But I am learning that it never goes away. What changes is that a different group gets to play the game.
And the rules — such as they are — get more outrageous each time we have a new group of contestants.
Before we go any further, here is a quick review:
- On Friday, we were told that the unemployment rate went down by a virtually irrelevant 0.1%. The economy continued to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs, as it has been doing for nearly a year now.
- Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Americans are about to lose their unemployment benefits — if not this month, before the end of the year.
- Lawmakers went home to address their constituents about Barack Obama's health care reform package. Many got booed and jeered and were lucky to get out of the meeting halls uninjured. Not exactly a warm reception.
- Experts are warning Americans to expect a long and costly war effort in Afghanistan. You can argue — and justifiably so — that we should have been focusing our efforts on Afghanistan all along, instead of diverting precious resources to Iraq. But focusing on what should have been done is nothing more than taking up residence on Fantasy Island — instead of facing reality.
So what did I find on Facebook a little while ago?
I found that Left Take, instead of proposing rational, reasonable solutions to the problems facing the nation, is sponsoring a haiku contest "spelling out why Sarah Palin is a jackass."
Frankly, I'm having a hard time remembering a time when a winning side was this juvenile in its treatment of the losing side.
Oh, wait. Now I remember. Back in 2000, when the Bush–Gore battle wound up in the courts in a scrap over disputed votes in Florida, I remember hearing Republican–leaning partisans making jokes about the Gore–Lieberman ticket in advance of the court ruling, renaming it the "Sore–Loserman" ticket.
Actually, as I recall, Al Gore was quite gracious in defeat.
And the conditions at the time were much, much better than they were when the Democrats won the 2008 election. In fact, if memory serves, President Clinton left office with a budget surplus. How many outgoing presidents in your lifetime have been able to say that?
I will say this, though. To their credit, the Republicans didn't continue to make jokes about Gore and Lieberman once Bush took office.
In contrast, Obama has been president for nearly seven months, and the left wing is still hammering away at Sarah Palin.
Let me remind you. She was the vice presidential nominee, not the presidential nominee.
Granted, she has brought a lot of this abuse on herself. And her recent decision to resign as governor of Alaska didn't help.
But I've been thinking, since she resigned, that her decision is likely to doom her if she decides to seek the Republican presidential nomination. Right now, I'm inclined to believe that, if she does run for president in 2012, her campaign will be short–lived and she will be a non–factor.
In the short term, I think she has already shot herself in the foot — unless she decides to use her time to position herself for a run for the U.S. Senate next year. If she is a senator in 2012, she might be in a good position to seek the presidency.
If Palin does decide to run for president, the rules change. But right now, it seems to me that Left Take's haiku contest does nothing more than encourage others to pile on.
And don't we have more important things to worry about right now?