Lombardo: On to bigger and finer things

After 30 columns and one snarky letter to the editor, I'm proud to announce that I haven't run out of things to say, but regrettably I've run out of time to speak.

Since this is my last column, I've been thinking about finales, and I'm nervous that mine will be as unsatisfying as the abrupt end to "The Sopranos."

So for my avid readers, all four of you - which includes my parents - my hope is that this climax will be as fulfilling as the end of "The Wire," and not just as unnoticed.

As a political observer I'm aware of the fact that politics rarely offers graceful exits, as most are marked by death or disgrace. Unfortunately my time at The Lamron has been marred by both occurrences, with the premature passing of Tim Russert - who always felt like a friend - and the disappointing fall of Eliot Spitzer, who should have achieved greatness.

My own conclusion comes at a heady time in terms of curtain calls, as Sen. Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, is on his own farewell tour that appears to include one last fight for universal healthcare.

In the battle for expanding coverage there has been no greater soldier than Kennedy, and it would be the crowning achievement of an impressive career if he could make substantial progress in his endeavor before he relinquishes his seat due to terminal brain cancer.

Yet not all endings are as conclusive as Kennedy's, which is why I view the termination of my tenure at The Lamron as simply the end to Act One of my journalism career. Ultimately it may end up being the final act, as the job market for aspiring journalists is so unwelcoming, but hopefully predictions of my career turning up dead on arrival are greatly exaggerated.

I take solace in the fact that many politicians have outlived their career obituaries, with John Quincy Adams leaving the presidency to become an effective congressman and William Howard Taft serving as chief justice after being president.

But like Daniel Webster said, "I do not propose to be buried until I am dead," and with that in mind, I'm going to use my final column inches to impart some lasting thoughts so that I don't just waste my space waxing unpoetically.

First of all, Rachel Maddow is simply Keith Olbermann-lite, and since the original isn't useful, we certainly didn't need a copycat. If the First Amendment can be abridged to save lives then so can the Second Amendment, which means reinstating the weapons assault ban that lapsed under President George Bush.

Speaking of terrible presidents, normally you need at least 20 years to judge a presidency adequately, and while I don't want to ruin the big surprise for 2029, Bush was awful. After reaching this revelation, it won't be long before our country finally realizes that its treatment of gays as second-class citizens is appalling and unworthy of our country's ideals.

Finally, I hope that my column has been entertaining and somewhat informative. I never tried to be fair and balanced, but always felt that I had represented myself accurately and articulated my ideas in a compelling way. If you disagree, then I hope at the very least I made you laugh, because I sure did.

Dave Lombardo is a senior political science major and the Lamron will absolutely miss him dearly.