Reaction to the President's announcement was swift and predictable. "This is a typical Republican ploy to benefit the rich off the backs of the disabled, unskilled drug addicts, and flowering house plants," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said from the window of her limo.
Harry Reid expressed similar thoughts from Hawaii, where he was vacationing. "This is going to kill that real estate deal I've been working on," the Senate Majority Leader said over what sounded like ukulele music.
The President announced a series of sweeping changes, including a return to the gold standard, the suspension of all federal regulations, and a federal tax holiday of six months. "We can't undo one hundred years of bad legislation in just four weeks," the President said, "but we are going to give it hell trying." When asked how he thought Congress might respond, the President laughed, "Let them sue me. I've read the Constitution. We are going to return the federal government to its legitimate functions, which are the courts and the military."
Wall Street responded with the largest one-day gain in history. One trader said, "The uncertainty over what edict would next come from Washington had all of us on edge. And the massive amounts of money they've been throwing around with irrational exuberance was just insane." Auto dealers and retailers reported record sales. And across the nation, people of every color, ethnicity, and religion joined hands in the streets to sing the words of that old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last."
This dramatic news comes on the heals of unprecedented government intervention into the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, two men who had only recently been given even greater control over the economy, appeared remorseful as they stood by the President. Bernanke said, his voice shaking with emotion, "I cannot begin to express the absolute disgust that Henry and I are currently feeling. At the President's suggestion we spent a long weekend at Camp David reading the Constitution and the writings of our Founding Fathers. It quickly became apparent that we had gone way beyond anything the Founders envisioned for the country and that our actions were a gross violation of individual liberty."
Paulson agreed with Bernanke. "I concur with what Ben said, and just want to add that I intend to spend the rest of my life fighting to correct the wrongs that I have helped perpetuate."
When pressed for details of how his plan would unfold, the President couldn't offer many details. "We are just going to let people be free. We are removing the shackles from their lives. I don't know exactly how they will act, but I suspect that they will be pretty happy to finally have the restrictive controls removed." The President then did a little jig with Bernanke and Paulson.
The President promised additional steps in the coming weeks, including a Constitutional Amendment that would establish a wall of separation between government and the economy, the annihilation of Iran, and the sale of all federally owned land.
President-elect Obama did not appear in public today, but sent the following text message to his vast army of supporters: "WTF."
Foreign governments had mixed reactions to the President's announcement. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert simply asked, "Does this mean we can start defending ourselves?" But most reactions were captured in the short statement issued by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who said, "Uh oh."Across the country individuals engaged in a spontaneous display of benevolence and optimism. "This is change we can believe in," said one woman in Ohio who had gathered on a street corner to sing patriotic songs with her neighbors. "I get to pursue my values without the arbitrary constraints of government."
Similar thoughts were expressed by an auto worker in Tennessee. "I am hopeful that this means others will no longer be able to impose their values on me," he said as he wiped a tear from his cheek. "I have wanted to start a business since I was 25, but the government regulations were simply too big of a hurdle."
In Texas, Houstonians launched an impromptu parade through the streets of downtown. More than a million people gathered to watch an assortment of mariachi bands, cowboys, drag queens, and low riders. Mayor Bill White, who suspended the requirement for a parade permit, proclaimed Houston the Star of the Lone Star State for its role in demonstrating the practical benefits of freedom. "Throughout the year Houston has been hailed as the economic success story of the nation," the Mayor said. "I have spoken of the moral imperative of freedom at every opportunity. I would be proud if my words had any impact on the President. This day is a tremendous victory for individual freedom."
If only the above were true. It would truly be a glorious day. We have an immense battle ahead of us, but sometimes we need to dream and envision the goal we seek. Merry Christmas.