With sugarplums dancing across fevered brows, the "New Year" proclaims the next episode, replete with conventional good wishes for happier times. Beyond the numerical permutation, is not hopefulness what makes any year "new"? Time certainly takes no notice. And for the many depressed souls in my travels, 2011 looms ominously, one year more of recession, plus one step closer to the dreaded, enduring rightwing takeover, with all its denial, tyranny and misrule.
I won't deny the hard times nor looming dark spirits. Yet, are we not still gobsmacked with free will, every Tiny Tim of us, open to frame how we embrace our futures -- whether with teeth-bared, teeth-grinding, or teeth smiling? After all, conviction that America hangs over an irreversible sink hole becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, the secular variant on End of Times. And so, to honor the spirit of the season, it is appropriate to offset, perhaps put in context, our sometime misread year of analyzing shortfalls, even ridiculing folly.
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Have we been critical towards an arrogant official or two, especially W. and his fishy spawn, like that greedier-than-thou halfwit who quit halfway through her term? Are we guilty of snarky intonations when having to re-explain the obvious? I am. So, let me sound an optimistic note and proclaim to the world, especially in deference to this lameduck Congress, happy days are here again. Not alone because DADT got killed but because bipartisanship got reborn, returned from the dead also on taxes (but nix on the Dream Act or 9/11 responders!). And, glory on high, Christmas remains on schedule, alongside votes on the START Treaty.
Let's even shock this White House, daring to yap about sanctimonious leftists, by embracing the Obama Creed, at least momentarily: "Don't worry, be happy, trust me" -- and the subtext: "Republicans are people, too, not just demonic forces." Yet, how many can forgive the White House for nailing progressives to the political cross? Finally, the dawn clears: maybe this White House had some sort of plan all along, with caving, dodging bullets, and abandoning principles all done to set up this wow December finish. Who knew?
Checked off are campaign pledges, implied and real, says the president: Bush tax rates (right, for the middle-class!), health insurance gambits, financial regulations (when they come), less offshore drilling, more food safety and more gay rights. But Santa, where's our greatest Christmas wish, true homage to the Prince of Peace: end so many needless civilian killing fields, close down two utterly failed wars of choice, and perhaps deflect new terrorist attacks. If only Obama, the new "comeback kid," could comeback from being permanent war president, progressives will stop berating him as the most Republican president elected by Democrats. Promise.
Along comes Lieberman
Plus, to celebrate dumping that monumentally stupid bigotry against honorable gay soldiers, we'll have to lay off bashing of ex-McCain troglodytes like Joe Lieberrrrman. Let us of course forego more liberal sanctimony, which means, literally "feigned righteousness." What's "feigned" about our "righteousness" when we're on target nearly all the time? Snarky maybe, feigned never. But let even that bide.