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The End of the Year as We Know It

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To those of you who think 2011 flew by more quickly than any other year, you're absolutely right.

While we were being distracted by wall to wall coverage of trials of people we had never heard of, and marriages of people we shouldn't have heard of, and debates with candidates we hopefully won't hear from again, some benevolent force was out there discreetly trimming hours from 2011. Because in a year where craziness reached new heights, the merciful thing to do was to wrap things up more quickly, and hope the new year brings some sanity.

But don't expect an easy path to a rational, reasonable year. House Republicans will try to block that. And Senate Republicans will filibuster confirming any names to implement rationality and reason. Or even the law.

Mitt Romney will come out and say he used to agree with reason while he was Governor of Massachusetts, but that being rational and reasonable doesn't work for other states or the country as a whole. Newt Gingrich will then cite his fictionalized history of the words rational and reasonable, and finally claim that those are "invented" words.

Rick Santorum will insist that being rational and reasonable begins at conception, Ron Paul will cut all aid to both traits, Michele Bachmann will make some facts up to show that being wrong about everything is the most rational and reasonable way to be.

Rick Perry will give three reasons why he's the most rational and reasonable guy out there. I can't recall what those three things are at the moment.

And finally Jon Huntsman will actually say rational and reasonable things, like believing in the validity of science. But no one will be listening to him when he says that.

And when President Obama calls for rational and reasonable things to get done, to add to the many rational and reasonable things he's already done, liberals will say it's irrational for him to be so reasonable.

But maybe, 2012 is the year craziness becomes so 2011, and intelligence becomes the new trending topic on Twitter. In 2012, maybe being hip will be replaced by being smart, and red states will be replaced by well read states.

2012 may well mark the beginning of the end of the Tea Party, or else it will be the beginning of the end of the Republican party. Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle cost the Republicans a Senate majority, and if Republicans continue to pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist instead of America, and continue to block implementation of laws and confirmation of qualified people to carry out those laws, they could well lose the House next year as well.

2011 was a crazy year.

So it's a good thing it went by so quickly.

But the brightest moments of 2011 came when people around the world rebelled against the craziness and the unfairness, and screamed out for a better life. The Arab Spring combined unspeakable bravery and dedication with a rational and reasonable desire to be free. And the Occupy movement has begun to call for other kinds of rational, reasonable fairness and equality here at home.

Hopefully in 2012 being rational and reasonable, smart and thoughtful, kind and compassionate will guide the actions of all of our elected officials and citizens here and around the world.

If that happens, I hope 2012 goes by nice and slowly.

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