While I was
addressing the 80-some Christmas cards I send to faraway family and
friends, the U.S. Senate was debating its version of a health care bill.
It took the first step toward a government-controlled, single-payer
system by extending Medicare to people ages 55 to 65.
And as I
searched for the Baby-Jesus-in-a-bottle that a family member
painstakingly created, Congress sent a $1.1 trillion spending bill,
complete with pay raises for federal employees, to the president, who
will probably sign it before I actually find the bottle. Together
they'll increase the $12.1 trillion national debt level before I get my
Christmas Eve call from my grandchildren, who will end up paying for all
As we get
closer to Dec. 25, I'll be listening to carols instead of the news. I'll
be reading newsletters from family and friends instead of position
papers on "climate change." I'll be "taking time out" from politics —
along with a lot of other people who, like me, just can't stand it
anymore this year or, unlike me, never pay attention anyhow.
everybody is fiddling with wrapping paper while the U.S. burns its
future. I got an e-mail from someone inquiring about buses going to the
Boston Tea Party anniversary rally in Washington, D.C., this week.
Republican congressional candidate Bill Hudak called from the road; he
was on his way to protest the drowning of America in debt.
I did what I
could, without actually having to leave home: Sent an e-mail to friends
at the National Taxpayer Union and Americans for Tax Reform with the
subject line, "My next congressman coming to a rally near you;" asking
them to keep a lookout for Bill's graphics-covered campaign car. God
bless the patriots who are interrupting their holiday to save the
country. The next time Bill holds a rally in Peabody, I'll be there!
I did attend
a Center-Right Coalition meeting in Lexington last week to endorse Scott
Brown for U.S. Senate. WCVB-TV was there to film him putting his bumper
sticker on my car; it joins those of Hudak and gubernatorial candidate
Charlie Baker and those with the slogans "Freedom Works," "Revolution
2010" and "I love Prop 2½." At least as I
drive to the post office with packages, I'm also sort of campaigning!
I also voted
in the Dec. 8 Senate primary. I do relate to people wanting to drop out
during the holidays, but I can't imagine not taking time to vote when
there is an election as important as this one.
OK, the GOP
primary was an inevitable win for Brown, so we can give too-busy
Republicans a pass. And if Democratic and Independent voters weren't
paying close attention, they may have thought that it didn't make any
difference which of the Democratic candidates won, since their positions
on the issues all seemed alike.
as if much of the electorate left the decision to those voters who
choose a candidate based on gender. One liberal friend seemed pleased
with her decision to support Martha Coakley; I know this person as a
passionate opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so I was
surprised she didn't choose Mike Capuano, a proven and committed vote
against these wars. Wonder if she knew anything about him except that
he's not a woman?
some people think that women are always against war. Even if that were
the case, one could argue that Coakley seems more likely to follow the
leaders of her party, and the guy president. Not many women are as
feisty and independent as Capuano.
pundits are right and the Democrat wins in January, this month's primary
might have changed the course of history. But never mind, there were
only 17 shopping days till Christmas so the 20 percent voter turnout was
probably the best we could reasonably expect.
I think the
pundits may be wrong, but here's the scary question: What if voters
don't turn out for the final election on Jan. 19 either?
argue that there's no difference between the Democratic and Republican
candidates. Scott Brown's first act upon winning his primary was to sign
the American for Tax Reform's "no new taxes" pledge, while also pledging
to try to control federal spending and the deficit while voting against
new entitlement programs.
health care debate lasts into next year, Brown could be the one vote to
defeat the government takeover of health care that voters nationwide
have said they don't want. He would vote against the new taxes in the
cap-and-trade bill, as well as the next bailout or "stimulate government
But be of
good cheer. All we have to do is get voters past New Year's Eve and
they'll have nothing else to do for 19 days but follow the Senate race.
I will be
making my family's traditional "good luck in the New Year"
pork-and-sauerkraut dinner on Jan. 1, and then I'll be ready to focus on
saving the country just like, I hope, every other good American.