With that understood, here is what I -- representing, I think, a goodly number of Americans roughly from the center-left to the center-right -- want for Christmas.
Oh please, Santa, make at least some of these come true.
1. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald obtains indictments of Cheney, Rove, Rice, Feith, Hadley and others in the outing of a CIA agent (a crime Bush#1 called "traitorous"), and for lying to Congress in order to get authorization for a war that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians.
3. Congress, led by GOP members desperate to get re-elected, passes a resolution calling for phased U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, beginning ASAP. Bush, desperate to maintain Republican control of the House and thus stave off impeachment talk, makes moves in that direction; he says he'll withdraw thousands now and maybe as many as 50,000 next Summer, "unless the security situation requires our presence." Congress doesn't buy it -- they suspect Bush will re-insert U.S. troops in-country after the 2006 election, and/or will substitute bombing from the air as their method of warfare. They vote to cut funding for the Iraq war.
4. As a result of the GOP defections, indictments of top officials, and the growing corruption scandals, the GOP loses its majority in both the House and Senate in 2006.
6. Because Bush and Cheney do not resign, impeachment hearings begin in the House, a bill of impeachment is rendered, and Senate trial date is set. The Senate votes to convict Bush & Cheney. The new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, becomes President. She is sworn in by the Chief Justice -- and, notably, also by new Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
7. The Bush tax cuts, which mostly benefit the already-wealthy, are repealed by Congress. Numerous GOP members, who formerly supported the tax breaks, use as their rationale that the hundreds of billions of dollars should go first to fund important social programs and infrastructure upkeep. The budgets for those programs are significantly increased.
8. The mass-media, having supported the Bush Administration through it all, sink even further in public esteem. To save their hides, and their bottom-line profitability, they take the desperate step of reporting the truth. Their circulation and viewership begins to rise; the neo-con crazies -- Limbaugh, Savage, Coulter, O'Reilly, Hannity, et al. -- are dropped by a good share of the radio and cable networks, due to a massive falloff in ratings.
9.The insurance industry, seeing the global-warming handwriting on the wall and going broke paying out claims for floods and hurricanes and pollution-caused deaths, leans on Congress to enact strict greenhouse-emission limits on manufacturing; automakers double their fuel-efficiency standards, and the government once again pays more attention to science and less to faith-based and profit-based lobbyists.
10. Noting the many questions raised about the integrity of the election process under a computer-voting system, all states return to paper ballots, hand-counted, with party observers verifying the honesty of the vote-tally. In addition, investigations are held to determine the validity of the 2000, 2002, and 2004 federal elections and the 2005 balloting in Ohio. A number of Diebold technicans testify under oath that they manipulated ballot numbers on orders of their superiors; officials of the GOP-supporting computer-voting companies are indicted.
11. Spurred on by the success they had in championing a phased withdrawal from Iraq, the Democrats in Congress decide to re-acquaint themselves with their spines on other issues as well. A true, two-party system emerges, with civil debate on the issues. Academics likewise feel more free to state their political views publicly, and are especially effective in the non-renewal of many of the Patriot Act's worst provisions.
12. The U.S. government, anxious to reduce the major reasons for extreme Islamic terrorism in the world, works tirelessly to broker a just peace between Israel and Palestine. The two states work out ways to live side by side -- Israel is guaranteed security within its borders by the Palestinians, now that it has withdrawn its settlers from the West Bank, and Palestine has a viable, contiguous state; both sides agree to pacts on water rights, job-creation, and joint administration of Jerusalem. Terrorism begins to decrease overnight; the U.S. is more secure at home.
MOVING ON FROM THE WISHES