Well, the Obama inauguration has come and gone, and the transfer of power, as always, went peacefully -- if, that is, you define "peacefully" as "there were not actual tanks in the street, unless you count the great rolling behemoth that is the new presidential limo."
It was a happy day for many, but it was a real field day for the people I call the "Memento Republicans."
In case you'd forgotten, the "Memento Republicans" can't seem to remember relatively recent events and particularly what positions they've taken from one day to the next. The name is a reference to the award-winning movie Memento, which is about a man with a brain injury that leaves him unable to remember what happened yesterday. This makes his quest to find his wife's killer rather interesting.
A "Memento Republican" can serenely and without shame level a blistering criticism against a Democrat one day for something they'd ignored or even praised before.
Among the most prominent sufferers from Memento syndrome is radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh recently told his listeners that he'd been asked by "a major American print publication" to offer a 400-word statement explaining his "hope for the Obama presidency." Limbaugh said he needed only four: "I hope he fails."
Apparently the Oxycontin Limbaugh admits to abusing has eaten the part of his brain that holds his memories of Bush presidency and the many times he railed against critics of Dubbya as people who were "rooting for America to fail."
In those days, wanting the president to fail and wanting America to fail were one and the same, and they were wrong. Now, in Limbaugh's memory-impaired state, it's patriotic to want Obama to crash and burn.
A symptom of Memento syndrome that appears frequently among Republicans is the recurring delusion that George W. Bush was a great president because only one multi-victim terrorist attack occurred on U.S. soil during his presidency.
This indicates a severe failure of memory. After all, shortly after 9/11, we experienced an actual biological attack on our soil via anthrax. We also experienced a series of terrorist attacks in 2002 by D.C. sniper John Allan Muhammad and his underage protégé Lee Boyd Malvo. At least "terrorist attack" is what the Virginia Supreme Court called Muhammad and Malvo's well-planned killing spree.
Then there was the case of Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a Muslim who drove his SUV into a crowd at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in his words, to "avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world." Taheri-Azar wrote in a letter that he "was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role models, Mohammad Atta, one of the 9/11/01 hijackers" and that "people who fight in the cause of Allah are not guilty."
Sure sounds like a terrorist to me. If you've forgotten the anthrax attackers, John Allen Muhammad and Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, and still claim Dubbya kept terrorist attacks from occurring on U.S. soil, you may be a Memento Republican.
Perhaps the most advanced case of Memento syndrome is that suffered by columnist, author, and frequent Fox News commentator Ann Coulter, who was absolutely shocked -- shocked I tell you -- at the "disrespect" shown to departing President George W. Bush.
She decried the spectators as the "Hope-and-Change crowd," which moments earlier had showered Bush with boos when he walked onto the stage. "That must be the new tone we've been hearing so much about," she said. "We're not the ones who booed a departing president." Liberals, Coulter went on to say, "are the ones booing, heckling and publicly fantasizing about the assassination of those who disagree with them on policy matters."
No, Ms. Coulter, you're the ones -- or, more correctly you're the one -- who publicly mused whether it would be better to "impeach or assassinate" a sitting president, namely Bill Clinton. You're the one who referred to a former senator who disagreed with you on policy matters as a "faggot."
And, Ms. Coulter, as for your frequent whining about the "liberal media" -- well, a few bloggers on the Web may have said some unkind things about Bush, and a few people in the inauguration crowd may have booed him, but I don't recall any of them being invited onto the "liberal media" over and over, as you have. But I guess, being one of those Memento Republicans, you've forgotten that you've sowed the wind, and now you're surprised to reap a whirlwind.
Either that or you're a cynical con artist who thinks your audience is so dumb they won't remember the things you've previously written and said, so long as you keep dishing out the big bloody chunks of red meat to throw them.
But I'll be charitable, as I am to all Memento Republicans, and put your problems down to some form of brain damage, because I'm a compassionate guy.