I have some New Year’s resolutions I want various politicians and other officials to make, and so I imagined a stage, dreamed about their getting together and uttering chosen words, and noticed President Donald Trump speaking up.
“No more tweets,” he said, glancing at my script, his golden hair shining, “and no more off-the-cuff, antagonizing, low-life insults from any platform. This I pledge, and I pledge not to say there will be a shutdown and there won’t be a shutdown but there will be a shutdown, exhibiting a confusion of mind that leads to confusion of the nation and is just maybe more subversive than a Russian collusion.”
“I won’t blurt our new policies on Syria and the like,” he continued, “but will construct them carefully in a way that protects the Kurds and others and I will continue to watch out for Iran, ISIS and Turkey.” He wipes off his mouth and says, “I will stay tough on China but work with allies in Europe and Asia to stuff other tariffs in a sock.”
His resolution went on for an hour and a half, obviously leaving out some important matters and with only 100 or so errors, but, next thing you knew, there was Sen. Bernie Sanders marching forward and saying he has learned to like the rich and recognizes that many contribute much to this country and that his ranting sometimes seems on the order of “a bigot full of hate.”
“As Mr. Ambrose requested,” Sanders said, “I also resolve not to push Medicare for All. As a careful study has shown, my program would cost more than $32 trillion over a decade and require doubling of all individual and corporate taxes so that consumers would have little to spend and corporations would be unable to produce. After more thought than usual, I don’t think that would be wise.”
“Walls are moral, after all,” burst in Nancy Pelosi, former and possibly future speaker of the House of Representatives.
“In 2019,”she said, “I will do my best to keep in mind the wall on the Israeli-Egyptian border that brought to zero the 55,000 illegal immigrants that crossed the border between 2010 and 2012. Murder and rape had accompanied some of them, and that’s not OK.”
She also said she would negotiate seriously from now on, refusing to get caught up in relatively trivial numbers for something seriously needed, and, after a while, turned the floor over to Sen. Kamala Harris.
“Oh, so sorry,” Harris said. “What we Democrats did during the Supreme Court hearing on Brett Kavanaugh was to belittle the process, and there I was butting in when it wasn’t my turn and playing antagonistic gotcha games based on nothing much. I resolve never again to ask a nominee for justice if he knew of any laws ‘that the government has power to make over the male body.’”
Her hand on her forehead, she said: “I was treating a fetus, a living, human creature on its way to being a baby, as it were a mere body part, a kidney or something. It was also the case that Kavanaugh had made it clear he was not going to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the main worry was that the Constitution might rise again, getting in the way of progressive ambitions.”
The last but not the least speaker was Robert Mueller, hardly in a good mood as he said: “I am fed up with all of you, with your suspicious changes of heart, and I am going to investigate. If necessary, I will get confidential information from your lawyers or priests, and, if I can’t find a crime, our team will find a lie that’s a crime, and after millions of dollars and focused intent, we will get you. “
Well, you can’t win ‘em all.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service.