The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

Anatomy of a Column


eggy Noonan set down her pitcher of refreshment on top of her San Francisco coffee table picture book and noted to herself that Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, possible the greatest president ever, used to be the governor of California.

“Did they know,” she wondered, “how lucky they were? Do they know how far they have fallen?” She tsk-tsk’ed and took a thoughtful sip from her pineapple and thumbed through the tome.

“But maybe San Francisco was regaining their senses,” she mused.

It was a landslide. That’s the important fact of San Francisco’s school-board recall election: There was nothing mixed or ambivalent about the outcome. Three members were resoundingly ejected from their jobs: 79% voted to oust Alison Collins, 75% to fire Gabriela López, the board president, and 72% to remove Faauuga Moliga, the vice president.

She smiled at the life-sized cut out of Reagan propped up against the living room wet bar in the Aviary II, the clever nickname she had given to her Upper East Side penthouse. She toasted the Gipper with her shy smile.

Warming up to her theme, Noonan continued muttering to herself,

It was a battle in the Democratic Party’s civil war between liberals and the progressive left. And it marks a continuation of the parents’ rebellion that surfaced in November in Virginia’s upset gubernatorial election.

Noonan had been to Virginia, but with the exception of an occasional postcard and her book, San Francisco remained a mystery. She took another thoughtful gulp from her pineapple before she replenished it from the pitcher. “Ahhh, nectar,” she muttered with some pleasure.

It is in the way of things that Democratic leaders in Congress won’t feel they have an excuse to crack down hard on the progressive wing of their party until the entire party loses big in the 2022 elections.

“Just like how that Californian Kevin McCarthy is cracking down on the Trumpers in the House,” she started to say, but then stopped, blushing as she looked at Ronnie, who seemed to nod. Flustered she continued.

But Democratic voters on the ground aren’t waiting for permission. They are taking a stick to wokeness whether the party’s leaders do or not.

“Woke is such an interesting word,” Noonan thought sleepily.

It did not help that just before the pandemic, in 2019, the board had famously turned to censorship. There was a big, colorful series of Depression-era frescoes in a local high school. They’d been there since the 1930s and were commissioned by the Works Progress Administration of the New Deal, a stylized depiction of the founding of America that included slaves and American Indians. The board decided it was racist, cruel, reductive; there was the implication it was right-wing art. In fact the frescoes were the work of a Russian immigrant to America, Victor Arnautoff, who was a communist and trying to bring attention to the cruelty present in some of America’s history. No matter, it was offensive, so the board decided to paint over the murals.

She was giggling maniacally now, and smiled beatifically at Ronnie, her heart swelling with pleasure. She loved her little chats with the boss more than just about anything. The room was swimming, but she leaned in to hear what Dutch had to say:

“Well, Peg, it’s not exactly the important work Our Party is doing: book banning and passing legislation to determine what can —and more importantly cannot— be taught, and then offering $10,000 bounties to sue teachers and entire school districts per each infraction for upsetting the parents of white kids, now is it?”

Fully awake now, Noonan’s hand automatically fluttered up to her ever-present pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself.

(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 a San Francisco picture book, 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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13 Responses to The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

  1. I’ve just not cared enough to dig into this…what was the real reason for this recall election? All I”ve seen is everyone crowing about how the Real Democrats are going full skinhead on the hippies pushing back on the radical commie-marxist progressive left who are the illegitimate love child of the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Shining Path, who must be curbstomped by Sensible Centrists so we can get obliterated at the Midterms, rendering Democracy Safe for Mitch McConnel’s tender ministrations…

    Liked by 2 people

    • tengrain says:

      I don’t really know, I don’t live there any more. I suspect it has more to do with changing Lowell from a merit-based school to a lottery, but I could be wrong. You really don’t eff with that school.



      Liked by 2 people

      • Ahh, so depriving rich white people of guaranteed spots for their spawn….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Racer X says:

        The Asian community felt they were wronged by the Lowell decision and they strongly supported the recall. TG is right don’t mess with Lowell and don’t mess with Asian population in SF.
        Also note that Victor Arnautoff is the grandfather of Peter Arnautoff who won multiple national titles in soccer at USF and was chosen to represent the United States in the 1980 Olympics.


    • onkelbob says:

      The overriding reason was the incompetence of the School Board. In the midst of the pandemic they charted a course to Insanity, sailed around for a few months in the Sea of Crazy, then wondered why the passengers were advocating a mutiny. When the problems are declining enrollment, underfunded infrastructure, mismanagement of resources, difficulty recruiting and retaining faculty one should recognize that renaming schools, blathering on about uninteresting murals, and aggravating an influential constituency are not solutions. And TG is right, they could have sailed from the Sea Crazy and docked in Lunacy Bay without much too much of a fuss. It was when they messed with Lowell that prompted the revolt. Real shame is the junior guy Moliga, against his better judgment, went along to get along. He tried to mea culpa but was lost in the backdraft. He may be able to weather it and return in time, the other two are nuclear waste.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Ann Yavis says:

      Real Democrats know better than to believe a single word the church lady writes,


  2. I also do dearly HATE with the heat of a million suns going supernova at their hate for thi bullshit about some sort of R landslide victory in Virginia..the difference was roughly the same as the D ‘narrow’ win in New Jersey at the same time.

    But somehow it signaled the Great Anti Minority School Revolt By White Supremacists ‘Parent’s Rights’ as a ‘real trend’ for our degenerates of the political press, because note, it’s always loud WHITE parents doing the screaming and death threating.

    Because the degenerates need their horse race fix like a shaking, sweating , puking junkie three days after their last score….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cindy Marvel says:

    Thank you the “Peggers” update. It made me smile. These days the laughs are few.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. roket says:

    One of these things is not like the other:

    1) San Fransisco School Board Recall Election
    b) VA Gubanatorial Race


    “Woke is such an interesting word,” Noonan thought sleepily.

    You are a true blue treasure TG.


  5. Redhand says:

    Is it really the case that this WPA mural was painted over?


    • tengrain says:

      No, it was not. — TG


    • MDavis says:

      Looked it up. It was covered up when a second vote was held. So it’s still there, just covered up with panels, and a new mural painted on those panels.

      Opponents called the mural racist and offensive. Supporters said destroying it would be historical and artistic censorship.

      I don’t know who objected, exactly – seems like one of those exposays of historical facts and figures – George Washington had slaves! American military killed natives! – that people whose yard signs Peggy reads on the regular would object to on that basis, not that the mural is racist and divisive.


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