As we approach the new year, some progressives are at best mildly fatalistic. “It can’t get no worse,” they mutter, to which Baby 2020 replies, “Here, hold my bottle.” That's not to say optimism is dead. It's just being held hostage in Mitch McConnell's basement.

Let's review some of the events of 2019 that shaped this New Year's Cheese Ball of Doom.

January

  • Nancy Pelosi is elected speaker of the house. Flying monkeys darken the sky. “That's why we need a wall!” the president thunders as 25,000 people roar their approval in an arena designed to hold just 2,500.
  • Trump associate Roger Stone is indicted for something he didn't do.

March

  • John Hickenlooper announces his bid for the Democratic nomination because “The American people deserve a candidate with a name that's easier to pronounce than Buttigieg.”
  • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is sentenced to 43 years in prison for obstruction of justice and conspiracy against the United States. Trump doesn't know the guy.
  • The Mueller Report is released. Attorney General William Barr declares Trump innocent of collusion, and then he reads it.

July

  • Authorities decline to file charges against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner because Blue Lives Matter.
  • Trump freezes $400 million in Ukrainian defense aid while pressuring President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. We do this all the time.

August

  • Mass shootings at a Texas Walmart and a bar in Dayton, Ohio, kill 31 suspected crisis actors in two days. Republicans issue thoughts and prayers, but mostly prayers. Gun rights advocates blame the victims for their victim mentality.
  • ICE raids seven Mississippi food processing plants and detains 700 gainfully-employed workers to address the nation's critical shortage of common sense.
  • Pedophile-to-the-stars Jeffrey Epstein strangles himself to death, resulting in a bipartisan sigh of relief. Epstein is interred beside Vince Foster.

September

  • Hickenlooper drops out of the race. Trump makes a perfect call to Zelenskey to cancel the investigation.
  • Actress Felicity Huffman gets two weeks in the slammer for her involvement in a college admissions scam. Trump, who knows a thing or two about college scams, says he doesn't know the woman, but that he'd like to.
  • After viewing photographs of Justin Trudeau in blackface, Trump demands that a wall be built on the Canadian border.

October

  • Trump dresses as a president for Halloween. No one finds it believable.

December

  • The U.S. House votes to impeach the president. Tulsi Gabbard is present. Sen. Lindsay Graham says, “It's sham! A shim-sham! A ShamWow! A shimmy-shammy witch hoax! Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-ee!”
  • Billy Graham's “Christianity Today” and William F. Buckley's “National Review” call for Trump's removal. Okay, Boomers.
  • The president strikes a blow against corruption by shutting down his charity and paying a $2 million fine for being too charitable to himself.
  • Following a muddled speech during impeachment proceedings, Rep. Kelly Armstrong is forced to eat Christmas dinner at the “little table” once again. Sen. Kevin Cramer spends the month aggressively shouting “Merry Christmas!” at liberals while Sen. John Hoeven remains incommunicado in the witness protection program.
  • Putin endorses Trump.

Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.