We could put lots of lumps of coal in many stockings this year, but there are also causes for hope and celebration.
There is a growing consensus that the country is headed in the wrong direction. But this recognition is the first painful and necessary step to setting things right.
One cause for good cheer is that there is an excellent chance that the behemoth known as Obamacare either will be overturned in the Supreme Court or that Americans will send to Washington representatives with a mandate to end it.
Secretary of Health and Human Resources Kathleen Sebelius is working hard, according to Robert Samuelson, to “make the [health reform] act disappear as a political liability for the president” (okay, I have to give the secretary a few of my lumps of coal!) by giving states more say in defining benefits.
We can’t let her get away with this. We must work hard for a second chance to get reform right.
Another positive development is that I think that our elected officials have treated themselves so well (hey, why don’t you take a trip—it’s free?) and behaved so much like an imperious ruling class that we are beginning to yearn for the return of simpler, more republican values.
The liberal elite has been around for quite a while, and in a wonderful piece for the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan writes about how it reacted to Margaret Thatcher, the subject of a new movie starring Meryl Streep:
"The Iron Lady" locates class as an important and largely ignored element of Mrs. Thatcher's struggle. The leftist intelligentsia of her day, which claimed loyalty to and identification with the poor and marginalized, was shot through with snobs and snobbery. Underneath their egalitarian chatter was (and to some degree still is) a hidden, hungry admiration for and desire to be associated with the well-named and well-connected.
The top of the right, the Tories, who said they stood for tradition, the rights of the oppressed middle and the greatness of England, was heavily populated by a more familiar kind of snob, those who took more overt pleasure in their titles and pedigree, and wealth. They were not eager for change.
But don’t you sense that as 2011 creeps out of town that this snobbish liberal consensus, having shown what it can do (nothing good) during three years of power, is on the run?
Noonan also talks in the piece about the left’s taking particular umbrage at Lady Thatcher because she is a woman. Women aren’t supposed to be conservative. They are supposed to toe the liberal line. Well, we know all about that, don't we? But I see this changing fast, as strong conservative women have been emerging into the national spotlight for several years now.
It is also high time, says columnist Mona Charen in a piece headlined “Merry Manly Christmas and Hanukkah” to restore the roles of men who have suffered because of the excesses of the feminist movement.
I urge you to have a happy holiday, eat lots of turkey and rest up because we’ll need our energy and wits to meet the challenges of the coming year.