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Conservative Woman Publicly Humiliates Trump

I don’t know that I have ever read a more devastating takedown of a president than this one by Peggy Noonan, of Donald Trump. [1] She annihilates him, as only a woman could, and as only a fellow New Yorker could. She knows that to liken a New York male like Donald Trump to Woody Allen (without the sense of humor) is about the lowest blow there is. But nearly every line is savage. Excerpts:

The president’s primary problem as a leader is not that he is impetuous, brash or naive. It’s not that he is inexperienced, crude, an outsider. It is that he is weak and sniveling. It is that he undermines himself almost daily by ignoring traditional norms and forms of American masculinity.

He’s not strong and self-controlled, not cool and tough, not low-key and determined; he’s whiny, weepy and self-pitying. He throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic. He’s a drama queen. It was once said, sarcastically, of George H.W. Bush that he reminded everyone of her first husband. Trump must remind people of their first wife. Actually his wife, Melania, is tougher than he is with her stoicism and grace, her self-discipline and desire to show the world respect by presenting herself with dignity.


The way American men used to like seeing themselves, the template they most admired, was the strong silent type celebrated in classic mid-20th century films—Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Henry Fonda. In time the style shifted, and we wound up with the nervous and chattery. More than a decade ago the producer and writer David Chase had his Tony Soprano mourn the disappearance of the old style: “What they didn’t know is once they got Gary Cooper in touch with his feelings they wouldn’t be able to shut him up!” The new style was more like that of Woody Allen. His characters couldn’t stop talking about their emotions, their resentments and needs. They were self-justifying as they acted out their cowardice and anger.

But he was a comic. It was funny. He wasn’t putting it out as a new template for maleness. Donald Trump now is like an unfunny Woody Allen.

One more:

“It’s so easy to act presidential but that’s not gonna get it done,” Mr. Trump said the other night at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio. That is the opposite of the truth. The truth, six months in, is that he is not presidential and is not getting it done. His mad, blubbery petulance isn’t working for him but against him. If he were presidential he’d be getting it done—building momentum, gaining support. He’d be over 50%, not under 40%. He’d have health care, and more.


Read the whole thing, [1] if you can handle rhetorical violence. This one is one devastating surgical strike after another, until there’s nothing left. If you can’t click through from that link, look for it on Twitter, which is how I got through the paywall.

It’s funny, but before I read this, I was explaining to my kids that the way Donald Trump and Anthony Scaramucci conduct themselves is the opposite of what it means to be a man. It’s how disgusting punks with no respect for themselves or anybody else behaves. Don’t be like that, ever, I said, don’t ever trust men like that, don’t look up to men like that, no matter how rich they are, and don’t ever be friends with men like that, because it will only drag you into the mud. And then along comes Peggy Noonan and says more or less the same thing, a thousand times better, and from one of the country’s biggest microphones.

Good. These cretins disgrace everything they touch. President Pence will have quite a job of rebuilding ahead of him. And this sorry excuse for a Republican Congress is not helping.

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119 Comments (Open | Close)

119 Comments To "Conservative Woman Publicly Humiliates Trump"

#1 Comment By John On July 28, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

I know I am entering this debate late yet..,

Teddy Roosevelt once said “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Donald Trump wines and yells but doesn’t carry any big sticks.

Just look at the failure at repealing health care. He openly admitted that he was waiting to sign s bill that reached his desk. He didn’t go out and campaign in swing states. He didn’t hold press conferences defending the bill. He didn’t propose a bill of his own, and he didn’t call senators and try to sell it.

Where exactly was the stick? Are his hands too small to carry one?

#2 Comment By DeutschMan On July 29, 2017 @ 7:25 am

Rod you really need to get control of yourself. this anti-Trump striving is unseemly and childish. it harms your reputation among deep thinkers who care about the same issues you do and read you closely bc we can see it’s false

#3 Comment By Oakinhou On July 29, 2017 @ 7:39 am

“So 59 [actually 63] million Americans agree on only one thin point: better this clown than Clinton.”

And 66 million Americans agree on only one thin point: better Clinton than this clown. So what’s your point?

#4 Comment By Franklin Evans On July 29, 2017 @ 9:34 am


There’s an egregiously flawed comparison in progress in this thread. Rod, who’s time is severely limited to writing the opening post and trying to keep up with the volume of comments, may deserve your reaction to his “bless your heart” quip, but I’ll go out on a limb and say he knows the flaw and depends on others to address it. My first post in this thread is on the end of the first page of comments, so you and most others may have missed it.

The flaw is simple. Obama and Clinton were and are career politicians, fully engaged in the game and gaming (as in taking advantage) of politics. Their self-aggrandizing is no more (or less!) egregious than any other career politician, and your criticism of them becomes trivial. Yes, unimportant, bordering on non sequitur.

Pare away their veneers, and you’ll see the flaw. Obama and Clinton were and are promoting political agendas. You disagree with them. I respect and admire that level of disagreement. Trump is promoting himself and his business interests. He’s not the President, he’s the CEO of The United States, Inc. I expanded on that point in my first post. Your reactions to that are sincerely solicited.

There’s an echo-chamber effect here. Your rhetoric of lauding Trump (albeit faintly) using contrasts to Obama is precisely Trump’s campaign rhetoric, and it is false. It smacks of the birth certificate, closet Muslim idiocy. Obama badly mismanaged his relationship with an adversarial Congress, but that is a far cry from being a dictator.

Trump has mismanaged all of his relationships as President. Forgiving him for that is hypocritical, good sir, on the facts.

#5 Comment By Erik On July 29, 2017 @ 10:39 am

I think the big problem with the Republican Congress is that they never expected to have a Republican president again in the foreseeable future. There’s been a lot of talk about how the Republicans should have had a healthcare bill ready to sign because they’ve had eight years to work on it, but during those eight years they were operating under the premise that there would never be anyone in the White House to sign it. They were preparing to live with permanently divided government, a state in which no one would ever be at fault for anything. Now they’re starting from scratch and scrambling to catch up.

#6 Comment By connecticut farmer On July 29, 2017 @ 11:25 am

Can’t get behind the WSJ paywall so am unable to read the whole piece. What I have read thus far, however, is vintage Peggy.

As Judge Joseph Welch said to Sen. Joseph McCarthy “Have you no sense of decency sir?”

#7 Comment By Tom G On July 29, 2017 @ 11:30 am

It baffles me that otherwise smart people have drunk the Trump Cool-aid. He’s playing to an uneducated angry base for his own gain – either political or financial. I understand why the base bought it, but so many others have too. He’s a child in need of constant love and attention. How much bad behavior before he gets “sent to his room and grounded? I can’t wait to see how the trumpers react to Trump’s eventual impeachment. He’s “making America a JOKE gain,” in the tradition of “W” I’m sure the Trumpers who read this will shrug it off as the rant of a liberal educated elite, but who cares? They are starting to feel the effects of the cool-aid. Good luck to you all and God bless our country which is hopefully able to survive this president.

[NFR: It’s not true that all Trump supporters are uneducated, or working class. — RD]

#8 Comment By Frankie T. On July 29, 2017 @ 11:41 am

“it harms your reputation among deep thinkers who care about the same issues you do”

I disagree with Rod on much of what he writes about, but one of the reasons I read him is that he clearly cares more about those issues than his reputation among deep thinkers who usually agree with him.

#9 Comment By Mike Mackey On July 29, 2017 @ 1:11 pm

The defense of Trump that is heard over and over again never was sufficient and is running mighty, mighty thin now: He’s better that Clinton. Well, after the recent and not-so-recent episodes in the Trump Show, it is safe to say that he is NOT better than Clinton. (I voted for McMullin.) We who are conservatives need to act like conservatives and not apologists for a spoiled brat. True conservatives not only hold traditional core values, we also have class. Trump has neither.

#10 Comment By Dave On July 29, 2017 @ 2:18 pm

“I disagree with Rod on much of what he writes about, but one of the reasons I read him is that he clearly cares more about those issues than his reputation among deep thinkers who usually agree with him.”
I’ll take this one step further and say anyone who is really a deep thinker on any subject would respect that difference in opinion and search out the root cause to better understand the situation. Deep thinkers don’t tend to care much about reputations or at least no more than is necessary to get their thoughts out into the world.

#11 Comment By Cheryl J. On July 29, 2017 @ 9:09 pm

I voted for Trump in the primary instead of my own senator, Ted Cruz. I encouraged others to do the same because a President Clinton was not an option. But when he went after Jeff Sessions, he crossed my red line. As a senator he almost singlehandedly stopped Bush’s 2006/2007 amnesty push and every other since. He’s a true American patriot and put his career on the line for Trump. I have zero respect left for Trump and am ready for Mike Pence to take over. There’s no high chair big enough for this petulant child to bang his spoon on.

#12 Comment By JonF On July 30, 2017 @ 7:36 am

Re: True conservatives not only hold traditional core values, we also have class. Trump has neither.

To paraphrase Mae West (who was talking about some dive) Trump does have a lot of class– all low.

#13 Comment By Jerry Miller On July 30, 2017 @ 1:46 pm


Traditional core values, yes.

But class is not something peculiar to any single group. We all know people with no class, and some are true, blue conservatives. Peggy Noonan, and sadly Ross D (a guy I greatly admire), have lots of free time on their hands to be writing about a lack of manners at a time when the uneducated masses, backed by irrationally “educated” elites, are on the verge of returning power to the swamp and damaging the republic permanently.

#14 Comment By Paula On July 30, 2017 @ 5:01 pm

“She annihilates him, as only a woman could.”

Really Ron? Hard to take you seriously when you seem trapped in another century.

#15 Comment By One Man On July 31, 2017 @ 1:32 pm

Rod you really have a knack for intelligent writing. These anti-Trump essays are interesting and mature. They improve your reputation among educated people who care about America and appreciate your telling the truth.

[NFR: Thanks, but the intelligent writing in this one belongs to Peggy Noonan. — RD]

#16 Comment By Colin Chattan On July 31, 2017 @ 5:03 pm

And on the general subject of the 3-ring circus in the White House … [4]

#17 Comment By VOD On July 31, 2017 @ 11:07 pm

” when he went after Jeff Sessions, he crossed my red line.” Oh, so that was the red line. Not all the thousands of lies, theft of other’s money, ridiculing a person with a disability, certainly not the accusations of sexual assault by tons of women, not the “grab them by the p**sy” recording. Humiliating one more hypocrite in an uninterrupted line of humiliations was the red line. Interesting.

#18 Comment By Jeff Beranek On August 1, 2017 @ 11:56 am

From Anna:

It’s not clear to me that her “conservatism” has much of a coherent core other than the fact that she fell in love with Ronald Reagan in her youth.

That’s exactly my impression of Noonan as well, which is perfectly encapsulated in her ‘What I Saw at the Revolution’.

#19 Comment By JonF On August 1, 2017 @ 1:55 pm

Jerry Miller.
I come from a blue collar family. I do not expect people to drink tea with their little finger extended. “Howdy” sounds better my ears than “How do you do?”
I do expect people to behave with basic courtesy and common decency in public. My truck driver father could cuss the air blue in public– but he would have had no patience for the sort of crudity shown by Scaramucci– or Trump. I sometimes feel as if we have put a gang of frat boys– the kind who spend their college lives hung-over and on academic probation– in charge of the country.