The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

Anatomy of a Column

Noonan-in-her-cups

eggy Noonan woke up on election day clutching a tear-stained voting stub from 1980 and an hollow pineapple shell. Looking around, she recognized that she was still in The Aviary (the clever nickname she gave her Penthouse), thank God!

Stumbling out of bed with her Lanz of Salisbury nightgown on backwards (“one wonders how and why this keeps happening?”) she made her way into the spacious kitchen where the faithful Conseula had put out the morning repast, complete with a fresh lime. Quaffing deeply, Noonan mused over what she saw as the coming debacle.

“You can get quite a conversation going in any room in Manhattan now by comparing Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter, with everyone defending Carter,” Noonan mumbled to herself. Noonan saluted the ever-present Ronal Wilson Reagan portrait over the wet bar. He was after all, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever.

“If the president’s party loses big on Tuesday, as appears likely,” Noonan added another splash of rum into her glass, “much of the loss will be due to 3 C’s—competence, coherence and credibility. It’s a terrible thing when a president loses his credibility.” She glanced up at Ronnie, blushed, and looked away.

Noonan recalled how Bill Clinton handled his midterm drubbing. In a news conference the next day he accepted responsibility and suggested the political meaning of the election was that the public was more conservative than he was. “That took some guts and humility,” she said to Ronnie, as she mixed some more refreshment. “Cleverness, too,” she continued. “By convincing those on his left that they had to face reality, he opened the door for his historic compromises with the Contract Congress.”

Noonan grimaced as she thought about Dubya’s press conference following his famous shellacking in which the Republicans lost 30 House seats, six Senate seats, and control of both chambers.

Noonan couldn’t recall the name of the reporter who asked President Bush—callow youth!—the question: “With all due respect, Nancy Pelosi has called you incompetent, a liar, the emperor with no clothes and, as recently as yesterday, dangerous. How will you work with someone who has such little respect for your leadership and who is third in line to the presidency?”

Ronnie looked down on Noonan from high above the Bacardi, “CNN reporter, Suzanne Malvaeux, Peggy. Pretty much ended her career.”

Noonan turned on the garbage disposal to drown out the noise and started washing the hurricane glasses.

(How to Lose, and Win, Graciously, by Peggy Noonan)

UPDATE: Welcome Hullabaloo readers. Nice to meet you!

And Now We Know Who Has The Best Bar In Their Greenroom

From the daily email thingie from Tiger Beat on the Potomac:

Noonan-in-her-cups

–WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan joins CBS News as a contributor – Bob Schieffer made the announcement on Sunday’s Face the Nation.

Peggy Noonan Goes to Wyoming and Rides a Horse

horse7

Good lord, she’s parodying herself now.

Tenderfoot doesn’t really like to be in a place where there aren’t a lot of . . . witnesses. She’s from the city and knows the canyons of downtown, the watering holes of the theater district. She knows her Brooklyn, her Long Island, her Jersey, is a walker in the city and a lost rube in the country. She is here because she loves her friends and will go far to see them. She does have a relationship with the American West and does in fact love it, but it is the West as mediated by John Ford, Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry. She doesn’t really know the real one.

She refers to herself in the third person as Tenderfoot throughout. You’ll need a drink to read the entire article.

(Hat tip: Scissorhead and MPS unindicted co-conspirator AxelGrease for the illustration)

Whenever I watch Peggington Noonington…

Death of the Media

…on the Sunday Talkies, I always get the impression that she just woke up from a three-day Mai Tai binge and just starts rambling to the pink elephant:

Now, when it is so obvious that she is contradicting herself within minutes that freakin’ Chuck Todd notices it, how can it be that she will have a dinner invite with all the other pontificating poltroons before the week is out?

It just boggles the mind.

(Also/too: what the hell is up with her hair?)

Shorter Noonan:

peggy noonan typing

“The Republicans let Ronnie down, but the Dirty F***ing Hippies are still wrong on everything.”

Dame Peggington Noonington of the Brooklynshire Nooningtons, royal scribe of Lord Rupert, doth say that the Iraq clusterf*** haven given offense to thine Republican sensibilities, and that the pooch be-ith screwed royally.

It’s another mea culpa saying she got it wrong, but she had misgivings about it –sensed it dontcha know–yadda-yadda-yadda, but she never says who got it right, and she never will.

Drink-up, Bitchez, it’s a long retrospective and navel gaze, and she’s at least a pitcher of Mai Tai ahead of all of us.

Can the Republican Party Recover From Iraq? — The war almost killed the GOP. Whether it can come back is an open question –
by Peggy Noonan

The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

Anatomy of a Column

noonanne Carte, s’il-vous plaît,” Peggy Noonan said as the suave man in the dinner jacket sat down at the Baccarat table opposite her at Shel Addison’s Casino. Noonan tried to keep her cool as the man bore a remarkable resemblance to her beloved Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, perhaps the greatest president ever.

“Sept à la banco,” the croupier said. Noonan smiled her Sphinx-like smile.

“Carte,” Noonan declared. The Croupier dealt her another carte. She turned over her hand, face up. An 8 of Diamonds and a Jack of Clubs, and raked in her winnings.

“Suivi,” Noonan said. “The house will cover you?” Noonan asked the Croupier.

“Oui Madame.” The croupier passed le shoe des cartes to the mysterious and stranger. “Monsieur, chargez-bien!”

The handsome stranger, who dealt une carte to himself–now le Banco–tucked it under the shoe, and une autre carte to Noonan, and then another carte to the shoe.

“Carte,” Noonan declared again. He flipped over his hand: King of Spades and the 9 of Hearts.

“I need another thousand,” Noonan said as she wrote a check to the Casino.

“I admire your courage Miss, uhh” the stranger said to Noonan.

“Noonan. Peggy Noonan,” she replied. “I admire your luck, Mister…uh?

“Romney. Willard Romney. I prefer my juice boxes shaken, not stirred.”

Noonan woke up with a start from her strange dream, slightly sweaty glowing buckets and bewildered she noticed that yet again she managed to have her Lanz of Salisbury nightgown on backwards. “How did that happen?,” she wondered.

She looked around her penthouse (the Aviary 2, so spacious, so luxurious) and noticed that the old black and white Philco television was showing a test pattern. “Faithful, and reliable technology,” Noonan noted with smug satisfaction.

“Dreaming about Mitt as James Bond could be worse,” Noonan muttered to herself, “at least it was dignified gambling and not horse racing. “Mr. Romney is looking good, as are his crowds,” she said to a potted plant nearby. “When the camera shows people in the stands behind him as he speaks, they no longer look as if they walked in off the street or put a bet on a horse and are straining to see if it breaks from the pack. Now they look like people watching their horse take the lead, with no one coming up the outside.”

Noonan stumbled into the kitchen and saw that her loyal maid Conseula had laid out the essentials for mixing her breakfast, and just moments later she poured herself onto the terrace overlooking Central Park enjoying the sunlight and a refreshing Mai Tai, so sweet. A few pigeons fluttered about cooing and strutting. She thought again about her dream where Mitt screwed up perhaps the most famous line in all of cinema.

“Mr. Romney has a tendency to litter his speeches with applause lines,” Noonan the once-professional speech writer muttered to herself. “They come one after another. It’s old-fashioned, and it’s based on the idea that that’s all TV wants, five seconds of a line and two seconds of applause.” Noonan took a thoughtful sip and continued on musing.

“You know what Republicans on the ground think when they look at Mitt Romney?,” she asked a pigeon that fluttered next to her. “Please don’t blow it,” she giggled as the bird flew away. “They think President Obama can’t win but Mr. Romney can still lose. So they’re feeling burly but anxious, hopeful yet spooked.”

“Applause-line speeches are not right for a time of crisis, because they do not allow for the development of a thought, a point of view, an insight,” she swigged back her now-empty glass, smacked her lips and chewed thoughtfully on the pineapple wedge.

“Campaign professionals like applause lines in part because they think that’s all a campaign speech is, a vehicle for a picture of people clapping,” she muttered to the birds and then realized she had just said five minutes ago that she liked the image of his audience standing behind him smiling. “They don’t care about meaning, they care about impression. But in the end, the impression is bad: distracted candidate barking lines, robotic audience clapping.” The birds looked confusedly at Noonan. “Er, well,” she muttered looking away.

“But people like to listen if you’re saying something interesting,” Noonan declared feeling herself wake up to her topic. The pigeons seemed to be smiling back at her, approving of how she saved herself from self-parody.

“As for the president,” Noonan hated calling this man sitting in Ronnie’s chair the president, but she carried on anyway, “his big campaign speech last week in Cleveland not only was roundly panned but was deeply revealing, ” Noonan grimaced recalling it. Cleveland, of all places! The birds all cooed sympathetically with her outrage.

“I listened once and read it twice: It wasn’t a case for re election, it was a wordage dump,” and not, she thought, like one of her own columns.

Once More, With Meaning
Romney can win, but he needs more than applause lines — by Peggy Noonan

Media Matters read the column, too.

The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

Anatomy of a Column

noonan

eggy Noonan was splayed out, face-down, at peace with the floor of her office when the phone rang at the crack of eleven AM, and caused her to open one bleary, bloodshot eye. Wondering where the phone was, she searched about frantically in case it was her employer, Rupert Murdoch.

Noonan ascertained that the phone was hidden under the sombrero of a mariachi player who was snoring peacefully nearby.

“Guuuud m’ing. Meep, be…” Noonan said to the sombrero and then grabbed the phone, cleared her throat and tried again. “Good Morning, this is Peggy.”

“Nooner,” screeched her old nemesis Nancy Reagan, “are you in or out? I have secured a quart of cat piss and some water balloons and I know where Don Regan is having lunch today, if it’s the last thing I do, I’m gonna get that motherf…” Noonan cut Nancy off.

“Nancy, I’m at work now, you know how Rupert likes to listen in on calls, call me at home tonight and let me know how it goes.” Noonan rang off, but not in time.

“G’day, Peggs,” Rupert’s voice boomed over the disconnected intercom. “Quite a boozer you had going on last night. Iced to the eyebrows. You gonna write you column on the 40th Anniversary of Watergate? Due today. Don’t be late. Sounds like the old bat’s gonna have a jolly, what? Let me know how it goes.”

The intercom went dead. “Some day,” Noonan thought to herself, “I must learn how he does that.” She steadied herself, hung up the phone, and returned the sombrero to the snoring mariachi player. “The trumpet player,” she snickered. “Blow, Gabriel, blow.”

“Watergate of course was the mother of all leaks,” Noonan mused to herself as she mixed herself an eye opener from the impromptu bar that was somehow in her office. “A culture of secrecy always finds a leak,” she thought as she took a long, deep quaff of refreshment. She stood up on her tiptoes, stretching her ample calves, and gave Ronnie a little kiss on his card board cheek, one little birdlike hand fluttered up to the pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself. “Thank God that we had no scandals in our Administration,” she whispered to the cardboard cutout of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest president ever.

“Unlike the current occupant of the oval office,” she grimaced. “What is happening with all these breaches of our national security? Why are intelligence professionals talking so much-divulging secret and sensitive information for all the world to see, and for our adversaries to contemplate?”

Noonan took a contemplative swig of Mai Tai, so sweet, so refreshing, and continued outlining her thoughts.

“What are they thinking? That in the age of Wikileaks the White House itself should be one big Wikileak?,” Noonan thought to herself as she mixed another Mai Tai.

The sombrero rang again. She answered it.

“Peggy, hi it’s me, Cokie, and you’ll never guess what just happened at Le Circ!”

Noonan grinned as the denouement of Donald Regan was reported. “Three balloons, Peggy, can you believe it, three balloons right on the kisser, and it smelled just dreadful. Oh, gotta go, George Will’s on the other line. Wait till he hears about this! Remember, don’t tell anyone Nancy finally got him!”

“Where was I?,” Noonan mumbled to herself. “Why is this happening? In part because at our highest level in politics, government and journalism, Americans continue to act as if we are talking only to ourselves. There is something narcissistic in this: Only our dialogue counts, no one else is listening, and what can they do about it if they are? There is something childish in it: Knowing secrets is cool, and telling them is cooler.” Noonan took a thoughtful bite out of the pineapple wedge, and slurped the juice as it tricked down her chin.

The phone rang again, and Noonan picked up the sombrero, put it down and picked up the phone.

“Peggy, as I live and breath, I finally got through to you! You’ll never guess who this is!”

Noonan felt her stomach flip-flop. “Colonel North, I told you to never talk to me again.”

Who Benefits From the ‘Avalanche of Leaks’?
They seem designed to glorify President Obama and help his re-election
, by Peggy Noonan

The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

Anatomy of a Column

noonan

eggy Noonan awoke with a start and discovered to her chagrin that she was in a multiplex theater of some sort, about to watch a debased entertainment of some sort, and in her hand was a waxy cup containing an icy drink of some sort.

“Oh no,” Noonan murmured to herself, “I’m not at that dreadful Palin movie again, am I?” A quick look around the nearly empty theater afforded her no succor. When she saw the Palin biopic, the theater was just as empty. She reached into her Channel bag (so supple, so chic) and poured the contents of her First Aid Kit (the clever name she had given her Christofle flask–so comforting, so chic) into the Coke. “Liberate me, Cuba,” she said to no one in particular, as she swigged a giant sip.

The screen flickered to life and the usual previews and admonitions played out, and then someone who bore a remarkable resemblance to Margaret Thatcher appeared on the screen. “Maggie, Maggie,” Noonan muttered. “Where’s Ronnie?,” she sighed.

“The left in America has largely thrown in the towel on Ronald Reagan, but in Britain Thatcher-hatred remains fresh. Why?,” Noonan queried the twelve-foot Thatcher, who for some reason did not reply.

“Because she was a woman,” Noonan replied to the screen. “Because women in politics are always by definition seen as presumptuous: They presume to lead men.”

Margaret Thatcher carried on, and paid no attention to Noonan.

Standing up, rather wobbly, Noonan shrieked at Thatcher, “David Lean wouldn’t be allowed to make movies today, John Ford would be forced to turn John Wayne into a 30-something failure-to-launch hipster whose big moment is missing the toilet in the vomit scene in Hangover Ten!”

The theater attendant escorted Noonan out of the complex.

“Our movie culture has descended into immaturity, deep and inhuman violence, a pervasive and flattened sexuality. It is an embarrassment,” she shouted at the perplexed teen.

“Well,” he replied to Noonan, as he put her into a waiting cab, “It’s not Bedtime for Bonzo.”

Oh Wow! Some highlights of 2011, by Peggy Noonan