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Ladies and Gents, I will now return to regularly scheduled programming. Or writing.   I am thrilled for the dawn of 2010.  As Forrest Gump would say, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.”  This year brought wonderful surprises, reunions, friendship, and a deeper faith in the essential goodness of the folks I am lucky enough to share my life with.   And love?  Well, that’s the whole point.  Our house is brimming over with it.  I hope yours is too.  2009 is almost in the history books – and I am willing to go all-in that President Obama is happier than anyone else that it is!

This year was a long one politically speaking.  Bushies said goodbye to power.  Americans said goodbye to the Bushies.  We welcomed a new president brimming with hope for change – and for the demise of dire warnings, terror alerts, casualty reports, continued unrest in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorists with ambiguous origins demanding the rights of American citizens, the collapse of the auto industry, a tanking economy, an increasingly acerbic political atmosphere and exploding federal debts.

Gee, when I put it that way… who could save America from the travails of post-9/11 life in the Good Ol’ USA?

Reminder:  Democratic Senators John Kerry, John Edwards and the late Ted Kennedy to Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi – all with considerable encouragement from Code Pink and Michael Moore – assured us that a Savior would arrive.  The legacy of Kerry’s Democratic National Convention in Boston circa 2004 wasn’t the “Reporting for Duty” idiocy, nor the launch of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s artful ads unveiling his moral hypocrisy with regard to Duty, Honor, Country.  Nope.  it was the speech of a little known State Senator who spoke not of Red states or Blue states, but the United States.  [my heart beats faster just thinking about his apparent ability to correctly identify the country we live in!!!!!]

Who was this wonder from Illinois?  Barack Obama.  His oratorical gifts were at times fiery and inspired “the” buzz. You know, the “he could be President of the United States” buzz.  The Aaron Sorkin found his muse buzz.  The ‘next JFK’ buzz.  Bonus: He was pliable.  New.  Eloquent. (there’s that word again)  A committed liberal.  A sure thing for NARAL and Emily’s list endorsements.  He sounded almost moderate.  He was beautiful and persuasive.   It was almost too good to be true.

Fast forward to December 2009.  Turns out, he was too good to be true.  Reality bites.

The Best and Worst of 2009 award goes, without a doubt to President Obama.  Hey, it’s not another Nobel Peace Prize for Awesomeness or anything.  But he did get his wish granted.  He’s THE dominant newsmaker of the year.

He embarked on apologizing-to-the-world-America-sucks adventures.  He broke campaign promises.  But, since he has no intention of keeping his ‘no pork’ and ‘line-by-line’ review of federal spending — his fellow Democrats are free to rape the Treasury at a pace that would make Tom DeLay squirm with equal amounts of horror and pride.   We were promised No Drama Obama.  We got him.  He seems entirely unmoved by any crisis, any problems, anything except the unrelenting critiques of him and his policies.

Frankly, I am fascinated.  His arrogance reminds me of his stop in Egypt earlier this year.  Obama’s self-love was on display quietly, unless you are familiar with Egyptian history.  As recounted by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Obama remarked how he knows he looks like King Tutankamen aka the “Living Image of Amun.”  As in, the Risen Sun. You know… the sign rises and sets for him.  Divine.  Wow… I guess he’s not worried about the return of ads mocking the cult-like support he enjoys.  To be clear, this paragraph says a lot more about some Obama supporters than it doe about him, with one exception: He indulges their fantasy.

Ick.

The dissection of his policies will have to wait until after the new year.  But in the media best & worst, the man is more overexposed than Tiger Woods, the Octomom, or the worst parents of the year: Jon & Kate whatever-their-last-name-is.  Unfortunately, we are in the era of a TMZ presidency.  We need a strong dose of Grown-up.  We need to feel safe.  After the Christmas Day bomb attempts by a Nigerian man were thwarted by a Flying Dutchman [har har] all President Obama could do was offer tepid response.

The American public are good with Hope.  We’re good with Change.  But that means the President has to inspire absolute confidence.  Obama failed there.  Fortunately, Obama’s antagonist – former Vice President Dick Cheney is not a Bushie.  He’s his own man.  Always was.

Via a statement to Politico early this morning, he reminded Americans why the Bush-Cheney team was elected to serve out two-full terms.  An achievement Obama can only dream about tonight.

“As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.

“He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war.”

Thank you, Dick.  That wins the Best O’ the Right 2009 award, proving late entry can be a beautiful thing.

And as a little red meat for my Liberal readers Worst of the Right 2009 is a tie.  Governor Mark “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford is an obvious choice – moral hypocrisy always ensures a finalist!  Along with two guys who pretend to be “conservative” and “GOP-friendly” but really use those folks for endless fundraising ploys, overseas junkets and vapid pledges that make them more important (in their own minds) than the Oath of Office signers make.  The American Conservative Union’s David Keene and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform fame.  Why, you ask?

Their endorsement of holding terror trials in New York City, just blocks from Ground Zero are more than enough reason to vote them Worst of the Right.

Via the UK Guardian, text of their joint letter – with former GOP Congressman Bob Barr endorsing the Obama plan for 9/11 Mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators:

We are confident that the government can preserve national security without resorting to sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional tradition that has served us effectively for over two centuries.

Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases. Civilian prisons are the safe, cost-effective and appropriate venue to hold persons convicted in federal courts. Over the last two decades, federal courts constituted under Article III of the U.S. Constitution have proven capable of trying a wide array of terrorism cases, without sacrificing either national security or fair trial standards.

Likewise the federal prison system has proven itself fully capable of safely holding literally hundreds of convicted terrorists with no threat or danger to the surrounding community.

The scaremongering about these issues should stop.

I know lots of my GOP & conservative friends are not going to like it – but, you know, I’m not a consultant anymore.  I don’t have to play the game.  I don’t need VIP passes to CPAC to help network for a client.  I think it’s as unconscionable for Keene & Norquist to hold politicians and consultants hostage as it is for John Podesta’s Center for American Progress to do the same.  Or Emily’s List.  Or Planned Parenthood. Or the SEIU.  Or the AFL-CIO.  Or AFSCME.  Or NARAL.  Or MoveOn.  Or Code Pink.  Or any group that strips the power away from average Americans – when our Government is beholden to special interests and not the people, it’s not good.

My views haven’t changed.  I do not pretend to speak for conservatives, as I am not a part of their movement.  I am a Republican.  My favorite of all the American Presidents is John Quincy Adams, not Ronald Reagan.  But I am a National Security hawk.  And as one of many voices within the Republican Party, I have never and will never give a dime to any organization whose leaders support Khalid Sheikh Mohammed having the rights of an American citizen.  Ever.  So yeah, Norquist & Keene’s move did not go unnoticed.  And I believe they are the worst of 2009.

Good news?  2010 is right around the corner.  And my muse, politics, awaits!!!!!

—Media Lizzy