New Years Resolutions
January 6, 2001
by John K. Bates
Along with predictions (see this space from last week), the New Year
for many people tends to bring about self-analysis. Frequently, this takes
the form of expressed goals of change, usually known as New Years
Resolutions. Most of these resolutions involve personal growth (i.e.,
reading more) personal shrinkage (i.e., losing weight), or general self-improvement
(i.e., resolving not to use the single-finger salute in traffic). It is
said that 98% of such resolutions do not make it halfway through the year,
and many do not make it through the first week. One can debate the merits
of such resolutions, but they certainly are harmless.
Your humble columnist, who believes that improvement need not wait for
any specific day (and who himself is perfect in every way, thank you Mac
Davis), does not make New Years resolutions. But he certainly believes
others can and should seek to improve themselves. So in the interest of
helping people make themselves better, here are some New Years resolutions
some prominent folks might wish to consider:
- - Bill Clinton should resolve to keep his mouth shut. Can anyone doubt
the utter insincerity of a man who actually wishes the September 11
attacks had happened on his watch? There is something truly wrong with
this man, something perhaps only Narcissus could understand. Our country
had eight years of his self-indulgences. We need a break.
- - Attorney General John Ashcroft would do well to resolve to read
the Constitution of the United States. Every part of it, especially
the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments.
- - EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman should resolve to learn something
about environmental science. Her decision to carry forth the hideous
Clinton judgment against G. E. (where the company will be required to
spend $500 million to dredge the Hudson River to remove encapsulated
PCBs, an act that will cause the PCB level in the river to skyrocket)
shows lack of scientific knowledge, lack of political courage, or both.
- - Rush Limbaugh should resolve to just once actually question the
Bush administration on any issue, especially on any issue involving
the size of government. Somehow, the Country Club Bumpkin has been completely
bamboozled into thinking that conservatism now means the continued expansion
of government, so long as the right people run that government.
Maybe Rush needs to resolve to focus on golf and leave the battle against
liberalism to someone who actually believes government run by anyone
is inherently evil.
- - Steve Spurrier (coach, saint, and demigod of the Florida Gators)
should resolve to start throwing his visor again. For whatever reason,
St. Steve decided he was tired of CBS focusing on him anytime the Gators
made a bonehead play. A pity; it was so much fun watching Spurrier get
mad, especially when fans could play along and consume a drink every
time the visor was flung. Let it fly, Steve!
- - Lori Cutshall, editor of ConservativeTruth.org, should resolve to
give up cheering for that rag-tag outfit they call a football team up
there in Tennessee and root instead for the real deal - the Gators.
(Editors note: Will never happen.)
- - Ben Stein - lawyer, actor, and writer of the excellent Ben Steins
Diary in the newly non-excellent American Spectator - should
resolve to publish his Diary somewhere else. It has no place in the
new, techno-jargon filled joke that the Spectator has become
under its new owner, George Gilder.
- - Usama Bin Laden, presuming he is not scorpion food in the Afghan
desert by now, should resolve to hire one Johnnie Cochran as his defense
attorney should he ever be captured and brought to trial in the United
States. The guy is guilty as sin, but hey, so was O. J.
- - Kenneth Lay, Chairman and CEO of bankrupt Enron, should resolve
to practice sleeping in small rooms with uncomfortable bedding and dubious
roommates. This might prepare him for his next home, which he may have
earned by allegedly defrauding both his employees and Enrons shareholders.
- - The Republican Party should resolve to give Enrons millions
of dollars in campaign donations back to its employees.
- - The political system should resolve to follow humorist Dave Barrys
advice in his new book, Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway. In
this wonderful book, Mr. Barry proposes that candidates wear patches
and stickers, similar to NASCAR drivers, of the corporations and organizations
that are in effect sponsoring them. This is a far better idea than so-called
campaign finance reform which would serve to hand even more
power to an elite few.
- - House Republicans should resolve to learn again how to govern in
the minority. After this November, they will need the skill. Certainly,
they have earned their soon-to-be minority party status, as they have
completely abandoned the principles of smaller government upon which
they were elected.
- - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should resolve to continue
to strive to uphold the Constitution as brilliantly as he has done in
the past. This is especially important if, as some speculate, Chief
Justice Rehnquist retires and Scalia is elevated to the top position
of the Court.
- - Soon-to-be-retired House Majority Leader Dick Armey should resolve
to become a pundit or commentator on some cable network, preferably
Fox News. It is understandable for Mr. Armey to give up politics, seeing
how there are few left in Washington that share his disdain for government.
But his voice is still a necessary one, and would gain more power if
broadcast every day.
- - And finally, George W. Bush should resolve to cut one single government
program during the year. Just one. It doesnt matter which one;
we cant be picky at this point. Surely the beekeeper subsidy or
some pork project somewhere must be a candidate for extinction. This
is not to say that Mr. Bush has not done an admirable job as president
thus far; he has performed well especially in the foreign policy arena.
But considering how many conservatives fawn over Mr. Bush as some sort
of second coming of Ronald Reagan, it would be nice if he actually tried
to govern like Reagan when it comes to the size, scope, and purpose
of the federal government.
There they are, New Years resolutions for some who truly need it.
I accept voluntary donations for my advice. And I hope all my readers
(both of you!) have a wonderful, joyful, and prosperous 2002.