Peggy Noonan: Donald Trump is ‘weak, sniveling, whiny, weepy & self-pitying’

I generally can’t go a week without missing Gawker and some of their insider-y jokes. One of my favorites was Gawker’s obsession with Peggy Noonan, the Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter. Noonan has been daft for years, if not decades, and her “hot takes” of the week are usually amusingly out-of-touch (like that time she heard a Latina speak) if not downright offensive. Noonan is also a regular on the roundtable discussions on Sunday morning shows, and she’s considered one of the most respected of “old guard” voices of the Republican party, even if she’s usually completely wrong in her analysis. So… if you’re a Republican and you’ve “lost” Peggy Noonan’s favor, most Republicans get worried. Donald Trump has lost Noonan’s favor. From her WSJ column today:

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.

Half the president’s tweets show utter weakness. They are plaintive, shrill little cries, usually just after dawn. “It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their president.” The brutes. Actually they’ve been laboring to be loyal to him since Inauguration Day. “The Republicans never discuss how good their health care bill is.” True, but neither does Mr. Trump, who seems unsure of its content. In just the past two weeks, of the press, he complained: “Every story/opinion, even if should be positive, is bad!” Journalists produce “highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting.” They are “DISTORTING DEMOCRACY.” They “fabricate the facts.”

It’s all whimpering accusation and finger-pointing: Nobody’s nice to me. Why don’t they appreciate me?

His public brutalizing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t strong, cool and deadly; it’s limp, lame and blubbery. “Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes,” he tweeted this week. Talk about projection.

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.

[From WSJ]

I’ll say it: Noonan is right. Donald Trump is a sniveling wimp, a coward, a drama queen, a pathetic excuse for a human being. He is the personification of toxic masculinity, and yet it’s turned on it’s head, because every word from his mouth shows how thin that veneer really is. He’s too weaksauce to fire his own attorney general, so he just whines about Jeff Sessions constantly, like a petty little Mean Girl trying to bully Sessions into resigning. Trump is too weaksauce to actually shuffle his White House staffers so he hires The Mooch to be his enforcer. When are people going to realize that? Donald Trump is too weak to even stand up to Reince Priebus. Seriously.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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55 Responses to “Peggy Noonan: Donald Trump is ‘weak, sniveling, whiny, weepy & self-pitying’”

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  1. Megan says:

    I once called the police about a dog left in a car on a raging hot summer day. Turned out it was Peggy Noonan’s car.

    • Ann says:

      Ugh, that’s terrible!

    • HelloSunshine says:

      I don’t know much about her but that tells me everything I need to know… Gross and uncaring are words that come to mind.

    • minx says:

      Oh, no! Horrible.
      Noonan is a hack of the first order.

    • frisbee says:

      Don’t care who, where or how, that’s unforgivable, dumb and horribly lacking in empathy for another living creature.

    • cindy says:

      Oh no. I hope the dog was ok?

      • Megan says:

        Yes, the dog was fine. She was running a quick errand. Nevertheless, it is never acceptable to leave a pet (or child) in a hot car. I’ve called the police many times to report an unsafe pet situation because I am a crazy animal lover and I let that flag fly with pride.

  2. Red Snapper says:

    Peggy Noonan is awful and so is this article. There’s a lot one could say about Trump. That she chooses to immasculate him says more about her than him. As if Trump’s biggest flaw is that he’s not manly enough. She said the same thing about Obama. Only Reagan met her standards.

    • Millenial says:

      I think Noonan very deliberately chose masculinity, because she knows Trump believes himself to be The Man and this would hit him where it hurts. I think discussing masculinity as it relates to Trump and the Republican party is actually pretty fascinating, even if I think Noonan’s benchmarks for masculinity (Gary Cooper, et al) are outdated and incorrect. For Trump, machismo = masculinity, which I think Noonan and I would both agree couldn’t be further from the truth.

      Now I really just want to read more think-pieces about masculinity in the Trump era.

      • Jayna says:

        You made great points. I can’t stand her. But this will really irk Trump, since he thinks of himself as some tough, masculine, forceful guy, and loves the dictators for the same reasons. He’s a mental case, is what he is. She emasculated him because she knew that would get to him “bigly.”

    • Luca76 says:

      Yes agreed there is no defense for Trump but but insulting by saying he ‘is like everyone’s first wife’ and other incredibly sexist language is not constructive.

      • NeoCleo says:

        “and other incredibly sexist language”

        Yep, I picked up on that too. This woman makes me physically ill when I have to read her drivel and the fact that I found myself in small instances agreeing with her really made my morning bagel crawl back up my throat.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I think it is on purpose. I don’t like her at all. She talks and says nonsense when she on a panel. But Tangerine will relate to those examples and to call him, a man married 3 times who is a raging misogynist a first wife is a gut punch. A kick in the crotch. He wouldn’t understand our insults but that he will get.

      • mayamae says:

        Oh, it’s definitely intentional. The word “limp” is used, and the panel on Morning Joe got a little snicker out of that. I don’t like Noonan, but she’s baiting Trump. Wonder what his middle of the night tweets will say.

    • Esmom says:

      I agree with both of you. The whole piece reads like she’s longing for some antiquated ideal of a man. But I also do think she knew this would hit Trump where it really hurts. He doesn’t have the capacity to understand a true, nuanced critique of his litany of flaws. Not sure if he’ll even read this piece, it’s probably too many words. Maybe a staffer will summarize it into a power point slide for him!

      • CynicalAnn says:

        I think this too. I’m not a Peggy Noonan fan but I think she did this deliberately: she knew it would totally get under his skin. Waiting for him to start tweeting that she’s a drunk, hack who makes things up.

      • Christin says:

        He seems to have a lot of antiquated views and references, so she is probably speaking at his level.

    • eaglesnest says:

      I think Trump is getting his ego bruised left and right; even his toupe is trying to escape him.

    • llc says:

      It’s an incredibly sexist rant (not that I have any intention of standing up for Trump). However, that is what I expect of Noonan, and I am in no way surprised.

  3. third ginger says:

    While Noonan’s take is encouraging, I disagree about any “norms of masculinity” What Trump defies are norms of HUMANITY. But I think Noonan was after one of Trump’s areas of sensitivity. I hope she got to him.

    • mia girl says:

      “What Trump defies are norms of HUMANITY”

      Perfectly stated Third Ginger.

      Hope you don’t mind, but I am borrowing this moving forward to close my daily Trump rant i.e.
      “Can you believe what Trump did today…(exasperation, madness, profanity, horror, sadness, mortification)… What Trump defies are norms of HUMANITY!!!!”

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, to everything you said.

    • Luca76 says:

      Yes absolutely!!!

    • frisbee says:

      Yes perfectly put.

    • ichsi says:

      Preach. This would have kept it far less misogynistic and more on point too.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Yeah she was after his tough man act. He is probably frothing at the mouth right now.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Great points, third ginger.

      (I feel like I have been writing that a lot recently! You are consistently making really important and well thought out statements. Thank you!)

  4. lightpurple says:

    It frightens me that I agree with Peggy Noonan that Trump is weak and sniveling. Because, putting aside her rubbish about male norms, he is weak and sniveling.

  5. PunkyMomma says:

    Not a fan of Noonan, but using the terms limp, lame and blubbery in an article critical of Cheeto is sure to set his hair on fire.

    Still can believe she won a Pulitzer last year. *shudders*

  6. jjj says:

    He’s the perfect example of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

  7. Iknowwhatboyslike says:

    Yes, I agree with all the adjectives she chose to describe Trump, he is whinny, snivling and the biggest coward. But like other commentors, I disagree on her take of masculinity. She listed personifications of “American Masculinity” who demonstrated an out-dated ideology of what being a “real man” should be. My idea of a real man would be one who doesn’t brag about sexual assault, who cares about the health and well-being of the citizen’s he’s been elected to serve. One who doesn’t lie and bully those who disagrees with him. Not one time did she say his behavior is wrong, just that he complains about it too much and plays the victim. Tell us something we don’t know, Peggy.

    • MC2 says:

      All of this! But the GOP party is run on this out dated ideology of the American Man & they are fools that haven’t caught up to today. They are still playing cowboys & whatever the other side is. Idiots.

      • mayamae says:

        I don’t understand the belief that Ronald Reagan was a masculine man. He always leaned towards seeming feminine, he had a high pitched voice, and he called his wife mommy. Where’s the masculinity in that?

        Using their standards, of course. Even male Republicans opine upon Reagan in an almost orgasmic way. It’s weird.

  8. Rice says:

    Oh oh. Bigly Donnie isn’t going to like this at all. *grabs popcorn and giant glass of wine*

  9. Indiana Joanna says:

    Noonan never makes any sense and always thought she was a bore. But if the weakling-cries-like-a-baby name calling enrages drump, I’m OK with it.

    Interesting that now Republicans like Noonan and Lindsay Graham are now coming out of the woodwork and feeling brave enough to criticize drump.

    • Lightpurple says:

      But Graham votes for Ttump policies every single time. Graham has always complained within the GOP but he ALWAYS votes the party line

      • adastraperaspera says:

        I would love to know what they all hold over his head to keep him in line. Hmmm.

      • mayamae says:

        He vehemently denies he’s gay (“I ain’t gay!”), but it’s certainly speculated a lot. I didn’t know about these rumors until I heard a Bill Maher comment on his show. He said something about Lindsey being outraged, grabbing his purse, and in a high pitched voice – “John (McCain), get the car”.

        Mike Huckabee made a very suggestive comment regarding Lindsey’s sexuality. The sad part is – who cares? Other than the fact that he would be another hypocritical Republican. The man is 62 y/o, and if rumors are true, still living a lie. It’s pitiful.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      Peggy Noonan did not suddenly do an about-face. She’s been anti-Trump the whole time.

  10. robyn says:

    Trump plays the victim continuously … his constant whine is that he’s being treated “unfairly”. Donald should have learned that life isn’t fair early on when he got far more than he deserved while others got far less than they deserved.

  11. seesittellsit says:

    Noonan has only identified the symptoms. IMO, the underlying cause is a serious personality disorder that has resulted in the emotional landscape of a 12 year old combined with a level of clinical narcissism that precludes acknowledging and learning from mistakes. Emotional and intellectual growth is impossible with this kind of narcissism, because blame for failure is always externalized, which is also what makes help in therapy impossible.

    I doubt he’ll last another year – if he does, his own party and Congress will simply govern around him. And, I doubt he expected to get elected, or even wanted to be elected. It was strictly a narcissist’s road trip for him.

    At this point, I think it would be more constructive to address the issues that got him elected – starting with the Electoral College, which is way past its sell date.

  12. adastraperaspera says:

    Noonan (“the voice of Reagan”) cheerfully created the 1980s GOP propaganda that got us to this low point. So she can forget trying to criticize the logical outcome of that drivel now.

  13. Green Is Good says:

    Cue twitter storm from tRUMP!

  14. Sumodo1 says:

    I survived Goldwater, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Whitewater, Monica, “Read my lips,” “mission accomplished,” and the rise of the Tea Party–now I wonder if I will survive Trump. The morning line is even money.

  15. Veronica says:

    As much as I dislike the man, this kind of “journalism” helps no one. It’s poking a bear who will wind up and harm a lot of more vulnerable people out of spite.

  16. Franny says:

    Trump is caricature of masculinity, but one that appeals to a large group of voters. It’s the twisted, abusive, bullying side of masculinity, one that is based on weakness. Maybe her examples were a bit dated, but there is something to be said for carrying burdens with grace, making difficult decisions, and taking responsibility. These qualities are really more universal now that women have positions of leadership. But I can see that she is using the analogy to make a point to a specific group of people. This is a pretty significant line in the sand. Unless all of the cynics and cowards are just willing to plow down any standard of decency, even traditions they supposedly value.

  17. Tony Pelliccio says:

    What amuses me more is that the Republicans are all up in arms over his presidency now. It’s pretty amazing watching it unravel.

  18. I love Peggy Noonan’s writing. I don’t always agree with what she writes, but her writing is beautiful.

    She wrote a great piece during the primaries about why Donald Trump was winning the GOP primary. Basically, she surmised it was the electorate giving the middle finger to the Washington establishment, stating the voters believe the political class cares more about their crony lobbyist friends and corporate buddies than they do the “peasants they represent.”

  19. Angela82 says:

    He just fired Reince Priebus via twitter. God this is a bad reality sh*t show.

  20. Julia says:

    I agree that he is weak and sniveling. He’s also despicable and insanely narcissistic.

  21. Tess says:

    Well, he’s fired Priebus now. He’s created a lot of smoke this week. How did Jared Kushner’s and Donald Trump Jr.’s testimony go again…?

  22. Estelle says:

    Haven’t been here in some time but every time I visit I am reminded how we are on the same page. I cannot stand this Noonoo person.