It's been a while, but Enemy Central has reopened for business, just in time for New Year's Eve. Our checkpoints are in place, featuring the latest in breathalyzer technology and easy-to-attach handcuffs, muzzles, and ankle chains. We'll be especially on the lookout for signs of political intoxication on the part of repeat offenders who drive the rest of us to drink. We hoped old acquaintance would be forgot; instead they're still running the national asylum. Attempting citizens' arrests may be Sisyphean work, but somebody's got to do it.
Nonetheless, it's no fun rounding up the usual suspects. Anyone notice how creaky they've all become? A Medicare advisory is urging this cohort to welcome in the New Year at noon, Sunday. According to our actuaries (on leave from FEMA), Ms. Nancy Pelosi is 84, Harry Reid a sprightly 79, Jack Murtha 102, Henry Waxman 77, Charlie Rangel not a day over 76. Teddy Kennedy is as old as all of them combined, so ancient in fact that we tend to believe him when he says he can't recall ever being on Chappaquiddick. The only thing tottering Joe Biden has going for him is an intelligence forever stuck in adolescence. Just the other day he announced his intention to run for class president. Now's the time for Hillary to adopt the kid, the extra child she and Bill always wanted. Her problem is she looks older than she is, not that we're going to go there. What's important -- indeed endearing -- is that as all these people have grown old, they've rediscovered the attractions of religious observance. At Christmas they were all caroling, "Oh Rahm, Oh Rahm Emanuel..." They love their little drummer boy.
Republicans always have better sense -- at least once they're put out to pasture. Gerald Ford in retirement played more golf than any of his predecessors, including Dwight Eisenhower, who taught fellow Pennsylvanian Arnold Palmer a thing or two and made the term "Republican" and "golfer" synonymous. Off the course Mr. Ford's judgment was shakier. There was his occasional partnership with the Democrat Methuselah, James Earl Carter. In late December 1998, the two co-authored an op-ed for the New York Times, urging love and compassion for William Jefferson Clinton. Visibly moved, the Senate spared Mr. Clinton. Not a year later, Gerry was at it again, arguing for "constitutional" affirmative action at his alma mater, the University of Michigan, in cases two Supreme Court rulings would eventually decide. Perhaps that's why Mr. Carter never threw an apartheid charge at Mr. Ford, a long-time resident of lily-white Rancho Mirage, on California's occupied West Bank.
Interesting too was that Messrs. Ford and Carter were both in the absolution business. In their joint op-ed the former bragged about the Nixon pardon, the latter about granting amnesty to Vietnam-era draft dodgers. Unmentioned was the cheeky pardon Mr. Ford granted to Ms. Tokyo Rose on leaving office in 1977. Never one to be one-upped, Mr. Carter, one suspects, is busily trying to find a way to pardon Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for whatever role he played in the Iran Hostage Crisis that malaised the Carter presidency.
Stirrings of a youth movement among Democrats were felt yesterday when Johnnie Edwards threw the cap he wears backwards into the 2008 presidential sweepstakes. Mr. Edwards, a descendant of Bertolt Breck, has famous hair and a weak political base. In 2004, he didn't even dare run for re-election to the Senate in his own state yet had the gall to vie for the presidency instead. On that note, let's get George Allen back into presidential contention. At least he was man enough to try for a second Senate term -- something even Sen. Barack Obama isn't willing to do. Sen. B.O. may be the flavor of the season, but then so is eggnog. By January, who can stand it?
All things considered, 2006 wasn't a bad year. Sure, the GOP lost a few seats, but it held on to the one that mattered, Joe Lieberman's. The New York Yankees lost, the New York Giants lost, so did the Boston Red Sox. The one and only Bob Knight set records. Jim Webb got elected, allowing John Kerry to teach charm instead of having to learn it anew from his wife, whose name is being withheld. Sir Paul McCartney was sued for divorce, but fortunately didn't have to divide all his property, else from now on we aging folks would be singing "When I'm 32."
Best of all, Enemy Central recruited a fresh face to take EOY honors, a brave new worlder who's been dutifully swallowing liberal vapors for decades and who just in time for one of the holiest periods on the Christian calendar decided to deprive the institution he heads of the cross that has hung at its most sacred shrine for 275 years. President Gene Nichols of the College of William & Mary is a national disgrace, the Enemy of the Year 2006, and -- if Jimmy Carter puts in a good word for him -- the next cultural minister of the Taliban.