I just read my New Year's resolutions from last year, and I'm sorry to say that I managed to carry out almost none of them. I vowed to lose two pounds; I didn't. I was going to cook a timballo; I didn't. I promised myself I would leave America Online, and I almost succeeded; but after deciding where to go, I discovered that I couldn't even get my own name as a handle, so that was pretty much that. Last year I even resolved to become a better human being, but then I promptly forgot all about it.
It's discouraging that I couldn't manage to carry out any of these resolutions, which are minimal and personal and easily achievable, to put it mildly, and it crossed my mind that perhaps my problem is that I'm aiming too low -- I'm doing the traditional thing, which is to resolve to do something I have control over, as opposed to something that's completely out of reach.
So here's a list of my resolutions for 2008, which it seems to me I have as good a chance of carrying out as last year's:
1. End the war in Iraq. I've wanted to do this for a long time, and I'm not talking about a slow withdrawal, I'm talking about just getting the hell out. This resolution involves my becoming Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate and whipping the entire Democratic membership of Congress into a brilliant frenzy of opposition that includes (but is not limited to) refusing to fund a penny more for the war.
2. Make sure a Democrat is elected president. Any Democrat. I wish it were going to be Chris Dodd, who would make a great president, but he doesn't have a shot. But I'll take anyone who's running. And I promise to try not to find fault with the candidate, whoever he or she is, even though it will be hard and will probably require a personality transplant on my part.
3. In the meantime, while George Bush is still president, I will persuade him to get behind the threat of global warming. I plan to do this by slipping into the White House in the dead of night, tying the President naked to a bedpost and forcing him to watch footage of the melting polar icecap until he concedes.
4. Close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and then, in my capacity as Special Prosecutor, indict and convict all the American officials who condoned torture, from Rumsfeld on down.
5. Get William Kristol fired from the New York Times. I don't think any actual work is going to be required in this area; this will come to pass as soon as he starts writing for the paper and whoever hired him actually reads his copy. But how did this happen? I have been watching this supercilious man smirk on Fox News for years, but it never crossed my mind that I would someday have to waste a perfectly good New Year's resolution on him.
6. Kill Osama bin Laden. Everyone has almost forgotten about him, but I haven't. I would send a Swat Team headed by Kiefer Sutherland and Matt Damon into Afghanistan or Pakistan or wherever, and although the two of them would continually disagree about methods, they would eventually get their man.
7. Decide whether I would rather impeach Dick Cheney or Clarence Thomas. I always have a hard time figuring out which of these two I would rather do without, but this year I am definitely going to make a decision on the question, and there's no telling what might happen once I do. At the moment I'm leaning toward Clarence Thomas, but that's because I just read The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin (which I highly recommend) and the Supreme Court is on my mind. (By the way, if I choose to impeach Clarence Thomas, my scenario includes another brave moment from the Democrats in Congress, who under my leadership refuse to approve Bush's nominee to the Court and hold up the appointment until the next President is elected.)
8. Start a universal health care program and put Oprah Winfrey in charge of it. She can figure the whole thing out, and I, therefore, won't have to.
9. Get the United States government to fund an endowment to lend money, interest-free, to anyone who wants to go to college, and to re-finance (also interest-free) the college loans of all the adults who are walking around saddled by interest payments on their tuition debt. This might require my becoming Education Czar, which in turn would require my becoming involved in improving school lunches, which would be good for everyone involved, trust me.
10. Cook a timballo.