She could not believe she was snowbound again. Yet another storm had blown through the East Coast, stranding Peggy Noonan in her tastefully appointed suite of rooms high above Manhattan. She lay upon her chaise longue in the parlor, wind and snow rattling the windows, through which she saw only a gray-tinted nothingness. It was a brutal winter both outside her apartment and inside her soul. She would have liked to stroll the lively avenues of New York, to dip into her neighborhood wine bar and stick her open mouth beneath the spigot of one of the great oaken casks the owners set aside especially for her. But alas, Comrade de Blasio was using the storm to unleash the first strike in his class war by refusing to plow the streets of the Upper East Side. All the wine bars and boutiques and Greek restaurants were shuttered, the great engine of capitalism ground to a halt by this freezing instrument of God’s wrath!
Peggy sighed, lifted her martini glass to her lips and promised herself for the thousandth time she would stop taking the phone calls of the perpetually overwrought Kathryn Jean Lopez. One could only take but so much drama and concern-trolling about vacuum cleaners.
In another time she would have looked forward to the annual State of the Union for spiritual succor, devoured that most American spectacle for nourishment of her soul as surely as the beggar devours a loaf of bread for nourishment of the body. Alas, the country was entering Year 6 of the Reign of the Uncouth Moor Barack Obama, who had already made so many speeches that had not moved her. Why would she bestir herself for one more? Why would anyone in this great country?
Reagan dazzled…There was his speech after he’d recovered from being shot–brio and gallantry.
No one’s really listening to the president now. He has been for five years a nonstop wind-up talk machine. Most of it has been facile, bland, the same rounded words and rounded sentiments, the same soft accusations and excuses. I see him enjoying the sound of his voice…
So words, such yapping! Barack Obama inspired 65 million people to vote for him in the last election, but Peggy Noonan of the Order of the Sisters of Permanent Whiskey Face has always found him sonorous and dull, and listening to him once more will be such a bother! Can’t we get two hours of The Biggest Loser instead like we usually do on Tuesdays?
The bigger problem is that the president stands up there Tuesday night with ObamaCare not a hazy promise but a fact. People now know it was badly thought, badly written and disastrously executed […]
When the central domestic fact of your presidency was a fraud, people won’t listen to you anymore.
They also stop listening when they find out that your administration has been running an illegal arms bazaar for a sworn enemy nation out of the West Wing and you claim to know less about it than you know about fluid dynamics. But it wouldn’t be a Noonan column if she didn’t take the opportunity to let us know how very much she really, really, no seriously really super dislikes the Affordable Care Act. Maybe it would make her feel better to know that Barack Obama doesn’t give a tinned shit what she thinks.
Besides, he’ll be talking in front of a room full of clowns with a lower approval rating than the Black Death. Next to Congress, Barack Obama looks like the greatest statesman since Pericles. But if Peggy would rather skip the speech and just listen to the sure-to-be-remarkable response from these three shining examples of American democracy, she has our permission.
You know when we will know America is starting to come back? When some day the sergeant at arms bellows: “Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States” and…one person emerges from the pack and walks into the chamber and you’re watching at home and you find yourself—against everything you know, against all the accumulated knowledge of the past—interested. It’ll take you aback when you realize you’re interested in what he’ll say!
It’s the State of the Union, Peggy. No one is interested in it except political junkies and comedy writers.
And the president will speak, and what he says will be pertinent to the problems of the United States of America. And thoughtful. And he’ll offer ideas, and you’ll think: “Hey, that sounds right.”
Followed immediately by remembering that nothing the president proposes to Congress will get done because then the president might get credit for something and Congress can’t have that. Especially this president and this congress. Because believe it or not, Barack Obama has proposed more than a few ideas over the years and has been met with the legislative version of absolute nihilism. He could send the Let’s All Knock Off Early, Get Drunk and Grope Some 22-Year-Old Interns Act of 2014 up to the Hill and the oversexed rummies in Congress would suddenly all claim to be teetotaling eunuchs.
Until then, as John Dickerson just put it: Barack Obama, Inaction Figure.
You know what they say, Mr. President: When you’ve lost Peggy Noonan, you’ve lost absolutely nothing.
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