MAD AS HELL: Will Our Long National Nightmare End? 

Let the crystal ball drop in Times Square. It's time to ring in 2008, the year when the seeds of change are finally in the air. Hang up your Bush-Out-of-Office Countdown calendars and let the optimism swell! Oh sure, it's not a new dawn, a new day, or a new life just yet -- we've got to put up with The Decider's war and destruction for another year, but just visualizing his farewell smirk as Air Force One, headed for Crawford, waits on the tarmac makes me want to guzzle the bubbly in anticipation of ringing out the surrealistic experience of living in America during the reign of Dubya.

Although only seven years, it seems a lifetime has passed since the Bush coronation of 2001. A foreboding, hard rain fell on that cold, dark January day. Hundreds, maybe thousands, came to protest, but were cordoned off, never to be seen. The nation was witnessing the consummate inside job performed by masterful minions and lackeys of a crafty and corrupt political family. President Poppy Bush had appointed the Supreme Court justices to do the selecting. Governor Brother Jebby had made sure the votes in Florida were certified without being totally counted. And media consultant cousin Johnny (Ellis), who was responsible for projecting state results for FOX News on election night, had made sure, after challenging the other networks to follow suit, that FOX was the first to call Florida a win for his cuz. The fix was in and the American people had been denied a true and legitimate leader.

On that fateful Inaugural day, a place called "Murrika" was born -- a landscape where cowboy dictators on a mission from God ride roughshod over the Constitution on their way to The Apocalypse. Murrika (alternatively, Ah-Murrika) -- a land where might is right and peacemakers inherit not the earth, but a world of war and poverty. The new Murrican millennium actually had it origins in Orwell's 1984, where war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

The last seven years of governance have been more despotic than democratic. Bush, who promised to be a compassionate uniter, has presided over one of the meanest, most contemptible, and divisive administrations in history. Among scores of hilariously idiotic massacres of the English language now known as Bushisms, the President accused Americans of "misunderestimating" him.

True enough, in 2001 most could not have estimated the level of arrogance, hypocrisy, and bullheaded certitude that would become the hallmark of his persona. Certainly, we could not have imagined a President who would repeatedly display nothing more than utter contempt for the will of the people. It would have been a challenge to envision the magnitude of miserable failings both foreign and domestic, which would lead to the ruinous consequences of an endless war, record numbers dead at home and abroad, a weakened Constitution, a faltering economy with a devalued currency and massive, unprecedented debt, and a very ugly reputation as the world's bully.

But a year from now, an election will have taken place and the Murrikan alternate universe will be fading away. Although it will be a monumental task to restore peace and prosperity, there will be no more Shock and Awe, Axis of Evil, and Gathering Threats. There will be no more Evil Doers, Cake Walks and Slam Dunks. No more Missions Accomplished, Big Times and Turdblossoms. And finally -- finally! -- no more War on Turr and Nucular presence in the world! America will once again become the nation, not the homeland. At last, the shameful and embarrassing "I'll Pretend to Tell the Truth While You Pretend to Believe Me" regime of George W. Bush will end.

In the immortal words of President Gerald R. Ford, at the close of another calamitous Republican Presidency, "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over." Give or take another 365 days, we can celebrate the same. Join a campaign, make a difference, and have a Happy New Year!

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