The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

Anatomy of a Column


eggy Noonan was staring at the instructions to assemble the Stenstorp bar cart she had ordered from Ikea, the parts of which were neatly scattered about her. She took a long pull on a short straw in her Mai Tai and pondered if perhaps the text was not translated.

“I would have an easier time getting an Aryan in Darien to vote for a muslim than I will to assemble this,” she murmured to herself.

A clear majority of GOP primary voters in Pennsylvania supported either a Muslim (Mehmet Oz, who has 31%) or a black woman (Kathy Barnette, 25%). The Republican Party “is surprisingly good at building a multi-faith and multi-racial coalition.”

Noonan used the hexagonal wrench to stir her Mai Tai, “so at least I found a purpose for that,” she thought. Turning to the life-size cardboard cutout of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe the greatest ever, Noonan smiled shyly and addressed the Gipper:

I’m not sure it’s the party that’s building the coalitions and I’m not sure they’re coalitions exactly, but something new is being built, and it involves the widening of the Republican Party in terms of who wants to join and whom its voters will support.

Oddly Ronnie said nothing in reply.

Noonan, sighing, returned to tinkering with the Stenstorp, and muttering to herself, checking the inscrutable instructions and pausing now and again for a refreshment break.

Donald Trump’s endorsements yielded, famously, mixed success. Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster, for whom Mr. Trump rallied, lost.

Noonan turned a screw.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little trounced his Trumpian challenger. But J.D. Vance broke through and won in Ohio because of Mr. Trump’s endorsement.

Noonan wondered it it was a screw or a bolt, and tried turning it the other direction.

If Mr. Trump had picked David McCormick in Pennsylvania, we wouldn’t be in recount territory; he would have won comfortably.

Noonan realized that both wheels shouldn’t be on the same side of the post and took it apart again.

Yet Mr. Trump’s backing couldn’t save the strange and hapless Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

“Well, no one could save him, Peggy,” Ronnie spoke at last. Noonan’s hand fluttered up to the ever-present pearl necklace, a gift from the great man himself. She blushed, instantly, and continued to address her president:

Last August I argued that Mr. Trump is actually afraid of his base, the only entity in American politics he fears. That dynamic could be seen throughout this primary season. When you look at his endorsements you realize he was just trying to figure out where the base was going and get there first. Oz? He’s a TV celebrity — they love him!

“He wasn’t a movie star like you, Dutch,” she smiled at him from over the rim of the pineapple.

But there’s another, larger mood shift going on, and to me it’s the real headline. Something is changing among Trump supporters.

“They are nuttier than squirrel poop, Peggy.” Reagan replied.

Noonan continued her theme.

It’s a kind of psychological moving forward that is not quite a break, not an abandonment but an acknowledgment of a new era. In Florida recently, talking with Trump supporters, what I picked up is a new distance. They won’t tell pollsters, they may not even tell neighbors, but there was a real sense of: We need Trump’s policies, but we don’t need him.

“We needed you,” Noonan said plaintively to the Cardboard-in-Chief, “but we don’t need him.” Noonan looked askance at the Stenstorp.

They don’t want him to run again. If he does, they’ll vote for him against a Democrat. But as one said, wouldn’t it be good to have someone like Ron DeSantis?

Noonan delicately put the Pineapple on the bar cart, it didn’t collapse and she sighed with relief. Standing upright, though wobbly on her ample calves, she gave the cart a gentle push to see how it rolled.

He will cause maximum chaos for as long as he can. At that point his biggest supporters would have to decide: move against him or jump on the golf cart and go along for the ride?

Noonan climbed aboard the Stenstorp like a shopping cart as it careened across the kitchen, crashed into the wine fridge. She collapsed in a heap of particle board and inexplicable connectors, with one wheel adorning her sensible Weejuns. Noonan took a contemplative sip from her unspilled pineapple (she is a pro, after all) and surveyed the damage.

He will cause maximum chaos for as long as he can. At that point his biggest supporters would have to decide: move against him or jump on the golf cart and go along for the ride?

The unserious will go for the ride.

(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 been to Ikea, 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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7 Responses to The Further Adventures of Peggy Noonan

  1. Jimmy T says:

    “Noonan turned a screw.” Of course she did, but she turned it counter clockwise, so the inference is that she has at least one loose screw. I’m guessing there are many more as well. I always enjoy this feature Ten Grain, keep up the good work…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. spotthedog says:

    Ikea, You-kea, We-all-kea, its another welcome chapter of TFAofPN!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Martin Pollard says:

    Nooners needs to crawl back into her Chardonnay bottle and stay there for the rest of her besotted life.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. roket says:

    You can tell old Peggy there has never been to Pollom Holler in her entire life.


  5. I was going to alert you that Wonkette is working your side of the street, treading the Peggington Nooners beat.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. GQP, the great melting pot for fascists.


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