Trump lashes out at conservative columnist Peggy Noonan after she praises Pelosi for handling the president 'like a boss'

Trump lashes out at conservative columnist Peggy Noonan after she praises Pelosi for handling the president 'like a boss'
Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump image via MSNBC Screengrab

On Thursday, May 30, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, who praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for opposing the impeachment of President Donald Trump — arguing that Congress should censure Trump rather than impeach him. And Trump responded with an angry tweet on June 2  in which he denounced Noonan as a “simplistic writer” and a “Trump hater” who fails to realize “how vicious and desperate” Democrats are.

When Ronald Reagan was president in the 1980s, Noonan was among the most influential figures in the Republican Party: much of Reagan’s “shining city on the hill” rhetoric came from her. Noonan, now 68, is still a right-wing Republican, but she has often been critical of Trump and hasn’t been shy about expressing her view that he has been bad for the conservative movement.

Nonetheless, Noonan’s WSJ piece made it clear that she opposes impeaching the president. And she believes Pelosi has been skillful in her resistance to impeachment.

Seeing Noonan praise Pelosi obviously triggered The Donald, who tweeted, “Peggy Noonan, the simplistic writer for Trump Haters all, is stuck in the past glory of Reagan and has no idea what is happening with the Radical Left Democrats, or how vicious and desperate they are.”

Noonan’s May 30 op-ed came the day after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller publicly spoke about his final report for the Russia investigation, ending a long period of silence. And Noonan, in her article, clearly disagrees with Trump’s claim that Mueller’s report was a total vindication of him.

“The harrowing part of the Mueller report is Part 2, on obstruction of justice,” Noonan writes in the WSJ. “Reading it, you feel sure the president would have loved to subvert the investigation but wasn’t good at it and was thwarted by his staff. There are seemingly dangled pardons and threatened firings. There’s a hapless small-timeness to it, a kind of brute dumbness — and towering over it all is a grubby business deal in Moscow. It’s unseemly.”

Regardless, Noonan writes, impeachment is a “terrible idea” for Democrats and could harm the economy.

“What is gained from devoting the coming year to an effort that will fail in the Senate?,” Noonan asserts. “There’s no reason to believe the public is for it. It won’t move the needle — those who like President Trump, like him; those who do not, do not. Everyone already knows what they think. For Democrats, it could backfire.”

Noonan, in her piece, goes on to praise Pelosi for skillfully avoiding impeachment. The House speaker, according to Noonan, is “Mr. Trump’s most effective foe, and he’s lucky she’s there because she’s what stands between him and impeachment.”

Noonan writes that Pelosi “takes pleasure in the game, handles Donald Trump like a boss. She is the sole figure in Washington who seems unfazed by him — and does all this as a woman in her seventies with a public presentation that is not compelling. If she’d been born British and was a Conservative, they’d probably have Brexit by now.”

The former Reagan speechwriter concludes her op-ed by stressing that rather than impeach Trump, Congress should censure him.

“Congressional censure would be a formal registering not of Congress’s political disapproval but its moral disapproval,” Noonan writes. “It is a rarely used form of shaming…. That is the less invasive path, the less damaging to the country, the less pointlessly polarizing.”

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