"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over..."
With all due respect to the late president, I would say: Not yet.
That was then, when most of us were pleading for sanity and found comfort in the new president's words. But this is now, in the wake of unhinged political witches and warlocks who sank to an ugly manic depth and are merely the prologue to another nightmare if the polls are anywhere near the truth. As Frank Rich so clearly expressed it in Sunday's New York Times, the new battlefield will embrace the Tea Partiers against the Republican Party, a rear-guard clash between the angry protestors shouting that they want their country back (from what?) to the Old Guard Republicans ensconced in the ways of fancy country clubs, Wall Street and Corporate America. The warfare has already begun as several GOP incumbents were clobbered in the party primaries.
Thanks to Fox News, which encouraged much of the nonsense that created scary moments of grandeur for Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell, to name a few, the Tea Partiers will not go back to their rooms quietly.
What will the new Republican brand be when everyone is seated in the new year? We can only look back and track what the nature of the insurgents will be. A short history lesson is in order.
Sharron Angle, a Tea Partier who might take the Nevada Senate seat from Harry Reid, declared on Christian Radio that the country is violating the First Commandment with its idolatrous "dependency on government." Said Angle: " We're supposed to depend on
God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government."
Conservative Guru Rush Limbaugh: "There is no equality....some people are self starters, and some people are born lazy. Some people are born victims. Some people are just born to be slaves."
Rep.Darrell Issa, right-wing Republican of California, a proponent of extending the Bush tax cuts: "One of the things you lose in a debate is most people don't make a quarter million dollars a year. But a great many people once in their lifetime will sort of win the lottery."
Former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey, the Texan now leading a Tea Party charge against Social Security: "Social Security is a pay-as-you-go Ponzi scheme."
Newt Gingrich: "What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]. That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."
Christine O'Donnell, Republican senate nominee in Delaware: "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. S0 you can't masturbate without lust."
And so it went with the new group of Founding Fathers and Mothers that will lead us into a debt-free, Obama-free Utopia - and away from Sharia in our neighborhoods, headless bodies in the Arizona desert and wedlock between human beings and clocks. You can count on it when you get your country back.
But should we be surprised in a day. as a Plain Dealer story tells us, when "vampires, ghosts and zombies claw back, win respect in books" ? Or a day when the leading box-office movie is Jackass.