Once again, WC opened the year with wishes for the upcoming months. And once again, WC’s hopes were mostly dashed. But with just a week or so left in 2011, let’s look at the specifics:
1. WC wishes that the Republican House and the Democratic Senate recognize that health care reform isn’t a political football, or a springboard to electoral success in 2012, but the best solution so far to the looming health care crisis facing our nation.
NOT. If the Republican presidential wannabes are any indication, the hate is actually higher now than when the bill was signed into law. Not that any of them have a better idea. Representative idea: Ron Paul would abolish Medicare and Medicaid. If the patient has a fever, put him in the freezer. That’ll fix him, youbetcha.
2. The Department of Defense today is the largest single part of the federal budget. If the budget is to be balanced, it must be reduced. Unlike social security, which is funded, defense spending is a direct drain on taxes and the biggest contribution to the deficit. WC wishes Congress would recognize and address the problem.
MAYBE. A by-product of Congress’s shameful failure to deal with the deficit itself, either directly or through the not-so-Super Committee, is a pending, significant across-the-board reduction in the defense budget. The predictable pissing and moaning is already under way, and there are strong indications Congress will recant. But as of year end, an accidental modest success.
3. WC wishes that the Gods imagined by shepherds, nomads and farmers could see fit to adapt their edicts to a world with finite resources, doomsday weapons and horrific overcrowding. And that those Gods’ followers would then listen.
NOT. You need look no further than the sorry horde of Republican presidential wannabes, all of whom compete to be more zealous than the others in clinging to a pastoralist religion in a post-industrial society. Worse, they insist, on threat of citizenship, that the entire country give its unqualified embrace to doctrine that has the sun circling the earth. Iran remains a theocracy. And, with the death of Christopher Hitchens, our culture has lost one of its remaining voices of reason in this circle of absurdity.
(The next wish requires discussion of former half-term governor, Sarah Palin. Wickersham’s Conscience is a Palin-free zone. But to address those January 1 issues, WC has to make an exception. WC promises to be brief.)
4. Her ambition will force her to run for president, even though she doesn’t want either responsibility or the accountability that would come with the job. WC wishes that Palin would develop enough self-awareness, sufficient insight, to recognize Machiavelli is right.
MAYBE. Palin announced she was not a candidate for president in 2012. The world breathed a collective sigh of relief. Comediennes and a few Palinbots blinked back tears. WC suspects she still harbors dreams of deadlock at the Republican convention, and that she is somehow begged to step in. But, as of the year end, that nightmare scenario hasn’t occurred. Self-awareness and insight? Not so much.
So it’s another disappointing year. None of WC’s wishes came completely true, but as of year end perhaps two are partially so. Two failed completely. Better than 2010, but still a disappointment to WC. Maybe next year.