DARE WE HOPE?

DARE WE HOPE?

That’s the tiny little voice some of us hear watching the evening news, or noon’s, or early morning’s.

Apart from Deflate Gate and the game this weekend, the usual airline hoaxes, beheadings and
bombings, graft in government, Putin blaming the Ukraine and vice versa
– nearly all of which has become background noise for many of us, – notice if you will that the
Republicans are being moderately well-behaved and so are the Democrats.

Dare we begin to hope that the Republicans are actually working hard to come up with plans and
programs that will aid the nation and its middle class, or are they simply staying below the waterline,
waiting once more to hand the 1 per cent another gift?

And could it be that the Democrats are holding their own fire waiting to see what will happen rather
than accusing the opposition of horrors unimagined?

Of course, a lot of important business is on hold. Immigration reform, tax overhauls, the budget.

But again, it seems to us, that no representative or senator wants to be the first to break the silent
bubble that surrounds a snow-covered countryside.

Well, except maybe for one: Mitch McConnell, who brazenly complained that in the past four years
nothing had reached healthy fruition. He made this assertion, no doubt, counting on the short
memories of Americans who cannot seem to recall that the reason nothing was done in the past four
years was precisely because Mr. McConnell and his ilk had sworn an oath to block everything the
President wanted, whether or not it made sense to do so.

It’s not that there aren’t distractions.

There IS the Game. And there is a new sport, or perhaps merely revived, trying to handicap the next
presidential election.

The distressing thing about gambling early and donating to your favorite would-be candidate is that in
the process, those candidates are being treated exactly as they were four years ago. You remember, the
endless weeks of presidential “debates” that simply exposed one man’s inadequacy after another and
made each the butt of jokes by the thousands.

Which is not to say that those debates of 2012 were uninvolving. They were, to put it shortly, the best
television on the air. One actually anticipated tuning into see who would make what egregious mistake
and try to back his or her way out of it. That was fun. It was, granted, no way to make the selection of
the world’s single-most powerful man (or woman, had it come to that), someone worthy of respect and
gravitas.

Then again, who would we rather have a beer with?

That question alone nearly sinks the weight and heft and influence of the United States abroad.

What seems to have changed, or been heightened in the past four years, is the importance of religion
in a candidate’s life. We’ve always wanted saints. Now we get them: Romney, Santorum, Jindal, Perry,
Huckabee. This seems to us adequate reason to toss these charlatans overboard altogether. We live in
a country of laws, based on courtesy, nondiscrimination, and the very first words of our Constitution.
People who forget this in their furor to raise their own candidate to a pontiff’s chair need to be
reminded constantly that our founding fathers declared that religion was an individually held right, not a
requirement.

So we wait. Half-terrified that through some weird other-worldly machination Sarah Palin comes out
on top, or that an even lesser qualified candidate shows up who’s got charisma and Sheldon Andelson in
his pocket.

Meanwhile, hope can be sort of fun. For a while.

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