I sat in my kitchen last night having another one of those, "How could things in this country have gotten so awful in just eight years?" My friend and I wondered aloud, not for the first time, if Pinhead wasn't the worst president of all time. I mentioned that I had grown up watching Tricky Dick Nixon and his gang of thugs run roughshod over the Constitution, but history also has that same administration to thank for opening China, as his legacy in environmental legislation. Another thirty years may provide us with enough distance from the Pinhead Regime to allow us to be more kind, but presently it's hard to imagine how we might choose to start our scrapbooking page for "The Accomplishments of President Pinhead."
Surely we can all gain a certain measure of satisfaction for having lived through these past eight years, but as with all things, a little perspective is probably necessary. Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was sworn in for a sixth term Sunday, just hours after government officials said he overwhelmingly won a runoff that has been widely discredited. His main rival dismissed the inauguration as "an exercise in self-delusion." African and other world leaders have condemned Friday's election, in which Mugabe was the only candidate. Human rights groups said opposition supporters were the targets of brutal state-sponsored violence during the campaign, leaving more than eighty dead and forcing more than two hundred thousand to flee their homes. In recent years, Mugabe has been accused of ruining Zimbabwe's economy and holding onto power through fraud and intimidation. Zimbabwe's official inflation rate was put at one hundred sixty-five thousand percent by the government in February, but independent estimates put the real figure closer to four million percent.
I'm still not happy about paying five dollars for a gallon of gas, but no one has chased me away from my polling place. I am fortunate to be an American, but I'm still counting the days.