peggy's world

Two Americas: Peggy Noonan Sees Old People

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You mah bitch, pegz!!1!Our girlfriend Peggy Noonan has been more enjoyable than usual this year, as a tragically drawn-out Democratic primary battle provided her with endless opportunities to touch herself while Barack Obama spoke pretty things, and to then guiltily wash her hands and realize that Obama was, in fact, the Democrat and not Ronald Reagan and, indeed, kind of “multicultural,” if you get our drift. But all that tortured eloquence has vanished from Peggy’s column, because the oxycontin/vodka cocktail hit hard as soon as she finished typing the relatively sane setup of today’s “Declarations.”

Peggy starts with the obvious observations: McCain is a terrible speech-giver-of-er, Obama has a happy following that is growing, McCain can’t even read a teleprompter, Obama will win the election, etc., wrapping up with this final bit of setup for that “even Larry King could do it” reliable gimmick of the op-ed column, an unordered list:

But 2008 will also prove in part to be a decisive political contest between the Old America and the New America. Between the thing we were, and the thing we have been becoming for 40 years or so. (I’m not referring here to age. Some young Americans have Old America heads and souls; some old people are all for the New.)

Mr. McCain is the Old America, of course; Mr. Obama the New.

Okay, fine. Old/New. So the way you do that, IF YOU’RE NOT TOO HIGH TO THINK, is just a simple “Old America: Loves Whitey. New America: Loves Wheaties” kind of thing (but maybe it would make sense). Not for our Peggy! She changes the whole style of the list with each bullshit “example.” Grandma’s fucking with the Microsoft Word preferences again!

And, well, we’re kind of at a loss because this is basically finding a scribbled note in the street by the homeless shelter:

Old America: We have to have a government, but that doesn’t mean I have to love it. New America: We have to have a government and I am desperate to love it. Old America: Politics is a duty. New America: Politics is life.

The Old America: Religion is good. The New America: Religion is problematic. The Old: Smoke ’em if you got ’em. The New: I’ll sue.

Mr. McCain is the old world of concepts like “personal honor,” of a manliness that was a style of being, of an attachment to the fact of higher principles.

Mr. Obama is the new world, which is marked in part by doubt as to the excellence of the old. It prizes ambivalence as proof of thoughtfulness, as evidence of a textured seriousness.

Both Old and New America honor sacrifice, but in the Old America it was more essential, more needed for survival both personally (don’t buy today, save for tomorrow) and in larger ways.

The Old and New define sacrifice differently. An Old America opinion: Abjuring a life as a corporate lawyer and choosing instead community organizing, a job that does not pay you in money but will, if you have political ambitions, provide a base and help you win office, is not precisely a sacrifice. Political office will pay you in power and fame, which will be followed in time by money (see Clinton, Bill). This has more to do with timing than sacrifice. In fact, it’s less a sacrifice than a strategy.

A New America answer: He didn’t become a rich lawyer like everyone else—and that was a sacrifice! Old America: Five years in a cage—that’s a sacrifice!

Her “conclusion,” obviously, is that Peggy Noonan is 900 years old and totally, officially, legally senile. She will now begin the journey that will lead her into the sunset of her life, the end.

Brave New World? [Declarations/WSJ]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • econdave

    When did my father-in-law possess Peggy Noonan?

  • El Bombastico

    You left out the miniature podium! Once Walnuts gets his scale-model podium for his Liliputian frame, he will win the hearts and minds of the regular-sized folks and Old America will be restored!

  • donner_froh

    Senile America writes stuff like: manliness that was a style of being

    Or maybe she just plagarized from a really bad translation of “Being and Nothingness”.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    Old America: Peggy Noonan eats babies and shits all over everybody, forever.

    New America: She lightly nibbles and uses the ladies room.

  • RuperttheBear

    Well “a manliness that was a style of being” is pretty telling. That cunt better keep her mouth shut and go put some more make-up on, or whatever, before I smack her around. Now excuse me while I go sacrifice by bankrupting the country and saddling the next generation with a mountain of debt. That’s change you go fuck yourself with, for all I care. Trollop.

  • stankfest

    Maybe peggy likes Ted Kennedy now because Ted is functioning like Ronald Reagan at the moment.

  • Advocatus_Diaboli

    Please, please WSJ, stop printing Peggy’s scribblings after she’s been huffing.

  • Gopherit v2.0

    It says right on the bottle not to sniff the glue, Peggy. Why don’t you pay attention?

  • ThreeFingersNeat

    So basically I will have to get a “New America” flag pin to wear on my lapel now? Okay, but I’m not buying the new iPhone no matter how “New America” it is!

  • ManchuCandidate

    Peggy, what kind of personal honor do you refer to? The one that you live by a code that can sometimes handcuff you to a once hot wife and kids despite the fact you want to bone some hot 25 year old ex cheerleader Bud peddling money honey or the code of honor that treats every insult as blood vengeance in which you eventually thru loony means find yourself in a shack of explosives and a lit match, saying “Uh oh?”

  • SayItWithWookies

    Wow, what a complete unreadable mess. Sounds like she had a couple of scotches, listened to some Ronald Reagan speeches, then threw up into a blender and poured the results onto the printed page.

  • ThreeFingersNeat

    Before I forget, I’d better confirm my travel reservations. I was planning to go to New York City, but I don’t want to end up in Old New York City. New New York City (NNYC) will probably have much better Broadway shows.

  • MoodProcessor

    [re=15836]RuperttheBear[/re]: ….’n givin’ up golf….for m’cuntry….’n all the soldyurs….

  • Gopherit v2.0

    [re=15853]ManchuCandidate[/re]: More like Ronald Reagan’s personal honor, where you lie about fighting Nazis and liberating concentration camps.

  • ThreeFingersNeat

    [re=15854]SayItWithWookies[/re]: In Old America, a “nooner” had to do with sweet, sweet lovin’. In New America, it’s the scotch and blender thing you so eloquently portrayed. Personally, I prefer the Old Peggy Nooner.

  • Cicada

    Thank GOD(whom I find problematic)I can hate Peggy Noonan again.
    I’m all about “New America”, because “Old America” smells like stale urine and Ben Gay.

  • ronaldpagan

    John McCain is old???

  • nhunter

    [re=15853]ManchuCandidate[/re]: No, I think she’s talking about the one that tells you to do a 180º turn-around on every single policy position you ever held in your patheic and desperate attempt to win the prize that should have been your eight years ago.

  • TGY

    Well, the way I see it, it’s like ‘Old cock’ and ‘New cock’. Um.

    So painful to witness someone waterboard herself in prose (*gargleblarglefargleblub*). She’s basically making an analogy and torturing it until it confesses. It’s the Procrustean school of blogging.

  • mephistopheles jefferson

    Old America: Where is my reading lamp, slave?

    New America: Hey, my iPod can double as a nite lite!

  • Bypartizoa

    Sure Obama was “abjuring” a life as a corporate lawyer, but did he renounce and denounce it as well? This needs to be the subject of a length unreadable column.

  • donner_froh

    [re=15891]TGY[/re]: It’s the Procrustean school of blogging.

    Got it in one.

  • Hart88

    Old America: Fire BAD!

    New America: Fire good.

  • lumpenprole

    Reads like a list of images that will be useful to the ad guys who do life insurance commercials. The retired white guy who’s proud of his boat, old. Middle-aged guy of indeterminate ethnicity shooting hoops with his grandson in an upper middle income driveway, new. High-contrast images of classical architecture, old. Prosperous family grouped around a glowing computer monitor, new. President on horse, old. President on bike, new.

  • FMA

    It’s nice to see the old, crazy as a shithouse rat Peggy back. For a while there, I thought we were going to have to ask the WSJ to check the basement for pods.

  • WadISay

    I weigh this in favor of the Old America. Hard not to, for I remember it, and its sterling virtues.

    Translation: I miss giving hand jobs and getting finger-diddled behind the high school stadium. New America, I’m drinking alone tonight.

  • AxmxZ

    Old America: where men were men, and women were women, and colored folks didn’t pollute public pools.

  • Bill_TX

    We should all chip in and get Peggy one of those Jitterbug phones I saw on teevee.

  • Tits_LaRue

    Old America: Don’t invite “Them”in here… We don’t want “Them” drinking out of our fountains!
    New America: We welcome everybody, except… (sigh) Whatever. Go ahead, invite Old America to the party… it’s OK, they’ll all be asleep by 8:30 anyway, and then we can gingerly place their wrinkled old hands into glasses of warm water and laugh as they piss themselves. They’ll all be dead soon anyway, and after they die, we will take their money and donate it to the NAACP, purely out of spite. Now, where’s that girl with the tray of shooters? I need a fucking drink.

  • vicuna

    [re=15848]ThreeFingersNeat[/re]: Is this the new American flag pin? It’s from an Old American store:

    I’m considering buying that because it conveys some kind of randomly spooky secret society semiotics.

    lumpenprole: When we’re ready for long-term care insurance the ads will use Ever Fallen In Love by The Buzzcocks, so I’ll just kill myself instead of buying it.

  • AxmxZ

    [re=16007]vicuna[/re]: Hey… that’s a nifty pin. Cheap, too.

  • Tra

    Hey, just checking, Peggy — so if I give up a lucrative career to do community work, I am guaranteed wealth and power later on?

    That’s fantastic! Why was I not informed earlier!

  • Gopherit v2.0

    [re=16076]Tra[/re]: That’s how Peggy did it!

  • JSDC007

    Old America: Peggy Noonan, shut up already.

    New America: Peggy Noonan, shut up already.

  • masterdebater

    Will my wife get bat-shit-crazy like Peggy after menopause, because if so, I will have to either dump her, or shoot myself. Please tell me it’s just Peggy! I’ve got years to decide, but I want to be prepared.

  • snig

    “An Old America opinion: Abjuring a life as a corporate lawyer and choosing instead community organizing, a job that does not pay you in money but will, if you have political ambitions, provide a base and help you win office, is not precisely a sacrifice. Political office will pay you in power and fame, which will be followed in time by money (see Clinton, Bill). This has more to do with timing than sacrifice. In fact, it’s less a sacrifice than a strategy.”

    Oh yeah, the millionaire’s clubs are filled with former community organizers. And there’s room to move as a fry chef. If she loses her day job, I hope she doesn’t go into guidance counseling.

  • WonkaBee


    The relation of the regions of is is an original apparition and is a part of structures it even of these beings. But we discovered this in our first observations. This is enough now to open our eyes and questions ingenious this entirety that is the-man-in-the-the-world. This is by the description of this entirety that we will be able to reply to these two questions: (1) which is synthetic relation that we call est-dans-the-the-world? Must (2) That the man and the world be in the order for a relation between them to be possible? In the truth, the two questions are interplanetary, and we cannot hope to reply for them separately. But every type of human driving, to be driven it man in the world, can relax for us simultaneously the man, the world, and the relation that unites them, only provided that we envision these driving forms as the objectively understandable realities and not as subjective affects that unveils itself only in front of the reflection.

  • Fata Morgana

    Old Peggy Noonan: Dull
    New Old Peggy Noonan: Pointless

  • S.Luggo

    “goo goo g’joob”

  • S.Luggo

    Peggy, Pegster, Pegeen,
    Where to start, where to end? Your purple prose hasn’t improved since you were a roadie doing major ludes with Big Brother.

  • anabellum

    its simple…peggy isnt old america…she new young fabulous america…right?

    how else could she have her finger on the ‘pulse’ of such utter bullshit…

    personally im upping my valium dose in the hope of being just like her some day…

  • regisgoat

    Actually, in real life it’s more like:
    Old America: you watch television.
    New America: television watches you.

  • snig

    The Old America: Religion is good. The New America: Religion is problematic.

    Which is odd, because Obama’s gotten in a lot of trouble for not examining his faith, whereas McCain got in trouble for questioning the koolaid drinking of Falwell and his ilk. So here Obama should be “Old America” and McCain is “New America”.

    I really want to go through this in red pen and send it back to Peggy to fix.

  • wheelie

    [re=16421]@ regisgoat[/re]:
    Old America: You shouted at TV.
    New America: TV shouts at you.