Over the river and over the cliff

cliff SQIf the world had indeed ended on 12/21/12, then we wouldn’t have to go over the fiscal cliff. Happy New Year.

“Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible,” Eugene Ionesco once managed to, so succinctly, sum it up.

Let’s see, you pass a law that contains conditions so ridiculously harmful, in order to force yourselves to pass a law rescinding those conditions before they kicked in, and by that method you’d solve the underlying problems you couldn’t solve when you passed original law that you knew would screw everything up…


OK. Could work. But maybe not.

Everybody wants the bad law not to go into effect. Well, most of us believe that it would be better to avoid it, and you’ve got to believe that most of the elected representatives want to avoid it, too. A clear majority in the House of Representatives — almost all Democrats and a sizeable portion of Republicans would like to solve the problem. They just can’t figure out how, and in our rigid system there are clear party rules that no one has the guts to break. Couldn’t the Speaker of the House make his bargain with the president, shun the far right and get enough of his caucus to join with the Democrats to end this? Of course, it might just end his speakership, too, but hey, what price saving us from the cliff, eh? It might require some courage from the rank and file, too, needing someone to lead the charge, like Chris Gibson, our new guy.

Maybe they’ll make it in time. They’ve got, what, four more days? Three…two…Can you imagine if they bring in the deal on time? Yes, that would be a good thing, we conclude editorially, but it would also lend validation of sorts to the strategy outlined above.

This coming year we resolve, once again, to spend our efforts to get it right and to keep things interesting. It’s an imperfect business, journalism, and you tend to get better with experience, but every now and then something comes up and forces you to eat some. So, be it now resolved, as they say in government.

As always, a year of tumult and tragedy, of amazement and discovery, of truth and injustice comes to an end. Thoughts of Newtown entered my mind as I walked the Village Green on Christmas Eve, even as I enjoyed the brisk air and the reconnection with those who you meet there. It is indeed a season for sharing, both the heartbreak and triumph.

And our wish for you, in this holiday season as we hit the mark in our latest tour of the galaxy, is that you have a peaceful, fulfilling, creative, healthy time ahead.