Christmas in Tennessee (Yearning for Bill)
By Bernie Quigley
- for The Hill on 12/7/09
Not since Andrew Young, Jimmy Carter’s transcendent spirit of diplomacy, raised a pyramid to the sun god and prayed for “power and liberating freedom” while 800 celebrants chanted the ancient mantra, “Sun-nun-nun-nun,” on the steps of the United Nations in 1978 have we seen such fear and loathing. The end is near, signs are everywhere. But the plague suddenly seemed to disappear overnight and only one squirrel fell into the black hole when the Hadron Collider went on-line last week. Note to Copenhagen: Utopianism in Rome, China, Russia was prelude to self destruction. It was in 1800’s America as well and I bet it is everywhere.
But the season of the witch is turning already, even before the Copenhagen counsel of shrouded earth shamans and neo-druids with their bush souls and familiars heats up, turning again to the season of rebirth. Because everything dies and everything is born again and that is the story of Christmas.
The Democrats are a fickle bunch. Wanda Sykes, the late night comic who wants to be the new Oprah, is tired of Obama already. She wants Bill back. That is their fatal yearning. A brilliant philosopher said 15 years ago that a free republic like the one we were handed by Eisenhower at the end of World War II could not exist with political dialogue at the Oprah day-time talk show level. I felt she was premature about that but I did think the Bill yearnings could be fatal to the republic, and there is still time for Bill and Hillary to kill it. Because when we got to Bill and Hillary we entered then some of us into that mystical state of political idolatry akin to that of the Russians in the time of Peter and Catherine the Great.
Obama may not be a great president but he is a superior individual as Eisenhower was, as Kennedy was, as Reagan was. Clinton is not. Gore is not. Hillary is not. And their supporters are a faithless. They will throw Obama to the dogs in a minute and are just waiting for the signal. (Malcolm X warned of this). That signal occurred last week when Obama’s ratings went below 50%. Get ready. Visualize this: A Hillary/Wes Clark (or Jim Webb or Joe Sestak) ticket vs. a Palin/Mitt Romney ticket in 2012. It would send the Woodstock nostalgicos fleeing in a horde up here to Vermont and New Hampshire when they lose every state except Massachusetts.
There was a time when we did not look to stand-up comics for political commentary. It poisons the dialog. There was a time when comics were clever, politicians were warriors and political writers were faithful and more or less responsible. But my favorite Buddhist monk, Leonard Cohen, says everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the captain lied. And Democrats again are yearning for Bill.
I’ve not seen the 2012 movie yet. They say it is hot. Everybody dies don’t cha know. These end of the world visions which torment Al, the Perfect Master of Fire and Ice, and the others seem largely based on that moment in The Grinch that Stole Christmas when Max, the Grinch’s dog, is teetering on the edge – the tippity-top – of a cliff and all the presents are about to go crashing down on Whoville all at once, smashing toys, Whoville, Betty Lou Who and Max together. It’s not like that.
It’s more like the Eliot Wave theory which has the dollar rising and receding in a natural arc in a 41-some year period, going up, starting in the early Seventies, reaching its peak in Clinton territory, then starting gradually back down the mountain. The crash of the Thai baht in the late 1990s was a turning back; the receding economy of Japan was a turning back, the decision to change the dollar from a perfect, harmonious masterpiece of circles and squares to a bloated, off-kilter deconstructionist contusion was a turning back and the radical mid-stream California recall in 2003 - a hysterical, unconscious cri du coeur for a Strong Man savior - was a turning back. It comes to an end in 1911 thereabouts.
But then somehow, somewhere, it will begin again because it always does. And wherever that is it will always be better to be in Tennessee, especially at Christmas.