2009: A Subjective Review

December 31, 2009

  • Obama takes the oath of office and, after several days of smiling uncontrollably, I begin to feel like Ben and Elaine sitting on the bus at the end of The Graduate.
  • Obama declares that Guantanano will close and signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Joy reigns in my heart again.
  • Business as usual in Washington, and I begin to imagine what a new president learns when he settles into that desk chair in the Oval Office: do they tell him lots of deep, dark secrets that only presidents and all their “men” can know? Is it as if, when I got married, the marriage fairies came to me on my wedding night and told me that all husbands steal their wives’ souls but I mustn’t tell or every wife in the world will die? Is that why Obama doesn’t seem to be doing what I hoped he would do?
  • The Summer of Health Care. Enough said.
  • The Autumn of Health Care. As my friend Roxanne said, every American should be given a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order and told that democracy is a pretty complex operation. When certain Republicans called attention to deal-making by Democrats as if it were a new, Democrats-only, “Obama-esque” invention, they reached a new low—in a year of new lows.
  • The Winter of Realism. We have reached the conference stage with health care reform. Now, if cool heads and warm hearts can prevail in Congress, the people who spent 2009 suffering and dying, while they were working and uninsured, might just be able to see their human rights honored a little bit more in 2010.

My Favorite:

In closing, I feel better off today than I did a year ago. My president is smart and, according to Sasha Abramsky, he’s looking at the big picture.

My heart goes out to the people of Iran, and I wish everybody a politically sane, socially progressive, and economically uphill New Year.

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