Reagan Catholic Peggy Noonan‘s Wall Street Journal column on the inauguration today is full of tears — she and the people she describes, or imagines, are constantly saying “your eyes well,” “it still grabs your heart,” “it catches the throat,” etc. She’s not talking about mustard gas, but pre-inauguration Washington, which she portrays as a more soberly dressed Santa’s Workshop, with aides and factota racing about and saying things that only Peggy Noonan can hear, like this alleged quote from a “young veteran” of the Obama campaign: “The black guy with the basketball is the next president… He’s in a line with Washington and Lincoln, and luminaries like JFK and Reagan.”
Her point, such as it is, is that even ancient Republican functionaries such as herself can enjoy Obama’s inauguration by availing the “willing suspension of disbelief,” which comes naturally to her and most Washington journalists. We especially thank her for the mention of the cab driver who handed Jon Favreau his “fully written inaugural address” to pass on to his boss, which she thinks proves America is a “place of unforeseen magic,” but which reminds us of Travis Bickle.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 16, 2009