Dave Simpson: Still Think 2021 Has To Be Better?

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "So I've learned my lesson well. We prefer doddering, incomprehensible incompetence over mean tweets. Jot that down."

Dave Simpson

September 15, 20214 min read

Dave Simpson headshot
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Confession is good for the soul, so I guess it’s time to ‘fess up.

About a year ago I wrote that I couldn’t imagine Americans putting the presidency in the hands of the political party that was making such a galloping mess of things in violence and riot-torn cities like Portland, Ore., Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Washington – the list is long.

But – unless you believe the election was stolen, and I’m not walking into that brier patch, even though I question where the questions went – I was wrong. Ding-dong wrong.

Americans, according to the election results, apparently preferred the party that has made such a goat rodeo of things in our major cities, and embraced a candidate who consistently devolves into indecipherable word salad whenever he wanders off script, over a brash, often rude, boasting guy who often made us say, “Gosh, I wish he hadn’t said that.”

The results of the first eight months of the Biden presidency demonstrate that the word salad guy couldn’t organize a trip to the grocery store (prices are up, Joe), much less a withdrawal from Afghanistan. And he’s opened our southern border to, well, pretty much anyone who shows up. All he’s good at is undoing everything the rude, boasting guy did, giving away money we don’t have, and promising to give away trillions more.

The rude, boasting guy was no great shakes on spending money we don’t have either, but the southern border was far more secure, and I believe heads would be rolling if he botched the withdrawal from Afghanistan as badly as the word salad guy.

So I’ve learned my lesson well. We prefer doddering, incomprehensible incompetence over mean tweets. Jot that down.

That said, I was RIGHT, however, in a column I wrote at the beginning of this year doubting the commonly-held belief that 2021 simply had to be better than 2020.

Maybe I hung around newsrooms for too many years, with journalists who sometimes boiled over from skepticism to full-bore cynicism, but I asked this question early this year:

What makes you think 2021 will be better than 2020? Maybe it will be worse. Ever think of that?

Turns out I was right, sadly prescient,  and it was only six days into the new year when a hoard of idiots, lunatics, rubes, stump-jumpers and a guy wearing body paint and buffalo horns stormed the Capitol to kick off what would become a Boone-and-Crockett grade rotten year. It even turned Liz Cheney into the darling of the democrats, someone we hardly recognize anymore.

The democrats and the media – I can hardly tell them apart – blame it all on the rude boasting guy who called on demonstrators to protest (this is a direct quote) “peacefully.”

Later that month, the boasting guy was too busy licking his wounds to save two Senate seats in Georgia, and handed the Senate over to the massive spending (even more massive than our guys), government-loving socialism fans of the left.

“Oh yeah,” I thought, “this sure doesn’t look like an improvement over 2020. And it’s only January!”

Then the governor of New York had to resign and give his Emmy back because he couldn’t keep his paws off the help, and lied about the great job he did fighting COVID. President Word Salad fired up his commission to pack the Supreme Court. And the price of gas rose by over $1 a gallon, as we hilariously asked OPEC to boost production while we did everything possible to torpedo production here. (Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.)

Then a new and improved model of COVID burst on the scene, and the messaging from Washington  was just more confusing, contradictory word salad.

When I figured things couldn’t possibly get worse, President Biden royally screwed up the withdrawal from Afghanistan. A high school kid could have told you to pull out the folks with the weapons last, not first, to protect Americans, and the Afghans who helped us for 20 years.

Remember when we were told these people would be the “adults in the room?”

Some adults.

Still think 2021 will be better than 2020?

I rest my case, Your Honor.

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.