimaced a little, when she recalled the last time she was in Florida when she predicted a big win for Mitt Romney by counting lawn signs in this neighborhood. She reached for the familiar Bacardi bottles on the top shelf, so reassuring in a tempest-tossed world of sequesters and compromise.
“It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout,” Noonan muttered to herself. “Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers,” Noonan continued to fill her cart.
“Lines at airports will be impossible,” Noonan continued, working into her theme. “The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back.”
“Can I help you, Ma’am?,” the cheerful Walmart employee asked.
“Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended,” Noonan laughed. “Ha, made that one up, but give them time.” The clerk backed away down the aisle shaking her head.
Noonan careened around shelves and displays trying to find her way to the produce section. Fresh pineapples are an essential ingredient to a well-prepared Mai Tai, and sometimes, like today, the vessel itself for serving the blessed sacrament.
“In a way it’s all brilliant showbiz: Scare people into supporting your position,” Noonan whispered. She blanched and paused at a table loaded with copies of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War. and glowered at it.
“Oh, there you are,” the Store Manager said greeting Noonan. We thought you were in Liquor.”
“Mr. Obama thrives in chaos” she replied dryly. “He flourishes in unsettled circumstances and grooves on his own calm,” she continued getting somewhat louder. “He spins an air of calamity, points fingers and garners support,” and now she was shrieking at the manager, who calmly escorted her to the door, like the doomed Carnival Cruise being dragged to dock, and patting Noonan on the arm the whole while, while the clerk was wheeled her cart back to the booze aisle.
Government by Freakout–Obama’s scare tactics aren’t much of a long-term strategy–By Peggy Noonan