A year ago, I celebrated my 45th birthday watching Barack’s inauguration.  I drank champagne and cried (tears of joy mostly, although the horror of hitting “mid-forty” may have had something to do with it too); the world seemed filled with hope.

A year later, another birthday, another political upheaval, but this one from the Northeast: Scott Brown’s win over Martha whatsisherface.  A triumph of fear and half-truths over…well, over not much, I guess. Martha seems to have ignored the old adage about what happens when you assume things: like assuming that because it’s “your turn” you’ll win the election; or that because Massachusetts is so liberal you can assume you’ll win.  Remember, Martha, “assume” makes an ass of u and me. 

Making fun of Martha is cold comfort, though, given that the stakes in that election seem so high. And while I don’t want to be all  “this is the end of the Obama presidency,” it does seem like the possibility of health care reform is fading faster than you can say “fifty million uninsured.”  Anthony Wiener, the always elegant New York Rep said that basically the liklihood of the Senate bill passing the House is the same as “pigs flying out your ass.”  New Yorkers – we always have just the right thing to say.

Okay, so maybe Martha is no gem, but is that any reason to put your state in the hands of someone who posed–coyly–for Cosmo in 1982? Do you really want to know what your Senator’s pubes look like? I mean, really? True, California voted for Ahnohld, whom we’ve all seen in fewer clothes than we’d like, but that’s California–it has a reputation for being completely loony, legislatively.  Massachusettians used to sneer at Californians but no longer. Get off that high horse, my Mass friends; now you’re keeping company with the Schwarzneggerians and the Venturians.

My grimmest prediction? That Scott Brown and Sarah Palin are going to create some kind of unholy but highly photogenic alliance and run together for the White House in 2012 and that the rest of the country will be so blinded by their shiny white teeth and glossy hair that the Hollow Heads will actually win. The triumph of the shallow will be complete and people like me–grumpy, lumpy, people-who-read–will be rounded up and hunted for sport.

Oh but that can’t happen, you say. To which I say, look again at the picture at the top of this post and tell me why not.