New Years' Eve again? Well, it's about bloody time. Not that it'll make much difference. Oh, sure. The calendar will turn a page, your wristwatch date will click over from 31 to 1, and a new year will have begun. But nothing else will change except the brand names. The cut and run Dems will emerge from their spring retreat and foreswear "cut and run" in favor of "trim and trot." Hillary will emerge as the "New Democrat" (Version 5.1), MSNBC will re-emerge as "NBC Lite" (hitherto a physical impossibility) and the UN's choice to succeed Kofi (another third-world America-hater) will be heralded as the Second Coming of Jacques Chirac. And, while the president's poll numbers continue to rise, the media will spend the entire year, from January 3 to Election Day, predicting a Republican disaster and loss of control of the House and Senate.
Two thousand five ends as it began: badly. It started out with a receding tsunami in Southeast Asia that was promptly blamed on global warming. And it went on, and on, and on as a year of leakers, liars and louts. Of cronies and the Congressional porksters. We suffered the wimps and the wusses, the whiners and the woebegone. Disasters -- both natural and un -- filled our eyes and ears, from Katrina to Harriett, and from Rita to Cindy. For too many months the entire world was stuck on stupid. But then the real men -- and real women -- stood up to the year's worst. And what did America earn for it? ABC's Monday Night Football, which has served as a weekly shot of testosterone in every fall season over the past 36 years, is being fumbled into the hands of ESPN and Joe Theismann. Joe Theismann? What is left in this world that's worth fighting for?
A lot. America. Freedom. Our families, our way of life. Our troops, as I saw first-hand in December, are winning in Iraq and will win everywhere else they're allowed to fight. So let's take our leave of 2005 and greet the arrival of its ugly sister, 2006, with as much gleeful anticipation as we'd regard the pending arrival of a new mother in law in the person of Jane Fonda.
How long did it take for you to lose patience with 2005? If you waited longer than it took for the first two weeks to go by, you were way behind the power curve, pilgrim. As '04 ended, a tsunami killed hundreds of thousands in Southeast Asia. And before the waters receded, the UN's disaster relief coordinator, some pencil-necked geek named Jan Egelund, said the developed nations -- meaning us, not France -- were being stingy in contributing to disaster relief. Which comment got the Big Dog a little growly. When I interviewed Mr. Rumsfeld a coupla days later, he managed to point out that our "stinginess" included about twenty ships, 45 helos, 15,000 men and thousands of tons of relief supplies. Which was stingy only in the sense that it didn't pay the UN's overhead (Mr. Egelund's expense account and such), which has absorbed about a third of the tsunami aid that the UN has dispensed so far.
Our dear president inexplicably benched himself for most of the year. From his inaugural to the end of November, the wartime president was AWOL. It got so bad that the New York Times and the ACLU believed they were in charge of the war, and the idea was not so much whether we'd pull out of Iraq, but how fast. When Rep. Jack Murtha lost his marbles and proclaimed our army broken, the cause impossible and called for withdrawal in six months, the White House was visited by the ghost of Fitzmas present, and something finally snapped. The Cowboy President, he who all of Europe believes is too dumb to put three sentences together in a decent speech, stood up on his hind legs and finally said no: we're not setting any timetables to pull out of Iraq because to do so would be to schedule our defeat. Within minutes, Vichy John Kerry was on the tube, all a-quiver, saying no, we Democrats weren't demanding a schedule for a pullout. What we want is a schedule for success. But then Nancy Pelosi said, yeah we really do want to pull out, and Howlin' Howie said the war is unwinnable. The Democrats are in the process of handing the Republicans another electoral win for one simple reason: the toughest guy in their camp is a girl. What they need is a Dem version of Scotty.
James Doohan died in July, but Star Trek's Mr. Scott -- tough, competent, and always ready, television's last real man -- lives on. After him, televised testosterone must have been banned by the FCC. All we had was Alan Alda, Jerry Seinfeld and Oprah. Not that anyone should bother to tell them apart.
Scotty was the real thing -- at least as much as one could ever be found on TV. He was always saying things such as, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Life was complicated when Captain Kirk was on board. He always dithered between Bones's emotional outbursts and Spock's coolly detached logic. But it was inevitable: when Kirk and Spock were off somewhere negotiating peace between two warring worlds, some Klingon would block the Enterprise's path. And Scotty would send the crew to battle stations, tell the bad guys to get out of the way, and then order full speed ahead, saying, "Let's see if they have the belly for it." Though Doohan had a family, Scotty didn't. Pity. It's likely that in all those galactic officers' club bars, the only women he met were like Maureen Dowd, the NYT's anti-testosterone columnist.
This year's greatest defender of American masculinity, the wonderful Kathleen Parker of the Orlando Sentinel, utterly demolished the feminazis and MoDo's new book, Are Men Necessary? in a few short sentences. In a November column Parker wrote,
Men haven't turned away from smart, successful women because they're smart and successful. More likely they've turned away because the feminist movement that encouraged women to be smart and successful also encouraged them to be hostile and demeaning to men.
Whatever was wrong, men did it...At the same time women wanted men to be wage earners, they also wanted them to act like girlfriends: to time their contractions, feed and diaper the baby, and go antiquing...And then, when whatshisname inevitably lapsed into guy-ness, women wanted him to disappear. If children were involved, women got custody and men got an invoice. The eradication of men and fathers from children's lives has been feminism's most despicable accomplishment.
Other than the establishment of the French Republic, that is.
Many Frenchmen tried to save a lot of money by switching to GEICO, but were frustrated by the fact that arson isn't considered an automobile accident in France. We cannot confirm reports that the French Olympic Committee has proposed car burning be considered an Olympic sport. France, like the Deanocrats, is incurable. But there's still a war on, a campaign to win, and CBS to mock. We have a lot to do and 2005's ugly twin is coming through the door. Enough. It's time to square our shoulders, plant our feet and get ready to sail against the wind, again. Play the deguello. No mercy to the leakers, the louts and the losers.
We know what 2006 will bring. There's no sense in giving it an even break. It won't be all bad, it'll just seem that way. As an act of preemption to which we are entitled in self-defense, I say to hell with 2006. Let's also preempt every Republican who doesn't dedicate himself to reducing the size of government and the amount of our money it spends.
Judge Alito will be confirmed because the Dems will filibuster and not even Bill Frist will be able to lose that one. Arlen Specter will double-cross so many people seriatim that he will lose track of the direction he intended to go, and Alito will be on the high court by St. Patty's Day.
Howard Dean and Howard Stern will make a secret agreement to exchange jobs on alternate weeks, and no one will notice except the Dem party treasurer who will notice that the weekly take waxes and wanes instead of just wanes.
Trent Lott will succumb to Harry Reid's plea, and decide not to retire from the Senate. He will, instead, resume blaming the Bush administration for everything that's gone wrong since the Lindbergh kidnapping. He will be bashing his fellow Repubs on one of the Sunday morning talk shows when Zell Miller runs onto the set and punches him in the nose, thereby assuring Miller the #2 spot on the 2008 Republican ticket. And despite Lott running again, neither the House nor the Senate will be lost. Lost, no. Disoriented, dazed and confused? Of course.
Never mind 2006. Let's set sail for 2008, with an eye on the few people who we think can lead us forward in the war. Is there a successor to W who can do what needs to be done? Yes, but not among the likely candidates. I have a name. It's someone you'd recognize in an instant if he popped up on your television. He has a bearing and voice that reminds me of Ronald Reagan. He's a warrior-intellectual, someone who understands the fight we're in and how it has to be fought if it's going to be won. He's not a politician, a lawyer or a bureaucrat. And, as far as I know, he has no desire to run. Which is one of the reasons he's perfect for the Republican presidential candidacy. No, I'm not going to tell you who he is. Yet.
Happy Un-New Year.
TAS contributing editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery, 2004).