Peggy Noonan begins this week's column in the Journal by comparing the current impeachment inquiry to Watergate. The comparison is unfavorable, of course, and careful observers will remember that current events are pale and tawdry compared to those of Peg's youth. Indeed her first impression, in response to a "young foreign-affairs professional" (what one calls a Georgetown grad who's landed her first job at State), was that this is "grubby and small" where Watergate was grave and dramatic.
On reflection, though, Peg has been impressed by the dignified, professional, calm, methodical testimony of the career diplomats who testified during the first day of hearings. William Taylor -- West Point, Vietnam vet, known for modesty -- and George Kent -- Harvard, John Hopkins, multilingual, 27 years in the foreign service: Peg saw these fellows as old school pros, Midwestern tough guys who know their stuff, who seem to have integrity, rather than being deep state subversives. Reliable fellows with some accomplishments under their belts, and our sort of folks. Of course, any worldly-wise citizen of the sort that wandered the plains when Peg was a girl might question how such latter day Marshalls, Achesons and Schultzes could think that a President deserves to be impeached for pursuing policies they don't like.
Peg also could tell the Republicans on the panel were nonplussed and wrongfooted because they "absolutely know the president muscled an ally, holding public money over its head to get a personal political favor." But the same worldly-wise citizen would note how oddly she resists the simple interpretation of the phone call, which is that President Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate efforts to sabotage the 2016 election. Peg's bones tell her the president spoke in code because he wanted Ukraine to do him a political favor by making up dirt about Biden. Ukrainian entanglement in 2016 corruption is nonthought. That vice president Biden muscled Ukraine to protect his son's lucrative graft is nonthought.
Manners forbid pulling the rug from under any old person, but one is tempted to dial Peg from the lobby pretending to be her favorite grand-nephew in urgent need of cash. She seems ripe for the plucking. One hopes the Journal puts her mercifully to pasture before too long.