Peggy Noonan Does Not Care For Living In Red New York With Its Graceless Communist Leader
These were anxious days in the suite of rooms above Manhattan that Peggy Noonan called home. First there was the arctic blast of a snowstorm that swept into the city and shut down everything, the air so cold the gin froze right in the bottle the minute she carried it out of the Upper East Side bodega where she had purchased it. Here she was, a scribe of some importance, a woman who had written speeches for presidents and books for people who moved their lips while reading them, hunched over her kitchen sink using an icepick to chip away at the frozen block of gin clogging the neck of the bottle. Forced into this humiliating position because with public transportation shut down her man-servant could not make it to Manhattan from whatever godforsaken Bronx hellhole he lived in with his nineteen relatives, all of whom were named Manuel. “But Meesus Noonan,” he had whined earlier on the phone, “there is no heat here and I must huddle with my family to keep them warm. The baby, she is so tiny...”
Peggy scowled and waved her icepick at the portrait of Robert Taft with which she sometimes conversed. “De Blasio’s New York,” she muttered. “One day that socialist has been the mayor and already the Manuels of this city are turning on us. Next I suppose that commie will tell me I have a moral obligation to pay my man-servant a decent wage so he can at least afford a space heater for his tenement to keep his family from turning into chipotle-flavored popsicles. Oh Mr. Taft!” She threw the icepick aside and dashed the bottle against the edge of the sink. The glass fell away, leaving her with a bottle-shaped ice cube made of gin, which she began to lick greedily as the gin melted and sluiced down her chin. “This used to be a decent city...”
In the past 20 years, other American cities were going down—Detroit most famously—while New York not only became again what it was, the greatest city on the face of the Earth, but it looked like it, and felt like it.
American manufacturing, the underpinning of Detroit’s economy, has been demolished over the last thirty years, in large part by policies Peggy’s old boss Saint Ronald of Reagan championed. Meanwhile New York’s economy revolved partly around the financial services sector, which has thrived to ridiculous, unsupportable heights under those same policies. Peggy, your neighbors in New York essentially swiped all the wealth away from Detroit, and the best response you’ve got is “Hey Detroit, why are you hitting yourself?”
Though the largely untold story is that voter turnout in November was historically low. Only about a million of 4.3 million registered voters showed up at the polls. Bill de Blasio won in landslide, but it was a landslide from a severely reduced pile of voters.
Then we guess the results should not count! Sour grapes sure make some tasty whine. Peggy listened to the new mayor, waving his bloody class warfare sword. She copied and pasted some of his words.
"Those earning between $500,000 and one million dollars a year, for instance, would see their taxes increase by an average of $973 a year. That's less than three bucks a day—about the cost of a small soy latte at your local Starbucks.”
Ah, those latte-swilling debutantes and malefactors of great wealth.
There was no mention of the most famous impediment to educational improvement and reform: the teachers unions.
Fuck off, Peggy, snark is our job. And de Blasio is talking here about funding pre-K and after-school programs to keep kids off the streets, which helps keep down those vastly reduced crime rates you were just slobbering Bloomberg’s knob over. Don’t start in on the teachers unions unless you want to point to specific instances when they have opposed working to keep kids out of trouble. Otherwise you’re just spouting Fox News talking points.
A uniter's approach would have been one that was both more morally generous and more honest. It wouldn't set one group against the other, it would have asserted that all New Yorkers are in this together.
Your usual Noonan. People in her social strata would be so much more willing to help, but de Blasio and his ilk just won’t ask nicely. Peggy, if you and your fellow New Yorkers have not yet realized that you are all in this together, if they all need Bill de Blasio to spell it out for them, then the city -- and the country -- are more fucked than even we want to admit. New York City used to have a thriving middle class, but that has been eviscerated and driven out by stagnating wages and the insanely high cost of living. What’s left are the very rich and very poor. New York can’t be the greatest city in the world if it only caters to the needs of you and your ilk. Shoot, what used to make it the greatest city in the world (at least according to New Yorkers -- go on and ask them, they’ll tell you) was the variety of opportunity for people of all incomes and classes to live and work in close proximity. If it’s just you and a bunch of rich people and your servants, it’s nothing. It’s Rome under Nero.
What was absent in Mr. de Blasio's remarks was a kind of civic courtesy, or grace. The kind that seeks to unite and build from shared strength, the kind that doesn't demonize. Instead, from our new mayor we got the snotty sound of us vs. them, of zero-sum politics.
Are you telling us the pugnacious activist demonized for months as a communist who will take New York back to the bad old high-crime, labor-strife-heavy days of the ‘60s and ‘70s, a man who has been smeared because he dared take his wife to Cuba and thought the Sandinistas were not the face of all evil back in the Reagan years, a man you were sneering at for being a liberal in this very column, might have used his inaugural speech to punch back? The absolute cheek! Doesn’t de Blasio know that name-calling, when conservatives do it, is just the exercise of free speech for which none of them should ever face the consequences?
If any New York City snowplow drivers are reading this, yr Wonkette recommends piling all the snow in front of Sister Peggy Noonan’s door and telling her to tunnel her own goddamn way out.
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