Archive - 2007

January 2nd

Look Forward In Anger

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Memo to 2007: YOU WILL BE DUMB.

I've never done best of the year. I took a stab at it once, it went poorly, and I decided that year-end wrapups are just copouts from people without the balls to just skip a day. But it is a new year, both for the column and for, somewhat less importantly, the world, and it seems appropriate to commemorate that in some way.

And then I saw a poll from the AP about how 2007 will go, and I realized you're all a bunch of pessimistic bastards. Sixty percent think the US will get hit by a terrorist attack. 70% think we'll get slammed by a natural disaster. 90% expect higher gas prices, which isn't so much a prediction as it is a statistic that proves ten percent of all Americans are actively delusional.

I can't compete with that kind of pessimism! I mean, only 25% of you think the second coming of Christ will take place in the next calnedar year! Hell, I can't even decide whether that's good or bad. For me OR for the 25%. But I do have certain expectations for the coming year, and the kinds of things I'll be hating on.

And first and foremost, I expect 2007 to be the Year of Disappointment with Democrats. I know, it's a bold prediction, given that every year from the New Deal on could be described that way. But this year's going to be especially bad. Because we all know what we WANT to happen when the next Congress gets sworn in. Laws! Oversight! Investigations! Nancy Pelosi's Hundred Hours! We'll see almost none of it, of course.

Let's make a big pile of progressive hopes and dreams. Just heap them high. Impeachment, minimum wage, gay marriage, whatever. Big honkin' pile. Now let's take away the stuff that, no matter how much we wish otherwise, isn't actually part of the Democratic Party platform. Call it a third. That leaves us 67% of our pile.

Of that 67%, now let's remove everything that the Democrats won't push through because it will piss off their big contributors. That's... another quarter. Down to 42%.

Now let's remove all the stuff that, despite being sound policy, isn't politically salable in the 2007 climate. Another 15% gone, leaving us with a tiny 27% pile.

Now let's remove all the stuff that, despite being sound policy, leading Democrats don't THINK is politically salable in the 2007 climate. Another 20%. Leaving a paltry seven percent.

Now try to imagine how much of that seven percent Dubya will be able to veto.

And as far as investigations and oversight go, if you haven't been watching the post-mortem fellating of Gerald Ford over the past week, pay attention. Because Ford's stunning, crowning achievement, for which he is being praised on high from every corner, is PARDONING NIXON.

By pardoning Nixon, you see, he helped "heal the country". He helped us "move on" after a "difficult and trying time". He didn't "bail out his buddy who got him the job" or "interrupt the investigation". No, he saved America by keeping America from ever finding out how fucking corrupt their government was.

Healing and moving on are concepts that, in the political realm, were invented for the sole purpose of keeping crooks from experiencing the full measure of consequence for their actions. Anytime any politician says it's time to move on, it's because they're not done shredding things yet. And I guaranfuckingtee you that you'll be hearing calls to "move on" and "put all this behind us" before a single glowing subpoena gets issued. Probably linked to the idea that moving on will allow us to do the important work Congress needs to do for the American people.

And we all have seen what THAT looks like for the past six years. So the official You Are Dumb mantra for 2007? Don't get your fucking hopes up.