Dame Peggington Noonington enjoyed the little soiree they threw in her honor, when they awarded her the Pulitzer Pryze for Excellence in Interpreting Politicks. Oh, she might have had six or seven too many bottles of gin, but she was surrounded by like-minded people who agree that Peggy Noonan is very deserving of a Pulitzer. Also, the salt and pepper shakers were dainty and elegant, which must be why she found them in her purse when she awakened the next afternoon, as she rifled around for the handful of pills she keeps in there for days like these, when she is hungover like a common ruffian. She has a column to write, after all! There is a deadline! A nation of Wall Street Journal subscribers is starving for her next brilliant missive!
“Manuel!” Peggy Noonan yelled across the vast expanse of antiques and regret in her living room for her houseboy, Manuel, who was not answering. “Manuel! What is the news in the world of politicks? I must write of it, so that a grateful nation may understand things!” Manuel was not answering. He never did anymore, after the fateful day she fired him for insubordination. Peggy Noonan would have to discern the news on her own today.
She turned on the internet and the television box, and was appalled to see uncouth liberal intelligentsia snobby snobs maligning Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s strategist in the White House. He seemed like a clever enough chap to her! But oh, fiddlesticks and lamentations, there they were, calling him “President Bannon” and the like. Why, one liberal web blog even called him a “pockmarked Nazi herpes blister on the B-hole of humanity,” which is highly impolite. Also, everyone is always saying he is soaked in gin. What could be wrong with being soaked in gin? It sounded like a jolly good time to Peggy, and she promptly put a sticky note on her front door, reminding her to send Manuel to the bodega for some more gin. Where is Manuel these days? Oh yes, she fired him. She put a sticky note on her bottle of emergency uppers to remind her to stop firing Manuel.
My late friend Bill Safire, the tough and joyous New York Times columnist, once gave me good advice. I was not then a newspaper columnist, but he’d apparently decided I would be. This is what he said: Never join a pile-on, always hit ’em when they’re up. Don’t criticize the person who’s already being attacked. What’s the fun in that, where’s the valor? Hit them when they’re flying high and it takes some guts.
There, that’s a good start!
So, in the matter of Steve Bannon:
I think we can agree he brings a certain amount of disorder. They say he’s rough and tough, and there’s no reason to doubt it. They say he leaks like a sieve and disparages his rivals, and this can be assumed to be correct: They all do that in this White House. He is accused of saying incendiary things and that is true. A week into the administration he told Michael Grynbaum of the Times the media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.” “I love a gunfight,” he reportedly said in the middle of his latest difficulties. When he tried to muscle members of the Freedom Caucus to vote for the ObamaCare replacement bill, a congressman blandly replied, “You know, the last time someone ordered me to do something I was 18 years old, and it was my daddy, and I didn’t listen to him, either.” When I said a while back that some of the president’s aides are outlandish, and confuse strength with aggression, he was in mind.
Peggy Noonan is not above casting aspersions! Nay, no one escapes the power of Peggy Noonan’s pen. How else would America understand what is happening in Washington?
But still, she was offended:
But there’s something low, unseemly and ugly in the efforts to take him out so publicly and humiliatingly, to turn him into a human oil spot on the tarmac—this not only from his putative colleagues but now even the president. “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Mr. Trump purred to the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin.
Peggy struggled to recall what a wanderer had told her on one of her recent walks to the bodega. Something about how even Nazis have feelings? That was likely it!
So she wrote a nice story about how one time Steve Bannon did a speech at the Vatican about how the West hates Jesus now, and Wall Street bankers are merciless fuckers (language, Peggy, language!) and he did not commit even one hate crime during that speech. Is that not a nice story about Steve Bannon?
Peggy Noonan knew she had taken the high road, and that this is why there was a Pulitzer lying in the middle of her kitchen floor right now.
She signed off with a loving word to her devoted readers, who revel in her linguistic sorcery:
Beautiful Easter and Passover to my readers, who wrote in this week and reminded me how beautiful they are. I know that’s corny, but sometimes life is corny.
Corny! Peggy Noonan ate corn once, on one of her jaunts across the border, to learn about brown people.
Well then. Another fine week of work completed, Peggy Noonan retired to her liquor cabinet, climbed inside and dreamt of swimming in an ocean of gin with Steve Bannon. “Splish splash! Splish splash!”
It was a very sweet dream.
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