Noonan tsk-tsks Putin. Putin would now prefer to die.

Peggy Noonan reads some Vlad Putin and then concern trolls.

He twisted the knife and gloated, which was an odd and self-indulgent thing to do when he was winning.

Normally it’s the losers who are all “Look at me!” while stabbing you in the liver.

In any case, the steely-eyed geopolitical strategist has reminded us that he’s also the media-obsessed operator who plays to his base back home by tranquilizing bears, wrestling alligators and riding horses shirtless, like Yul Brynner in “Taras Bulba.”

I’d like to see Peggy riding a horse shirtless. With her hand under her chin and her head tilted in a thoughtful way, the thundering stallion in full gallop across the plains of Stolichnaya, with the sounds of drunken bongos…

Mr. Putin’s challenge to the idea to American exceptionalism was ignorant and tone-deaf. The president had thrown in a reference to it at the end of his speech. Mr. Putin, in his essay, responded: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.” After all, he said, God made us all equal.

My goodness, that argument won’t get you very far in America…


…America is not exceptional because it has long attempted to be a force for good in the world, it attempts to be a force for good because it is exceptional.

There’s the epigram you’ll find calligraphy’d in pubescent sans on a slice of stationery in Peggy’s locket.