Back in the heady days of CommonConservative.com, we would run annual awards celebrating the highlights and lowlights of the year. Since CommonConservative.com is no more, I wanted to continue the tradition, mainly because it's so much fun to put them together.
As always, you are welcome to comment or add awards of your own. If they're good enough, they may become part of next year's annual awards. So without further ado...
Democrat to Watch: Harry Reid. After retaining his Senate seat and his party retaining control of the Senate, Reid is in a unique position: the only name-brand Democrat with any kind of political clout. President Obama hasn’t used the bully pulpit to bully anyone stronger than BP, and Nancy Pelosi has been relegated to a leadership position with the minority party in the House. It may not help him overcome gridlock, but watching Reid come away from the 2010 elections in the position he’s in now will be great fun indeed.
Democrat to Forget: Nancy Pelosi. From the first woman to be Speaker of the House to being the first woman to be Speaker of the House who oversaw the wholesale crushing of her party in a midterm election. Nancy, here’s a clue for you. Maybe the reason you’ll no longer be Speaker of the House come January is because you suck as a leader.
Republican to Watch: Sarah Palin. Last year I picked her as the Republican to Forget, but this past year has made me think she has something else on her plate that would make a 2012 run the last thing on her mind. In the 2010 elections, she had a pretty good track record in picking the winners (around 70-75% if memory serves), and she was instrumental in helping several candidates win. And there are rumors (not circulated by her, by the way) she’s running for President in 2012. Keep an eye on Palin over this upcoming year.
Republican to Forget: Christine O’Donnell. Seriously, hang it up. You may not be a witch, but you sure as heck aren’t a serious candidate for public office.
Independents to Watch: The TEA Party movement. After a year where they were mocked, maligned, and slandered by the Left, the TEA Party movement got the last laugh by fielding winning candidates for public office. Now, comes the hard part: governing by the TEA Party standards. If the TEA Party has any legs at all, this upcoming year will prove it.
“Independents” to Forget: The “No Labels” movement. The great irony of the “No Labels” rally recently was they lamented partisanship…while being partisan attack dogs. You guys are about as independent as Michael Moore, but at least you’re as full of crap as he is.
Underreported Story: the Obama Administration’s bungling of the Gulf Coast oil spill. It’s no secret (except to those who still worship Obama) the President lacks certain leadership skills, not the least of which being knowing when to lead. The Gulf Coast oil spill was a ready-made issue he could have used to showcase his leadership, but instead he let others take care of it for him, and they blew it. Sending lawyers and Homeland Security personnel to the Gulf Coast before sending down the EPA? Monumentally dumb. Blaming BP? Dumber still. The photo ops in lieu of actual policy? Even dumber. Pushing for a moratorium of offshore oil drilling? The mother of all stupidity. For you Leftists who think Michael Brown was a disaster for the Bush Administration, he was competent compared to the multiple missteps by the Obama Administration to address the Gulf Coast oil spill.
Overreported Story: Wikileaks. With the release of secret and embarrassing information, Wikileaks became a major story overnight, and it seems as though every day there’s some new scandal arising from Wikileaks (“Lindsey Lohan Consulted on China Policy”). Given the amount of attention paid to this matter, Julian Assage couldn’t have asked for better advertising, but I think we could have done with a bit more actual reporting instead of the multitude of half-stories regarding Wikileaks.
Unreported Story: the overuse of the race card. The Left has never been scared to play the race card whenever it was useful to their agenda. This year, anything became an excuse to use the race card. Obama getting criticized? It’s because of racism. People opposing the Ground Zero mosque? It’s because of racism. The TEA Party movement gaining favor with the American people? It’s because of racism. And the more they use it, the less effective it became.
Man of the Year: George W. Bush. When the Left isn’t attacking him for every bad thing that has ever happened from the economy to them not getting a bike for Christmas when they were 7, Bush is starting to carve a place in history by being right. One of the funnier aspects of the Wikileaks scandal that isn’t getting covered by the media is how Wikileaks actually produced proof there were WMDs in Iraq. Combine that with the fact President Obama publicly joined the pro-tax cut bandwagon by pushing for an extension of the Bush tax cuts, it’s clear Bush has earned the Man of the Year Award for being a better and more influential President than his critics want to admit. Miss him yet?
R. I. P.: global warming as a scientific certainty. For decades, the Left has been riding its high horse on global warming by citing scientist after scientist stating global warming was real and manmade. Three little words changed that forever: “hide the decline.” With the Climategate scandal where climate scientists out of England were caught fudging results and weren’t able to produce their evidence (a big no-no in the scientific community, by the way), the Left’s high horse has become a Shetland Pony. Ginning up results to promote a position that cannot be justified isn’t good science.
Flash in the Pan: Obama’s global presence. Since his election, Obama has been touted as a departure from George W. Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy,” which would (according to his followers) bring about America’s return to dignified status in the world community. Of course, that isn’t what happened. World leaders treat Obama as badly, if not worse, than they treated Bush. Even our allies have a hard time taking Obama seriously. A stark contrast to the fawning media coverage of Obama’s European trip when he was running for President, to be sure.
The Real Deal: net neutrality. You may not have heard a lot about this subject this year, but it is a vital issue. Leftists are suggesting the government needs to step in to guarantee Internet service providers treat all data the same way instead of picking and choosing what data gets preferential treatment. On the surface, it’s a nice idea, but after a deeper review, it loses a lot of its appeal when you think about the implications of the federal government dictating to private industry how they are to provide a service. And just think, kids. There are some Leftists who think the “net neutrality” proposal already on the table isn’t strict enough.
Raw Deal: The TEA Party being responsible for the GOP not taking back the Senate. A common theme with the Left and some members of the Right is that the TEA Parties cost the GOP control of the Senate, thanks to the campaigns of TEA Party favorites Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. The problem with that line of thought is the TEA Party wouldn’t be necessary if the GOP (especially those who claim the TEA Party cost the GOP the Senate) hadn’t sold out to the Left. Some of the people the GOP establishment were pushing were nothing more than the same RINOs the party faithful have been complaining about for decades. And given how the GOP Establishment wasn’t too keen on helping Angle and O’Donnell on winning, maybe the TEA Party wasn’t the problem. Maybe, just maybe, it was the GOP Establishment.
Missed Opportunity: For the second year in a row, Republicans completely botched the TEA Party situation. Political operatives on the Right started acting and sounding like Leftists when it came to the TEA Party’s influence on the 2010 elections. Instead of taking their concerns seriously, Republicans treated them like lost children needing to be taken home (i.e. back to the GOP voting ranks). They just don’t get it. There wouldn’t be a need for the TEA Party if Republicans acted like, well, Republicans. Until Republicans get this concept, watch for more missed opportunities with the TEA Party.
Defining Moment: Glenn Beck’s 8/28 rally in Washington, DC. Although the TEA Party gatherings had an impact on this year, it was Beck’s 8/28 rally that opened a lot of people’s eyes to just how many people felt America needed to get back on a proper course. Hard attendance numbers vary from the laughable CBS-concocted number to the overly optimistic conservative numbers, but it’s safe to say Beck’s rally was somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 people gathered together for a non-partisan purpose. That showed people on both sides of the political aisle there are people unhappy with the way the country’s being run, and they will be holding everyone accountable.
Stuck on Stupid: Anthony Weiner (D-NY). With a virtual one man war against Glenn Beck and Goldline, Weiner has shown himself to be arrogant, dismissive of any opinion that doesn’t match his own, and completely in over his head against anyone with a lick of sense. In other words, Democrats have a new Alan Grayson to replace the original after he got booted in the midterm elections for…well, for acting like Weiner is now. At least in Anthony’s case, his last name is pretty accurate for the kind of man he is.
The Bottom Line Award: Chris Christie. The New Jersey Governor has raised a lot of eyebrows since taking control of the state, but he has maintained his brutal honesty and lack of concern over the opinion of those predisposed to condemn him for his political ideology. He’s shown integrity in government, honor in defending women against Leftist boors, and generally shown the traits that make up the Bottom Line Award.
The Anna Nicole Smith Lifetime Achievement Award: Christine O’Donnell. From cute-as-a-button spoiler in Delaware to cute-as-a-button buffoon, all in the span of a few months. In retrospect, it seems she never quite understood the media environment that came after her and continues to make Joe Biden-sized gaffes at the most inopportune times. And with rumors surrounding her lack of financial acumen (read: potential misappropriation of funds), O’Donnell has certainly set back women in politics significantly.
The Dan Rather Award for “Excellence” in Media: Rick Sanchez. The former CNN anchor made quite an impact this year, mainly because of his ham-fisted buffoonery. He lost his job at CNN because he said Jews run the media, as evidenced by Jon Stewart. Of course, Stewart caused a stir by pointing out just how vapid Sanchez was and then laughing about it on “The Daily Show.” Here’s a clue for you, Rick. Maybe the reason you were mocked for being such a moron…is because you’re a moron. And now, you’re an unemployed moron because you let your ego get in the way of doing your job. Congratulations, Rick. You’ve earned this award.
The DEE DEE DEE Award: Alan Grayson. Take a smug Congressman, add a Leftist mean streak to beat the band, and throw in a tone-deaf approach to the electorate…and you’d have a pale imitation of Alan Grayson. He may have been the darling of Leftist radio and TV shows, but he forgot to consider what the electorate wanted him to do and it cost him his job. At least he’ll have a future on MSNBC.
The “It Looked Better on Paper” Award: Obamacare. Any time the government gets involved in health care, the results usually don’t turn out that well (case in point: Medicare). Now, thanks to Obamacare, we’ll all get the same attention to swift, quality customer service in health care that we get at the DMV. And when you get to the bottom of it, Obamacare really doesn’t do anything to address the problems in the health care arena, but does a lot to enrich the very people Obama and his Democrat allies were demonizing throughout the debate over Obamacare.
The Padded Resume Award: Barack Obama. The more we see him try to be Presidential, the more we see how little actual experience he brings to the table. From “Hope” and “Change” to “Hope we can change Presidents soon.”
The 14:59 Award: Andy Warhol once said everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, but some personalities are quickly running out of their allotted time. This award celebrates one such personality. This year’s award goes to the “Octomom,” Nadya Suleman. Her claim to fame is dubious at best, and it seems she’s on the verge of eviction from her home in Southern California. Wow. Who would have guessed a media-created “celebrity” could be so bad with money?