Readers of this magazine have noticed for months that something has been missing. They are connoisseurs of the printed word and recognize that this magazine stands almost alone in defending good prose, careful argument, and claptrap. The latter we celebrate from our distinctive position as anthropologists of the absurd.
The Continuing Crisis
May is history and with it goes Memorial Day 2011, but not before President Barack Obama golfed for the 70th time in his 28-month-long presidency. He hustled over to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and then it was off to the links. Perhaps he was golfing to solemnize all the country’s golfers who have served in foreign wars. Perhaps it was to honor his predecessor in the realm of underappreciated presidents, Warren Gamaliel Harding. Harding golfed and played poker with his cronies. President Obama does not play poker with his cronies but he does play the occasional game of basketball. Both President Obama and President Harding, as with President Bill Clinton, have had bossy wives. On the day his wife, Michelle, unveiled a new USDA guide for healthful eating, the president assaulted two chili dogs and fries at Rudy’s Hot Dog eatery in downtown Toledo, Ohio. When he got home all hell broke loose.
April passes, but stop the presses! The very next day, on May 1, Mr. Osama bin Laden was shot in the head at a rather posh hideaway in glitzy Abbottabad, Pakistan, just a stone's throw from a Pakistani military academy. SEAL Team Six did not throw any stones at the Pakistani academy, but it did helicopter in and out of Osama's pad in less than 40 minutes, taking a limp Osama with them and leaving the place in a heap. Osama acted heroically, trying to use one of his wives as a shield, but for naught. She too was shot. President Barack Obama announced the happy news to the nation on the evening of May 1, though there were some slight embarrassments. The oaf Mr. Geraldo Rivera employed the ultimate malapropism. Instead of reporting, "Osama is dead," he blurted out, "Obama is dead." Then Mr. Rick Santelli yawped similarly and Mr. John Harwood too. Soon much of the Washington press corps was Tweeting "Obama" when they meant "Osama." Poor Mr. Obama. Looking back on it all, would it not have been better had he kept the name Barry Obama or better yet Barry O'Bama? Yet, on the question of Mr. Osama's whereabouts this past decade, I too was wrong.
March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb, but President Barack Obama entered the month and exited like a lamb. The strongest earthquake in 300 years struck Japan, causing extensive damage to that country's infrastructure, including its nuclear power plants, at least one of which threatened to contaminate the atmosphere. Instability addled the Arab world, and civil war broke out in Libya. At home no progress was made on the budget, but the president spent the weekend of March 12 golfing (the 61st outing of his presidency), going to the Gridiron Dinner, and preparing for his wife's anti-bullying seminar! On Friday, March 18, he sent our military into action over Libya and took off on a three-country Latin American trip with the wife, the two kids, and possibly the family dog. Yet there were ominous signs upon his return. He was filmed locked out of the Oval Office, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich spoke of his refusal to get Congress aboard on Libya as "impeachable." Not only that, but commentators began to take up the line that he is "the weakest president in history." Still, there are glad tidings from Serbia, where there may be a replacement for the magnetic Mr.
January, a new month of a new year, is now history, and with Tea Partiers fortifying their numbers a Republican majority took over the U.S. House of Representatives. Suddenly, the Hon. Nancy Pelosi became the first woman ever to be ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives after sustaining the worst midterm drubbing since 1948. On the other hand, Judicial Watch revealed that from January to October 2010 she logged 43 flights on commandeered Air Force planes covering 90,155 miles, so why the sourpuss, Mrs. Pelosi? It cost more than 2 million dollars in 2010 to fly the old battle-axe around the world and $2,100,744.14 the year before. In Tampa, Florida, Mrs. Julie Schenecker shot dead her two teenage children for being "mouthy." "It appears that the children never saw it coming," said a Tampa police spokesman. So obviously Mrs. Pelosi could have been a lot worse.
December is dead and headed for history's graveyard, but December is not the only casualty of 2010. There is also Liberalism. For years it was in the care of psychiatrists attending to its various bugaboos, phobias, and unnatural disorders. Then came the elections of 2010, and the whole neurotic body of thought was ready for the mortuary -- even the bit about climate change and the throwaway bottle. Liberalism did get a reprieve in the 111th Congress's lame-duck session, but as of December 31 it is dead. Liberalism is at one with Nudism and the American Prohibition Party. Today the Whigs are more vital and the Federalists too. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's government-provided airplane has been confiscated, and there is only one cause for cheer through-out the movement. On Christmas Eve, Mr. Hugh Hefner, 84, became engaged to Miss Crystal Harris, 60 years his junior and a resident of Dog Patch. Miss Harris majored in psychology when in college-though only for a short time. Even the masturbators are on the run.
October became a ghost, but AmSpec did not close until we could report on the first week in November and the delightful midterm elections that saw Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid returned to the Senate with minuscule edge on the Republicans. He will do no harm, and his rebarbative persona will remain before the American people until election night 2012. Otherwise the nation went Republican, conservative Republican. Twelve governorships fell to the Republicans and hundreds of state legislative seats, which along with the governorships that were already in GOP hands give them a huge say in redrawing congressional districts for a decade. What was that about conservatism being dead a year or so ago? Finally, the House of Representatives went Republican by the greatest margin in two generations. President Barack Obama fled the country, but the greatest surprise is from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is promising to stay. Whether she intends to remain Speaker of the House or just Minority Leader is unclear at this writing.
September evolved into October and Mr. Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, left the sinking ship in Washington. He is going to Chicago to run for mayor, but how will he establish residency? His home is occupied, and the oaf he leased it to will not leave until the lease is up. Anyway Mr. Emanuel has not lived there for nearly two years. Perhaps he will steal a page from President Warren G. Harding's 1920 "Front Porch" campaign and run from a friend's front couch, if he can find a friend in the Windy City. Call it a Front Couch Campaign, but now I am running a Front Couch campaign too. Chicago is where I was born, and as this magazine goes to press the New York Sun has endorsed R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., for mayor of Chicago! With no financial connections to Chicago, a New York publicist, and political advisers living solely in the Washington area, there is no way I can be tarred with a Blagojevich connection, much less an Obama connection. I am clean as a hound's tooth! Mr. Emanuel starts off with both disadvantages, and when Chicagoans discover he graduated from a girls' college and studied ballet, he will be toast.
August took a powder, and this respected journal of opinion conferred on Our President the title Worst President of Modern Times. A round of half-hearted applause was heard from the camps of President Jimmy Carter and of President Bill Clinton, who could say with pride that he was only impeached. Yet, we never said that the Prophet Obama was ineffectual. He has the country in chaos. No one knows if their taxes are going up or down. No one knows if the economy is going into a second recession or just muddling along. And the farce continues. At month's end the president came back from vacationing in Martha's Vineyard and delivered a 19-minute speech from a Holiday Inn conference room somewhere in the District. The room, done in earth colors, featured a presidential seal and quotations from four presidents and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our president said that the war in Iraq (which he had opposed) was over, though we were leaving 50,000 troops there who now may have to take the Greyhound bus home. On a slightly different note, congratulations are in order for Mr.
July is adjourned, and none too soon for the Prophet Obama and his earthly spokesman, Vice President Joe Biden. In all the major polls the Prophet's approval ratings have slipped into the negatives, from -3 for Gallup to -12 for Rasmussen Reports, with only Reuters adjudging him even. Time magazine gave had him a positive score (+4), but nobody reads it. According to the Washington Post, 6 in 10 voters have no faith in him as his polling data close in on those of Congress, which has 7 in 10 against it. The young are against him, the independents are against him, and an increasing number of African Americans are pointing out that he is white. Obama's only good news in July was that he was not Mr. Al Gore, who had two more masseuses turn up, one of whom said that during her ministrations he pointed to his undraped male member and said "Take care of this"-memories of our 42nd president, no?