Dame Peggy Noonan awakened from her mid-afternoon slumber, the one she treats herself to each day after enduring the commoners of Manhattan, as she stumbles home from her light three-martini lunch. She snapped her fingers in the air twice, three times, nine times, but none of her man-servants seemed to be available to click the clicker so she might observe the Republican convention, which was held in the foreign nation of “Cleveland.” Had Peggy heard of this place? She did not know, and reminded herself to remind herself to make a mental note to ask the delightful minorities at the neighborhood bodega the next time she lollygagged in.
She crawled across the floor toward the television, stopping by the elegant candy tray she keeps on the coffee table. “M&M’s and Percocet,” she thought to herself, awash with disappointment. “There was Ambien and Adderall in here last time, as I recall.” Peggy made another mental note, to remind herself to make a mental note to fire the housekeeper responsible for the family’s weekly drug run.
Arriving at the television box, she sucker-punched at buttons until the screen showed the Canadian man Ted Cruz speaking, and failing to endorse Donald Trump. She used to jolly well enjoy the showman Ted Cruz, whom she once referred to as akin to a “preacher in a midsize megachurch on a local TV station.” Ted Cruz has been using that on his business cards ever since, Peggy imagined.
By the end of [Ted Cruz’s] tireless campaign for the nomination he was semi-endearing. Wednesday night he resurrected Snaky Ted. He spoke highly of freedom and went after President Obama. Sometimes he half-laughed after speaking a line, as if to say You know this is showbiz, right? It showed an unbecoming detachment.
Unbecoming! Uncouth! A saucy man, an embossed carbuncle, as loathsome as a toad! Peggy felt around her couch cushions for a secret stash of Lortabs, and she found them.
He told the audience not to stay home in November but vote for the right person, then forgot to say who that person might be.
If you can’t endorse, good for you and stay home. That isn’t politics, it’s basic human comportment. If someone you’re certain is awful invites you to a party, you politely decline. You don’t go, walk into the room, and punch your host in the head.
Peggy worried that she had lost her point. Was she saying that, without Ted Cruz spelling out who the Republicans at the Republican Convention were supposed to vote for, they might accidentally vote for the demonic she-beast Hillary Clinton? Peggy cocked her head to one side and made a mental note to look back at her old columns, her oeuvre, and see whether she had ever lost control of her argument before.
Mr. Cruz miscalculated, thinking if he snubbed Trump half the delegates would cheer. Instead almost all booed. He thought the media would laud his courage and integrity. They saw him as wounded and treated him as prey.
When his campaign ended in June, I attended a small dinner in his honor. Mr. Cruz was charming, modest and funny. When we said goodnight I told him I felt, in retrospect, that I hadn’t always been just to him and was glad I’d have a chance to be more generous in the future. Apparently I will need still more time. What a jerk.
Heavens to Murgatroyd, for Peggington once believed her relationship with Cruz was salvageable. Could she have been the one American woman able to rise above it all, who would not despise Ted Cruz? Apparently it was not meant to be. What a jerk!
As she had done so many times, and having had her sensibilities sore offended, Peggy approachedeth blissful slumber on a soft rug on the middle of the floor in her apartment … which room? She could not say. She made a mental note to Snapchat her man-servants and request a floor plan of her place, so that she might be able to find her way back to her writing desk when it was time to take her quill pen to paper, bringing forth sage musings on the heathen Ted Cruz swimming through her addled mind.