1. Some vice presidential wisdom: most might now think it to be safer to go hunting with Dick Cheney than to be in a hotel room with Al Gore.
2. Not since the era of Earl Butz and James Watt have cabinet members been as intemperately spoken as the present bunch: Eric Holder (“nation of cowards”), Hilda Solis (“documented or not”), Janet Napolitano (“man-caused disasters”), Ken Salazar (“boot on their neck”), or a Steven Chu (“no more agriculture in California”).
3. For much of his long life, a man like the now canonized late Sen. Robert Byrd made the early lives of men like Justice Clarence Thomas miserable. Contrast the present eulogies for Byrd with the past Senate hearings over Thomas.
4. President Obama gave a long, rambling speech on illegal immigration and did not mention the Mexican government once. In fact, the word “Mexico” appeared one time — in connection with a human interest story about an immigrant success story. A man from Mars might have thought the problem was as much Canadian as Mexican.
5. The federal reaction to the BP spill — weeks of initial inaction characterized by shunning offers of international help, coupled with a blanket moratorium on drilling, including the safer sorts quite unlike the BP well — will eventually cost trillions of dollars in costs that will dwarf the financial toll of Katrina.
6. We know now there is no shelf life to “Bush Did It.” If unemployment hits 12% two years from now, we will be told we are lucky to have Obama saving us from the 20% rate that would have otherwise followed from the Bush legacy. It will be as if in 2006 Bush was still blaming Clinton for eight years of appeasement that led to 9/11. It will never cease; we accept that now. In 1944, FDR was still running on the Hoover depression of 1929. So it shall be again.
7. The new neutrality: From what administration officials have said, we can assume now that if Argentina invades the Falklands again, we will be neutral; in the next Israel response to Lebanon or Gaza, we will be neutral; in any Israeli preemptive raid on the Iranian nuclear facility, we will be neutral; if Turkey readjusts things in the Aegean or on Cyprus, we will be neutral; if Russia moves on Georgia or any of the former republics, we will be neutral; if Venezuela goes into Colombia, we will be neutral; if Pakistan provokes India again, we will be neutral; if China moves on Taiwan, we will be neutral.
8. That the Guantanamo Bay detention facility will be closed is as unlikely as its continued use will now any longer bother any on the left.
9. It is apparently morally worse to waterboard a known terrorist in Guantanamo than to assassinate a suspected one and his family in Waziristan.
10. As sure as the sun shall rise, expect that within the next six months an administration official or appointee will have said something analogous to “typical white person,” “cowards,” “wise Latina,” or police acting “stupidly.”