Peggy Noonan Pub Crawls Through 2016 Field, Finds Gin, Contradictions, More Gin

Spring was in the air and in her step. The long winter may have left the city’s streets with so many potholes they looked like Berlin in 1945, but the snow was melting, the homeless had cleared off the steam grates in search of cooler spots, and the warm air made New York once again smell like a landfill. After the longest winter of her years here, the city was coming back to life.

Yet none of that explained why Peggy Noonan’s excitement had her skipping through Manhattan in her most sensible flats. No, Sister Peggy of the Order of the Benzadrine Mania had something bigger on her mind: The 2016 presidential election had arrived! The long, cold months had sharpened her thinking, which was not what Mr. Murdoch paid her for. So to celebrate the upcoming quadrennial orgy of masochistic delight, she was spending the day scratching her column a sentence at a time in the brass railings of a hundred of her favorite saloons all over the island. Excelsior!

The 2016 presidential campaign is here, pushed up prematurely by the Hillary Clinton email controversy. When a major candidate of a major party has major trouble, the election moves more sharply into focus.

Tres scandal! The first of the season. A major blow to the Clinton machine, surely.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker shied away from the accomplished and interesting Liz Mair, who had agreed to be digital strategist in his social media operation. She had tweeted some indiscreet, funny and provocative things about Iowans—the word “morons” was involved—and is also moderate or liberal on various social issues. […]

There was something sad in the story. Now of all times you want to see candidates include a wide variety of voices, including irreverent and especially creative ones. A diverse party with everyone in on the fight, no loyalty oaths or litmus tests, is what is needed.

Diversity of opinion! Certainly this election is the one where the Republican Party would allow such a thing, and do away with purity tests. She had a gut feeling, and her gut is never wrong.

Mike Huckabee has, amazingly, been revealed by the New York Times as hawking, for money, an unorthodox diabetes cure in an Internet infomercial.

She was shocked, shocked, that a person who ardently believes in an all-knowing, omnipotent invisible man in the sky ruling over the world could also believe cinnamon can cure diabetes. What happened to the honest politicians of yesteryear, who would never stoop to promoting something so base?

The president has jumped into the strangeness fray by musing aloud that mandatory voting in the United States would be a good idea…It would mean a lot of people who aren’t interested in public policy and choose not to follow it would suddenly be deciding it…Mandatory voting is, so far, the worst and most mischievous political idea of the year, and deeply eccentric.

Worse and more mischievous than the infamous Tom Cotton love note to Iran. Worse and more mischievous than trying to cram some anti-abortion language into an anti-human trafficking bill for no good reason at all. Worse and more mischievous than putting a climate change-denying nutball in charge of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee or writing a budget gutting programs designed to help the poor. It was shameful, really.

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The idea of the first female president in a party increasingly preoccupied with identity and gender politics is a powerful ideological glue.

Had she scratched a sentence in a railing several saloons back chastising the Republicans for not allowing ideological diversity in their own ranks? And now she was sneering about a party that did have a vast range of diverse identities? Well, whichever Wall Street Journal lackey was following her around Manhattan collecting these observations would surely edit for coherence.

We focus on the GOP and its dramas with what is called the far right. We pay no heed to the Democrats and their dramas and challenges from what is never called their far left.

So unfair! Hillary Clinton gets the far left equivalent of this person at her speeches all the time, she was sure of it. YouTube just suppresses the videos, probably.

Jeb is declaring before he wins that he will take particular stands at odds with many in the base—for comprehensive immigration reform, for the Common Core.

He said the other day he’s doing it because he has “a backbone.” That’s a strut, not an argument. It will be interesting to hear the argument. He should meet—publicly—with anti-Common-Core parents, take every question, answer every criticism, and make his case with data and through the prism of experience.

Same with immigration. Take all comers.

Surely the base that just intimidated a candidate into firing a campaign staffer who held heterodox views even though her job was social media strategy and not policy would be impressed by a candidate who tells that same base to pound sand on the issues that get them frothing like a rabid St. Bernard in a Stephen King story. That sounded perfectly reasonable to her ears.

Or maybe that sound she heard was the insanity-making Nancy Sinatra song playing on repeat on this bar’s jukebox for the entire time it had taken her to scratch that last sentence into the brass railing with the sharpened temple of her reading glasses. With brilliant and totally non-contradictory observations like this, who could say from what wellspring of genius they sprang?



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