2009: A year of new lows

Editor's 2 Cents

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What a difference a year makes! Last year, it was all about “hope and change.” This year, it is all about “smoke and mirrors.” Last year was “post-partisan”; this year is “post-partisan depression.” Last year we had a Constitution; this year we don’t.

What a difference a year makes!

Last year, it was all about “hope and change.” This year, it is all about “smoke and mirrors.” Last year was “post-partisan”; this year is “post-partisan depression.” Last year we had a Constitution; this year we don’t.

So, in honor of the demise of the Republic with the passage last week by the Senate of the so-called health-care reform bill, I propose a Bottom 10 list that shows us just how low we have sunk as a nation and a civilization.

Without a doubt, 2009 saved the worst for last, so it was easy to conclude that the Bottom Story of the Year was Sen. Harry Reid hijacking the Constitution and throwing it under the bus where it was crushed along with majority rule and citizens’ rights.

With apologies to Kris Kristofferson, let’s face it: “Health-care reform” is just another phrase for “nothing left to lose.” Because if the Congress can order you and me to buy insurance today, they can order us to march across the country with our hands tied behind our backs tomorrow.

Does that seem like an exaggeration? Not to me. The power of the federal government is so gargantuan that it is now bigger than the Constitution, which means anything is possible. Tyrants don’t need rules. They do what they want to do because it is convenient, not because it is constitutional.

And, by the way, we have now learned the answer to the age-old question: “What happens if good people do nothing?” They watch their country go down the drain.

WE’LL GET to the rest of my Bottom 10 in a minute, but first I wanted to acknowledge the Associated Press. My list was actually inspired as a response to the Top 10 Stories of the Year compiled by the AP based on the votes of editors and news directors throughout the United States.

I voted in the AP poll earlier this month, and was dumbfounded to find some of the nominations AP included for the Top 10 news stories of the year, including the Balloon Boy hoax in Colorado, South Carolina’s lovestruck governor, President Obama’s rush to judgment in the arrest of that black scholar from Harvard, the death of Michael Jackson, the death of Edward Kennedy, and the crash landing of a plane into the Hudson River.

I mean, how bad does your news judgment have to be to think that the Balloon Boy could possibly float above the Climategate scandal or the tea-party rallies or the Navy Seals being put on trial on any list of important stories?

Sadly, Michael Jackson, Edward Kennedy and the “miraculous” river landing actually made it into the Top 10 list, in a year when historic changes were under way that will ultimately make 2009 in the United States as revolutionary as 1848 was in Europe.

And as for the tea parties, they didn’t even make it on the list of nominated stories, let alone on the final Top 10. Neither did Climategate. Neither did anything about the Obama administration deciding to grant U.S. civil rights to international terrorists like the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

WHICH BRINGS ME to the second story in my Bottom 10:

— “The mainstream media fails to report on the most significant stories of the year.”

If you need evidence of just how occluded and biased the national media has become, just listen to how the Associated Press worded their ballot option on health-care reform: “Democrats wrestle with historic changes as GOP resists.”

Say what? Apparently Sen. Harry Reid was right when he complained that the GOP is just like those stupid stubborn senators back during the Civil War era who “dug in their heels” and tried to keep slavery alive. Except, wait, those were Democratic senators!

What’s wrong with historic change anyway? How come the GOP can’t get behind bankrupting the country? Or doing away with constitutional limits on federal power?

And of course, the stories that the AP and other components of the mainstream media got wrong or didn’t report on at all were legion: The massive “9/12 rally” in Washington, D.C., the town-hall rebellion during Congress’ summer recess, the growing number of communist or socialist sympathizers who are turning up as members of the Obama administration, along with tax cheats who either did or didn’t make it into the administration but were at least appointed.

The list goes on and on. Some are included in the rest of the Bottom 10. Read ’em and weep:

3) “Debt soars: The Obama administration spends trillions of dollars it doesn’t have.” Who cares? Let’s just print more money!

4) “Town-hall meetings and tea-party rallies: Main Street America tries to get the attention of an out-of-control Congress.” It was a first step, but sooner or later Americans are going to have to do more than protest if they want to effect change; they are going to have to shake off their amnesia and actually vote out the bums instead of being lulled back to sleep with political doublespeak.

5) “The Obama administration grants U.S. civil rights to terrorists.” According to those who are now in power, “We the People” includes not just the citizens of our country, but also all illegal immigrants and most recently those who have been plotting to destroy us.

6) “Climategate: Global-warming scientists are exposed as frauds by having their private e-mails exposed.” Nonetheless, President Obama emerged from Copenhagen (somewhat like Neville Chamberlain from Munich?) with an agreement that will mean “greenpeace in our time.”

7) “The federal government approves trillions in “stimulus spending” which results in virtually no stimulus.” In fact, unemployment rose higher after the bill was passed than what we were warned might happen if it wasn’t passed.

8) “Fort Hood shooting proves two things: 1) No one is safe from Islamic terrorism. 2) No one is safe from political correctness.”

9) “Government takeover of private industry gets off to a good start, as feds grab General Motors and Chrysler, set salaries for bank executives and generally do whatever they can to assure that no economic transaction takes place without Uncle Sam getting a piece of the action.”

10) “Barack Obama is sworn in as president of the United States.” He promised us that he would “fundamentally transform” the United States of America, and he has miraculously done it. Many people, myself included, warned two years ago that no one should vote for Obama’s “hope and change” unless they knew exactly what changes the candidate was hoping for. Well, now we know, and the more things change the less hope there is.

Like I said, what a difference a year makes.

Let’s pray that 2010 proves me wrong. Now wouldn’t that be a happy new year!

n Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake. E-mail responses may be sent to edit@dailyinterlake.com

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