It’s been an up and down, rough and tumble, crazy, sad, frustrating year for America the Beautiful so far.
As usual, except for the parade of hurricanes, tornados, fires and floods, most of the trouble and strife in our lives came from the professional nincompoops and evildoers in Washington.
The Obama regime and its congressional flunkies and loyal bureaucrats did their best to make our lives worse while the mainstream media pretended, as usual, not to notice.
We spent the first couple months of 2013 watching Big Media ignore the leftover scandals from President Obama’s first four years of follies.
The Benghazi lies and cover-up. The IRS abuse of conservative political groups in the months before the 2012 election. And let’s not forget the seizure of Associated Press reporters’ phone records by Eric Holder’s Injustice Department.
They’re all long-forgotten now, first-term footnotes eclipsed by the “national crises” of 2013 -- all of which were exaggerated, all of which were created in the first place by the dysfunctional Washington “elites.”
“The Fiscal Cliff” came and went and, as anyone with a subscription to People magazine could have told you, we didn’t go over it.
We survived the “Government Shutdown,” which served no purpose, but did help the Democrats.
If the president hadn’t used it as a weapon to selectively inflict pain on park-goers and others to get media attention, hardly anyone would have noticed or cared that the federal government was closed for 16 days.
Then, of course, Obamacare arrived with a sickening thud on Oct. 1, proving for the ten-thousandth time in recent history that government is incapable of planning or doing anything well, efficiently or equitably.
Obamacare was such an obvious failure, such a perfect “Saturday Night Live” skit on the inherent incompetence of government, that even some Democrats in Congress and the mainstream media noticed.
When the president wasn’t trying to destroy our health care system, or exploiting mass murders by calling for greater gun control, or off playing golf, he was pandering to his core constituents by playing the race card.
He played it on the year’s most overhyped media event, the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial. And he played it when the Supreme Court gutted an obsolete part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Our promiser-in-chief was just as hapless abroad as he was at home. He toughly drew a red line in Syria, then didn’t know what to do when Bashar Assad crossed it.
The president had to be saved from his own dithering and blustering by that great statesman, Vladimir Putin, who stepped in with a plan that averted a war with Syria that Obama’s foreign policy team would have handled as deftly as he handled Libya and Egypt.
Maybe Putin will help our president figure out what to do with Iran, too.
But let’s be fair. Obama wasn’t the source of all our pain this year.
Republicans did their part. They continued to fight among themselves over immigration, and sniped at each other for either being too conservative or not conservative enough.
The GOP also proved how desperately it needs a leader who can unite its factions and take advantage of the serial failures of President Obama and the Democrats.
America is troubled in many serious ways. The economy continues to underperform. We’re short of good jobs and long on taxes and regulations.
We badly need a smaller federal government. We desperately need rational -- and humane -- immigration reform, not to mention a sound and sane Middle East policy.
Most of all, we desperately need to cast out the dangerous crazies running this country and replace them with sensible people who don’t want to make us turn in our guns, ride bikes to work or become Europe II.
But it’s Thanksgiving in America - and we should give thanks.
By some miracle we still live in the greatest country the world has ever known. And, if we have the brains and will, we have it within our power to start all over again.
Happy Thanksgiving, America.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.