by Dave Hackel
The obvious answer to "Now what?" is "Who the hell knows?"
But I made a wish list.
Barack Obama: You've excited this country. Thank you. You've given a new generation of voters the exhilarating feeling that they matter. That's invaluable. So, from this point forward your job is pretty clear - do your best to make good on the promises you've made. They excited us, so we remember them all. And if you find that you're unable to keep a promise, talk to us. You're welcome to do so without any pre-conditions. You've gained our enthusiastic trust. You'll keep every bit of it if your actions continue to earn it.
John McCain: Try to remember the best of who you used to be, then go back to the Senate and be that way again. Those you disappointed with your "low road" presidential campaign will forgive you. They'll forgive you for the eye-rolls, the inappropriate grins and for rendering the "thumbs-up" gesture totally meaningless. They might even forgive you for Sarah Palin. Though that's going to be a tough one. Do you really think she's the foremost expert on energy issues in the entire United States? Did you honestly think she was ready to lead this nation? Please, Senator McCain, be honest with yourself. Then, my friend, if anyone ever seeks your opinion on anything again try being honest with all of us.
Sarah Palin: Go back to Alaska and get some well-deserved rest. Then once the dust has settled, take a look at footage of yourself on the campaign trail. I think you'll see why people were so worried. And if the stars misalign and you do somehow remain a national political figure, it might be very helpful for you to have at least a cursory understanding of the Constitution and world political and economic issues. You might be a nice person, but you were in way over your head. You see, we don't want our leaders to be "just like us." We want them to be much better. In your heart of hearts, don't you?
Joe Biden: Take a deep breath. In fact, take one before answering every single question that's ever posed to you. That way you'll have a better chance of reminding us all how smart and caring you are. As you've pointed out many times, the world is balancing on a dangerous precipice. You're a brilliant foreign policy expert and your president will need your counsel. We all will.
George Bush: Be ashamed of yourself. Be very ashamed at what you've done and have allowed to be done to this country. You're fond of saying that history will judge you "in the future." I think you're right. And, even though it's hard to believe, I think that the harshness of that judgment will grow with each passing year. Now that your strings have been cut, look up and join the rest of us as we take a very fearful look at your puppeteers. You're all complicit in the moral and economic bankruptcy of our great country.
Dick Cheney: Please go away. Would that the number of years you've served your country eclipsed the number of lives you've helped to ruin. But, alas, that's not the case. If you ever were a good man, you've lost your way. In fact, at this point those who refer to you as Darth Vader are demeaning the good name of the evil lord from the dark side the Force.
Hillary Clinton: Thank you for being so smart. Your campaign helped to open up national politics in an exciting way. And not just for women -- for everyone. So please, whether you go back to the Senate or to the State Department, continue to make a difference. No, your desk's not going to be in the Oval Office, but hopefully President Obama will ask you to visit him there often and give him your wise council.
Bill Clinton: Please continue to be available. Our new President will need you to share your uncanny ability to navigate the roiling waters of our imperfect governmental process. And please continue your work around the world for those less fortunate. People need to know that they're cared about. And you seem to understand that in these troubled times there is no currency more highly valued than kindness.
Sean Hannity: Quit spreading hate. Yes, you do. It's your right to disagree with whomever you please, but I've got to tell you - the way you do it makes you seem kind of smarmy. Yes, it does. You tell your listeners that objective journalism has died. If that's true, you're one of its primary assassins. You see, Sean, it's just not objective to present lies as questions and then answer them yourself. Otherwise it would be okay to say something horrible like, "I'm not saying Sean Hannity is a racist, anti-Semitic bully, but if he were - wouldn't we all like to know?" You employ that tactic all the time. Yes, you do. Oh, by the way - you say that even if we disagree with our President we have to respect the office and not make derisive comments about him. I'll expect you to hold yourself to that standard when it comes to President Obama. Let not your heart be troubled - he's going to do a great job...even for you.
Keith Olberman: Thank you for fighting the good fight. You've been an island in a sea of insanity. So please stay right where you are. Fox isn't going away so we need you. But maybe take it down just a notch. Let those on the extreme right sell crazy to their minions. All yours need is the truth. And, time and time again, you've proven to be a great salesman for that rare product. Rant on.
Bill O'Reilly: When you take up the cause of abused children you can honestly claim that "you're looking out for us." And for that, we thank you. But when you attack people just because they choose to disagree with you, you're only looking out for you. So how about trying to be more tolerant and less smug? Remember, all that money that Rupert Murdoch pays you makes you a richer man - not a better one.
Rush Limbaugh: Call Dick Cheney. Find out where he's going and go there with him. You can have a money-counting contest and then go hunting. Then at night you can sit by the fire and read to each other from the Bill Of Rights. It's always exciting to learn something new.
ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC: Be even better at what you do. Find a higher standard and hold yourselves to it.
FOX: I know you won't go away, so how about this? Quit using the phrase "fair and balanced." You're not. And quit calling yourself Fox "News." Except with rare exception - perhaps Shepard Smith -- you don't deliver any news. You deliver the right wing talking points that you say you don't receive. Yes, you do.
The rest of us: Thanks to our recent election, we've got a toehold into a better democracy. So let's just keep climbing. Yes, we can.