What a difference a year makes.  I’ve not really touched on politics in my postings, as most people would rather have their teeth pulled out by a blind dentist using rust pliers than listen to it.  But it was a year ago today that I, and what seemed like millions of my closest friends, packed The Mall and streets of Washington DC to see the President sworn into office.  With stomps of our feet and the chattering of our teeth we watched jumbotrons and listened to pontificators talk about the new age that we were about to embark up, as if we were all waiting to board a ship bound for an exotic destination.

As is traditional, the President has accumulated a swath of gray hair since taking office.  Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want the job.  The hours are bad; you can’t take a vacation with out it being interrupted by something; and poll numbers, senate math, and the endless parade of non-answers to vague or scripted questions wind up with an inordinate amount of pull in your life.  Even then, after all is said and done, it looks like the big issue of health care may just be part of a lithermon’s-load.

Lithermon’s-load, again, comes from The Forgotten English Calendar by Jeffrey Kacirk, and it means, “a greater load than can be well carried at one time, but is nevertheless undertaken to save the trouble of another journey—a lazy man’s load.” In Old English, Lither means, “bad, wicked or has a secondary meaning of sluggishness or slothful.”   Why did this phrase ever drop out of existence?

Depending on who you get your news from, the Democrats are either tone-deaf to the concerns of the people, or they are simply keeping their eye on the long-term picture, realizing that they can’t deal with the debt until they fix healthcare and that eventually we, the average citizen, will all cotton onto what they are pushing into existence.  And yet—to cries of “Yes we can!—a year ago, the President talked about tackling all the problems that this country faced at once and simultaneously.  As Vincent proclaimed in Pulp Fiction: “that’s a bold statement.”

Maybe hubris was at work on that day a year ago, and as Marsellus Wallace points out in the same movie, “pride only hurts, it never helps.”  I don’t think I can fault anyone who has accomplished as much as the President for having pride.  But in the mad dash to begin meeting those lofty promises of a candidate, something simple happened—rubber hit the road, and life took its normal course.  I don’t think we the people are shocked at how tough it is to get anything of benefit passed; rather, we are outraged at how the whole system has become a parody of its intention.  We are angry because we sense that something is going to be passed, not because it is right, but because it is within reach.  Because those in the congress want to set down their lithermon’s-load.

We know from experience that things can be so far from perfect as to be called ‘flaming effigies to failure,’ yet still work exceedingly well (the real lesson of reality TV). If in five years, we might look back on this with the same feeling; we might be more forgiving of the process by which we arrived there. I doubt it, but being wrong is nothing new to me.  However, I think all of us at least want to look back, and know that even if what we pass is wrong that it was passed the right way.  The President could be right.  We might all cotton on to the wonders that we are missing, but perception is reality, and after a year, I think even the most ardent support will admit that it feels as if someone sitting in a loft seat proclaimed, “bring out the gimp!”

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