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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

One of these years, I'm going to write a end-of-the-year post that doesn't include the words "good riddance." Unfortunately, this won't be that year. We got a lot of suck this year, but at least it wasn't 2001-level suck, so that's something.

I'm not going to write a real long post today, just a few paragraphs. I haven't even prepared anything -- I'm just winging it.

Where Scarlett O'Hara was able to say "tomorrow is another day," we're able to say that tomorrow is another year. It's a year we can begin to rebuild America and begin to change the political landscape. No rush -- we've got a whole freakin' year. And then we have the next and the next and the next. We'll go on and on until the last day of this republic, constantly working to improve it and constantly defending those improvements from backwards-minded fools. If you defend these improvements long enough, they eventually become institutions. There's no going back to the days of slavery or Jim Crow, no taking away the vote from women and minorities and 18 year-olds. These improvements have been defended for so long that only fringe crackpots want to take us back -- and they stand no chance of doing so. Things that were once mad, unthinkable changes are now so deeply ingrained in our culture that it's unthinkable that they'd ever be changed back. A consensus has been built around these ideas, by the slow process of defending them with each generation. Despite what Republicans and the 'baggers say, America is now a freer country than it was at its founding and this is the result of progressive change.

So take it easy tonight. I'm not a big fan of designated drivers, because there is no more thankless way to spend a New Years Eve. If you're in the city, take a cab. Here in Madison, the buses will run all night, so check to see what the schedule is where you live. And, if you have to go with a designated driver, take that person out to dinner some night and show them a good time -- they deserve it.

We can say that tomorrow is another year only if we live that long. Make it through tonight and we'll get back to work next year.


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