The 10 Biggest Political Debacles of 2011
10) Rod Blagojevich gets to make license plates. Illinois made history this year by sending its second of two successive governors to the big house. Blago’s 14 year sentence was made even more noteworthy by the fact that he’s going to the pokey for trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. It’s oft-forgotten that Rahm Emanuel was negotiating over that Senate seat with Blagojevich on Obama’s behalf, although no one was able to prove he — or Obama — did anything illegal. On the upside, I think we now know who’s going to win any “Best Hair” contests that go on at Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois.
9) Sarah Palin is blamed for Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting. Early this year, Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by deranged nutjob Jared Loughner. That was a tragedy, but what happened next reached Kanye-West-going-to- an-Occupy-protest levels of irony. Liberals found a map Palin put out several months earlier “targeting” Giffords district. Then, based on absolutely nothing, they concluded Loughner saw the map, took it as a direct order from Palin to kill Giffords, and went on a rampage. The irony here is that by falsely accusing Palin of being directly responsible for the Giffords shooting, her critics did a thousand times more to incite a violent attack on Sarah Palin than Palin had ever done by putting crosshairs on Gifford’s district. Plus, as an extra added bonus, we got to hear some of the least civil people in all of politics sanctimoniously lecturing everyone else about the need for civility before they went on over-the-top rants against everyone who disagreed with them.
8) The birther silliness reaches its apex. The evidence that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii is overwhelming, which is why the birther silliness has long since been the domain of crackpots and cranks.
They had a rallying cry that we heard over and over again, “Show us the long form birth certificate! C’mon, Obama! Show it to us….if you weren’t born in KENYA!”
After Donald Trump eventually picked up the issue, Obama rolled his eyes, contacted Hawaii, and produced the piece of definitive documentation the birthers had been calling for all along. As expected, it showed he was born in Hawaii.
Of course, this settled the controversy once and for all, the people who spent years pushing this silliness apologized for leading everyone astray, and everyone had a good laugh…oh wait, none of that happened. Actually, all the same people who were pushing the birther conspiracy for fun and profit ARE STILL doing it. That may not convince anyone else that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but it should convince everyone that they’re blithering idiots.
7) “Those who can do. Those who can’t form a supercommittee.” — Mark Steyn. After yet another Mexican standoff caused by Democrats adamantly fighting against spending cuts, despite the fact that the country is headed toward bankruptcy, the geniuses in Congress came up with a solution: the Super Committee. The Super Committee is sort of like Superman, except it doesn’t actually save anyone and its only “super power” was accomplishing nothing while trying to shift the blame elsewhere. Who would have ever thought that a committee composed of Republicans who were
adamantly opposed to tax increases working with a group of Democrats who were adamantly opposed to spending cuts couldn’t reach an agreement on deficit reduction? Oh, wait; everybody thought that. So of course, this led to “automatic cuts” which Congress is still desperately trying to block. In other words, the Super Committee is to committees what Joe Biden has been to Vice-Presidents.
6) Solyndra: Green Jobbery is Green Robbery. The economy has been terrible since Obama took office, but there has been one tremendous growth industry: being an Obama campaign donor. You put money into Obama’s campaign and hundreds of millions of dollars pour back into your pocket. This is exactly how it worked for Solyndra. The Bush administration had shot down a loan to Solyndra. This turned out to be wise because even though Solyndra had enough money to donate to Barack Obama, it turned out not to be viable even after it received an ill-advised $535 million loan. Now, Solyndra is out of business, your money is gone, and although there should probably be members of the Obama Administration sharing a cell with Blago over this, so far they’ve gotten away with it.
5) The dastardly debt ceiling debacle was about to doom us all… Republicans and Democrats reached loggerheads over raising the debt ceiling. Democrats wanted a “clean” debt ceiling hike while Republicans were demanding significant spending cuts in return for an agreement. Paradoxically, Democrats were hoping that the debt ceiling wouldn’t be raised because they believe it would help them politically while Republicans were afraid of the consequences of fighting to cut spending. As the dreaded day came near, the rhetoric became more and more apocalyptic. The government might shut down! The US might default on its debt! Social Security checks might not go out!
So, after grueling, high stakes negotiations, the real cuts for 2011 only turned out to be $352 million dollars — less than two hours’ worth of spending by the federal government. There were also lots of theoretical future cuts, which were an improvement — but still, may never happen. The whole thing turned out to be the Kim Kardashian wedding of spending battles: a huge build-up that did result in a payoff, but one that was ultimately unsatisfying.
4) Anthony Weiner has something to show you! Imagine that you’re a high profile congressman who has recently gotten married to a stunningly beautiful woman that you’ve just impregnated. What do you do?
A) High five your buddies and talk about how lucky you are to be doing so well?
B) Settle in and prepare to enjoy a wonderful future with your growing family?
C) Start sending crotch shots to any woman you think MIGHT be willing to talk dirty to you on Twitter?
If you answered C, you might be Anthony Weiner whose choice was made even more joke-worthy by his last name.
3) Two, four, six, eight, poop on the cop car, we want money from the state! Dirty hippies, anarchists, college Commies, union thugs, homeless people, and troublemakers across the country gathered in hobo villages all across American to…ah, hmmm, ehr….well, that’s the thing. So far, the Occupy Movement has led to almost 5700 arrests, 400+ incidents, and 9 deaths. Yet, it has accomplished absolutely nothing and even the protesters don’t know why they’re protesting. Talk to 10 different people and you’ll get 10 different responses, which may range from “Give me free stuff” to “Viva la new American revolution” to “What do I do with my own poop?”
2) America becomes less credit worthy than Holland. For the first time since 1917, America lost its AAA rating. This should have the equivalent of using an air raid siren as an alarm clock. There could be no clearer warning of the danger that America is facing because of its financial irresponsibility. Yet, this earthshaking event didn’t even cause a ripple. Instead, we had people railing at the Tea Partiers, the GOP, and Standard and Poor’s — which at this point is like blaming AA because an alcoholic refuses to come out of a bar.
1) “Operation the Obama Administration” helped kill 200 people. That name isn’t quite as catchy as “Operation Fast and Furious,” but maybe it will get the press to pay attention to a scandal that’s legitimately bigger than Watergate. After all, nobody died during Watergate, while our government deliberately put guns in the hands of criminals who promptly murdered people with the weapons. At this point, because of the Obama Administration’s Nixonian stonewalling and dissembling, we’re not even really sure whether the operation was about law enforcement or whether it was some sort of politically motivated effort to undercut the Second Amendment. Either way, the Obama Administration has the blood of over 200 Mexicans and an American citizen on its hands and there are people in the Administration who deserve to spend a long time in prison for it. Whether they will get what they deserve or not is unknown, but at a minimum, the families of the victims and the American people deserve the truth.