The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

Anatomy of a Column


eggy Noonan picked her refreshment from the bar and brought it with her to the podium to give her keynote speech to The Reagan Foundation and Institute. After all, she murmured to herself, “I am the official hagiographer for the greatest president of the last half of the last century, possibly the greatest president ever, President Ronald Wilson Reagan.” Her hand fluttered up to the pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself. “Who better to give this address? When better than now?”

She cleared her throat, tapped a water glass to get everyone’s attention and looked at the throng of shiny smiling faces who were staring back at her. She leaned into the mic:

“America is in a crucial, high-stakes moment. Since 2020 we have been roiled over the pandemic, wokeness, crime, inflation, the schools, illegal immigration. The Democratic Party has stood for, or failed to oppose, many unpopular policies. The Republican Party seems poised to rise.”

Noonan paused for her applause line, and none forthcoming, she looked at the sea of millionaires and billionaires before her (“Was that a Mercer,” she wondered, “and I think I spot an old friend from the American Enterprise Institute…”), and took a quick gulp of her refreshment for some Dutch courage and continued.

“Thirty-two years ago, in my first book, What I Saw at the Revolution, I addressed the party and said: “This is the future. You’re a working-class party.” I still believe this but would no longer cast the argument in the language of class. It is too limited and has an aggressive undertone.”

Reading the room, Noonan saw she was losing her audience, they were turning their backs and returning to politely picking at their food. She picked up the pace.

“But an enduring party’s stands must reflect and address the needs and demands of its era. The pressing challenges America now faces aren’t those of 1970 or 1980. A great party must be in line with the crises of its time. Be prudent stewards, keep your eye on the long run, cultivate economic growth, defend free markets, but make peace with the welfare state. Your own voters did long ago.”

Noonan frantically gulped more of her Mai Tai, her prepared remarks, falling off the podium and onto deaf ears, the room spinning, Noonan started shrieking,

“Make peace with programs that support the poor and middle class… Republican congressmen enjoy receiving credit for damning such spending while not cutting it… It should be said of the Republican Party of the future what was said long ago of the Catholic church: “Here comes everybody.” …As America tries to cohere and regain its cultural and societal balance, it is the job of the Republican Party to be the party of the big center, to stand for normal, regular people in all their human variety — all races, ethnicities, faiths… to pose for Christmas photos with your family including little children fully armed with guns in order to troll the libs…”

And just as the Mall Security Guards approached Noonan, so did the specter of her old nemesis, Nancy Reagan dressed in red and carrying a spear, screeched “Great speech, Nooner, but this is a Cheesecake Factory.”

(New Readers: The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan is a sometimes feature of lo! many, many years where we parody the much-quoted Reagan hagiographer Peggy Noonan to try to understand the genesis of her Declarations column in the WSJ. We do not know if Noonan really has ever been to a Cheesecake Factory, but to paraphrase the Great Writer herself, “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.” – Bacardi Lifetime Achievement Winner, Peggy Noonan, Wall St. Journal, April 2000.)

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9 Responses to The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

  1. Martin Pollard says:

    How badly has Nooners’ brain been pickled for her to write such claptrap? She needs to crawl back into her Chardonnay bottle and disappear forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MDavis says:

    I had to go see if she really said it was their job to “troll the libs”
    Found it, surprisingly. “troll the libs” is a quote, but…
    Not that the GQP will hear this part, but she did actually say it was not your job

    to pose for Christmas photos with your family including little children fully armed with guns in order to troll the libs…”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. roket says:

    I want to know why someone who gets their news from FAUX is writing for the WSJ.

    Liked by 1 person

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