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Peggy Noonan Sorely Disheartened By Obama, ISIS, Ne'er-Do-Well Ruffians

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Peggy Noonan is very concerned about Peggy Noonan's well-being.


O grief! O agony! She had known a great deal of both in her time, had Sister Peggy Noonan of the Order of the Ketamine Martini. She wandered Fifth Avenue, the street of dreams stretching along the great island of Manhattan, and she wondered if happiness and gaiety would ever return. The sight of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza brought her no joy, nor did the swooning couples twirling across the ice of the skating rink, the fur-clad matrons trailed by Negro porters carrying their packages of brightly-wrapped gifts from the great stores along the avenue, or the laughing children chased by their Mexican nannies as they scampered along the sidewalk.

Because she had The Fear. There had been a terrorist attack on another great city, carried out by Muslim fanatics who had not heeded her advice the last time they dared to commit mischief there. She was disappointed in these radicals who would not learn their lesson. Damned religious fanatics, with their narrow and unyielding views that could not be sated by reason or evidence! Just who do they think they are, she wondered as she crossed the street and ascended the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Perhaps some time mumbling her novenas and fingering her rosary beads among the incense and pews would bring her succor.

In the days after Paris Emily Dickinson’s poem kept ringing through my mind as I tried to figure out what I felt—and, surprisingly, didn’t feel. I did not, as the facts emerged and the story took its full size, feel surprised. Nor did I feel swept by emotion, as I had in the past. The sentimental tweeting of that great moment in “Casablanca” when they stand to sing “La Marseillaise” left me unmoved. I didn’t feel anger, really.

A dull nothingness lived in her breast, placed there perhaps by a decade and a half of perpetual war with a faceless enemy and no sense of what victory might look like, let alone how to achieve it. Or maybe it was born from a diet consisting of nothing but bar nuts and ketamine martinis. So many possibilities in this most dire of times.

What will the people think, Mr. and Mrs. Europe on the street, Mom and Pop watching in America? What are the thoughts and conclusions of normal people who are not blinkered by status, who can see things clear?

Surely the American people are not easily panicked and are even now reacting to Paris with a shrug before continuing to live their lives as before, unencumbered by fear or nativism or xenophobia. No doubt they're going about their business, which is Making America Great Again.

But of course she was most disappointed in the callow brigand spoiling her beloved Ronald Reagan’s rightful office just with his presence in it.

On this issue the American president is, amazingly, barely relevant. […]

After the attacks Mr. Obama went on TV, apparently to comfort us and remind us it’s OK, he’s in charge. He prattled on about violence being at odds with “universal values.”… The mainstream press saw right through him. At the news conference, CNN’s Jim Acosta referred to the “frustration” of “a lot of Americans,” who wonder: “Why can’t we take out these bastards?” The president sighed and talked down to him—to us. He has a strategy and it’s the right one and it’s sad you can’t see it.

Why after seven years in office did he refuse to turn into a fearful sociopath who would lash out with the military and slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocents just so she, Peggy Noonan, would feel safer? Why was he still the same cool-headed rationalist a majority of Americans had voted for twice?

Maybe he had simply not guzzled three ketamine martinis for breakfast before the press conference. Who could say?

The public is appropriately alarmed about exactly who we might be letting in. It would be easy, and commonsensical, to follow their prompting and pause the refugee program, figure out how to screen those seeking entrance more carefully, and let in only the peaceable. If that takes time, it takes time.

She felt as if she had given the president this advice before, and he had ignored her, and a plague of death had covered America like a haze descending on a consciousness dimmed by an IV bag filled with barbiturates and gin and injected directly into a vein. Close the airports!

Let him prattle on about climate change as the great threat of our time.

Ridiculous. The hopeless failure. He should be more concerned with the terrorists currently occupying a corner of the world that climate change will soon make uninhabitable for human life, forcing migration of the people who live there now to colder climates. Like, say, Europe or North America.

All he can do at this point is troll the GOP with the mischief of his refugee program.

Surely he had no interest in helping the poor refugees begging the United States for asylum the way it had helped migrants of earlier generations. Surely the president was only using them as a means to the end that is trolling her beloved Republican Party into behaving like a sanitarium full of terrified xenophobes. She was disappointed the refugees could not see this and, perhaps, stop giving the president what he wants by no longer asking him to help them.

If Mr. Obama had wisdom as opposed to pride and a desire to smack around the GOP—a visit to Capitol Hill this week showed me he’s thinking a lot more about them than they are about him—he would recognize the refugee issue as a distraction from the most urgent priorities.

Humanity could not wait for the president to concern himself with, uh, humanity! She looked up at a crucifix on the wall of the great church. The eyes of the Jesus carved there stared back at her. Certainly He would agree with her! Just to be safe, she thought when she returned home that she would check with His earthly tribune for confirmation. And then pour herself another ketamine martini, for such deep thinking was thirsty work.

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