It was a very good year.
Far from having us search for them, they all came to us. Wannabe Enemies, begging for attention, disturbing our peace, our poetry readings and cello recitals, our outings into the lake district to fish and to paint. For as long as we can remember, they’ve been running: Obama, we have it on good authority, since age 5. Hillary, always doing him one better, since age 5 months (she must have been a beautiful child). Huckabee, ever since the Clintons left Arkansas, creating a vacuum that only he, during his own era of greed, could fill. Alan Keyes, since Obama beat him in a Senate squeaker. John Edwards, since the National Enquirer got a sample of his DNA. Ron Paul, ever since he declined to remember the Maine.
For reasons of national security, we won’t go into the motivations behind the Mitt, McCain, and Rudy juggernauts. But we will say we’ve found our favorite. That would be Fred, who took his sweet time to announce he might run, and once officially in the run, stopped running. We like his chances.
Have we omitted anyone? Like you care.
Frankly, seeing as how all politics is loco, we’re much more interested in other hot spots. There’s New York, where, in an unexpected turn, Gov. Eliot Spitzer has found it impossible to fill the shoes of George Pataki. There’s Virginia, where John Warner is passing the torch to Mark Warner, and Jim Webb has been on his best behavior and there have even been a few George Allen sightings. There’s California, where Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to pronounce Kalifornia with a Polish accent. And finally, there’s Colorado, where it snows a lot, sort of like all those places where Republicans are heading for the hills in advance of Avalanche 2008.
Oh, and let’s not dare overlook Moscow, palatial home of this year’s Time Magazine Person of the Year, the comradely Vladimir Putin. What’s telling here is no so much Putin’s annoyance at winning a meaningless prize as who again came in second despite winning the popular vote and finding comfort in the lesser prizes such as the Oscar going to the documentary wiener and the peace in our time prize from the notables of Oslo, Norway. That would be Mr. Al Gore, rock entrepreneur, Arctic swimmer, and Nordic orator.
Yes, consider the rhetorical — and theological — strides the Rev. Al made since late last February when, at the Academy Awards, he called his favorite warm and cuddly cause “not a political issue,” but “a moral issue.” At his Nobel Lecture on December 10, he put meat on those spiritual bones, announcing straight out that his life has had a purpose for years now and “I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it.” To think this is the same one-time sinner who sighed and rolled his eyes and tried to throw George W. Bush out of the ring all because Bush had averred that Jesus Christ was his favorite philosopher.
There were more great moments in what can rightfully be called Gore’s Nobel Sermon. Reiterating the efficacy of prayer, again he humbly confessed, “I pray what I am feeling in my heart will be communicated.” Citing an ancient prophet, he let it be known he could no longer remain pro-choice: “Life or death, blessings or curses. Therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” He quoted Winston Churchill, a saint in most conservative faiths, warning against threats to the very essence of our being. He spoke of plagues and calamities even the Old Testament couldn’t have described. In an ecumenical gesture toward Mahatma Gandhi, he invoked “Satyagraha” — or truth force. “In every land [presumably those that remain above water] the truth — once known — has the power to set us free,” Al added.
Which leaves us confident he can face the truth this time around too. So here goes. We regret to announce that Mr. Al Gore has reverted to form and finished second in a key political race. So, no, he will not be Enemy Central’s Enemy of the Year 2007.
In a huge upset, completely out of the blue, that honor is going to the most biased and obnoxious hack at the Washington Post, Mr. Michael Wilbon, who back on September 14 had the gall to try to ride New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick out of the NFL for wearing “those hideous hooded sweatshirts during games.” In this case, the enemy of the perfect was up to no good.