Politics & Policy

A Farewell to 2010

A poem to commemorate an eventful political year.

Farewell to a glorious two thousand ten

     When tea stimulated the voters, who then —

No longer content to be ruled by their betters

     Who’d made them a nation of destitute debtors —

Went straight to the polls and kicked out the big spenders

     With some GOPers among the offenders.

Now Congress may even eliminate earmarks . . .

     Oh, what a big difference the change of a year marks!

So order a pre-Carnaval caipirinha

     And toast Rigell, Griffith, and Hurt from Virginia.

A snifter of brandy (for sipping, not swilling)

     Will help Illinois salute tough Bobby Schilling.

A quick shot of whiskey — bartender, your best —

     For Florida’s fighting new Rep., Allen West.

And drink with great gusto, and hoo-ahs aplenty,

     A Gibson for the colonel who took NY-20.

In Connecticut, though, drain a cold black-and-tan

     As you wish Blumenthal hadn’t mat-slammed McMahon.

Long Islanders, gulp down a New York wine cooler

     For that mightest of might-have-beens, Randy Altschuler.

Alaskans can mourn their establishment killer

     By chugging, then crushing, a cold can of Miller

And all Coloradans should take a good snort

     For the man who came in a day late, a Buck short.

North Dakotans, not usually GOP chauvinists,

     Proved to be very decided John Hoevenists.

New Hampshire went strongly for Kelly Ayotte

     Since she was (as New Englanders say) “wicked smaht.”

Oklahomans supported their Dr. Tom Coburn,

     Whose right-wing beliefs make the Left do a slow burn.

And we must thank the kind-hearted folks in Wisconsin

     Who made this rhyme easy by electing Ron Johnson.

When Reid-haters looked to put someone more brainy in

     It seemed be Lowden opposing Tarkanian.

Yet the one who emerged from the primary wrangle

     Was a sweet and grandmotherly dark horse named Angle.

Right, acute, or obtuse? Most observers agreed

     That whatever her flaws, she was better than Reid.

So the GOP hired some consultants, and sent ’em,

     But their spin didn’t yield enough Angular momentum.

Yet even the flintiest paleocon’ll

     Swoon over ladies like Haley, O’Donnell,

Herrera, Black, Buerkle, and Ellmers and Noem.

      (Hey, Kristi, are there any more like you at home?)

Not to mention the queen of them all, Sarah Palin,

     Whose folksiness makes critics’ jibes unavailin’.

As impassioned as Thatcher, as steely as Merkel,

     As ebullient as an Eskimo after a bear kill.

Say goodbye, with a tribute that does not lack pomp

     For Don Carcieri, Vern Ehlers, Zach Wamp.

Good luck to Mike Castle, on the whole not a bad egg

     And a less hesitant fare-thee-well to John Shadegg.

A tip of the cap to Kentucky’s Jim Bunning!

     It won’t feel the same when we don’t have him running.

And a quick au revoir to our friend Tim Pawlenty —

     A contender in ’12 . . . and in ’16 . . . and ’20 . . .

Adios to some people we just barely knew

     Since their service was brief:  Joseph Cao, George LeMieux,

And others of whom we have grown rather fond

     Such as stalwart Judd Gregg and determined Kit Bond.

If McConnell is hoping to capture his crown back

     He’ll have to get by without help from Sam Brownback

And Hawaii, where people of all sorts can mingle

     Will be much less diverse now, without Djou and Lingle.

So: The new GOP kicked the Democrats’ tushes,

     Obama’s now even less popular than Bush is,

And in two years they’ll throw out a new set of rascals —

     The Lautenbergs, Stabenows, Webbs, and McCaskills.

GOP rule will leave overspending behind

     Just like the last time that they . . . well, never mind.

And Santelli’s a 21st-century Paine

     But for all that, a few nagging issues remain.

Will government spending be scanter and saner

     When carefully vetted by Cantor and Boehner?

Will the newcomers’ Tea Party cred stay reliable

     Or will they prove all too distressingly pliable?

Will Republicans tighten the government’s pursestrings —

     Or feel an insatiable need to disburse things?

Questions like these, only seeing will clarify

     So follow the Gipper’s advice: Trust, but verify.

Fred Schwarz is a deputy managing editor of National Review.

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