Today is Sunday, January 20, 2008. Exactly one year from today Somebody Else will stand on the steps of the Capitol and take the oath of office as President of the United States. And the administration of George W. Bush will stumble into history, leaving behind death, destruction, incompetence, (including the wholesale slaughter of the English language) in its wake, the detritus and jetsam sloshing around like the Exxon Valdez plowing through the Everglades.
The greatest challenge for us lies ahead. Not only do we have to choose someone who will take over the Executive branch and take on the Herculean task of restoring our nation and our reputation, we have to prevent the current administration, in its dying moments, from doing any further damage, either by choice, chance, or dereliction. And we must remember that there is nothing so dangerous as someone knowing that the end is approaching and they have nothing left to lose but their legacy. We must be ever vigilant that over the next year George W. Bush doesn’t do anything to cause more harm.
In the meantime, let us make sure that we do everything we can to begin — now — to repair the tatters and disfigurements of our democracy and our alliances and put to rest the idea that just by electing someone else things will repair themselves. That’s comforting but naive. We have to start now so that 366* days from now when we are finally able to quote the late Gerald Ford — “our long national nightmare is over” — we really mean it.
*2008 is a Leap Year, and George W. Bush will still be president for 12 hours on January 20, 2009.