There are times when it's just too depressing to write about politics. This is one of those times. The welfare-reform-killing, debt-exploding, generational-thieving, pork-laden, growth-inhibiting, utterly unnecessary and counterproductive monstrosity that the Obamites and Pelosians just shoved down the nation's throats has left me in a deep numbness akin to one of the stages of grief.
What's worse is that the $800 billion stick-it-to-us package is just the beginning. Everywhere one looks in Congress there are bills being lined up with tiny provision after tiny provision that harm entrepreneurs, enrich union bosses and plaintiffs' attorneys at the expense of the rest of the populace, punish productivity, undermine our cultural heritage and cultural literacy, expand the leviathan state, eliminate private choices and responsibility, and whittle away at free speech or other rights and privileges of citizenship. And the vast majority of those provisions will pass, by hook or quite often by crook, with our president and our speaker and Majority Leader Harry Reid ignoring every rule or pledge or promise they need to ignore in order to get their way.
Behind the gauzy, post-partisan halo the establishment media has painted around the cover-boy visage of Barack Obama lies one of the most cynically calculating pols in living memory. He promises to abide by campaign spending limits -- except when he won't. He won't hire lobbyists -- unless he makes a dozen exceptions to the rule. He'll run a transparent government, posting everything on the web -- except when it is inconvenient. He'll say he's bipartisan -- except when it comes time to actually deal with real substance. And he can no more disown his pastor than he can disown his white grandmother -- unless the pastor embarrasses him again, of course.
Obama has a certain maneuver -- the “smile broadly for the audience while he sticks a shiv in you" -- down to a fine art.
Again, it's all too depressing.
Which is why I wasn't going to write about politics. And I'm not, I promise. It's just too worrisome to think about how Obama is going to gut missile defense just when it is starting to work more consistently. Just can't write about that right now. And I just can't bear to write about how the Rodham Clinton State Department has already begun its imitation of Jimmy Carter, with the fervent belief that if we make nice to evil regimes they will stop being evil. All those developments are not merely depressing, but far too scary to either write or think about. So I won't. I promise.
Instead, just relax. Pick up a good old, sturdy hardback book (before old hardbacks are incinerated -- I'm not making this up -- to comply with the new anti-lead law that took effect Feb. 10). Watch a thoughtful movie that actually has a somewhat redemptive ending.* (Hollywood makes one or two of them in a good year -- and good years occur at least once every decade, perhaps.) Listen to some catchy pop tunes whose lyrics celebrate love instead of sex. (You can find some of those on old LPs, I understand. You still have a turntable, don't you?)
Oh -- and if you want to do something to protest the filth that corrupts pop culture, definitely don't ask the politicians to do anything about it. Besides the fact that this column promised not to be about politics, the simple fact is that the politicians won't bother anyway, because they think all expression is protected, especially if it is crass or vulgar, except political expression they don't agree with. Such political expression, don't you understand, is what's really dangerous, and just in the past week both Bill Clinton and Sen. Tom Harkin said government bureaucrats should keep it off the airwaves.
But we're not going to talk about that. That's politics, and it's just too depressing.
But politics wasn't always so depressing. As Citizens United, along with Newt and Callista Gingrich, reminded us with their recently released Reagan documentary, Rendezvous With Destiny, there was a time when our presidents told us that great things waited around the corner, and told us we would get there if we took the very steps he outlined on the campaign trail.
Now, though, we have a president who warns us of “catastrophe" if we don't do what he says -- even though what he just demanded in the stimulus abomination runs contrary to the fiscal rectitude he explicitly and repeatedly promised during the campaign….
Oops -- I guess I spent a whole column writing about politics. No big deal: If a president can make exceptions for every one of his promises, I guess a columnist can, too.
*Shameless promotion: If you want to see a truly good one, watch Crossroads on TMC, The Movie Channel, which I think runs tonight, Monday Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.