Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus kept his job all year, which means I lost a bet.
As a nice way to round out the quiet last days of the year, we at Daily Kos thought it might be good to do a few of those retrospectivish-sorta-thingies. But what kind? We could do a roundup of all the important things Congress got done this year, but that would be a short list indeed. We could do a roundup of all the post office namings that sailed through, but that seems poor planning, given that the way the rest of the legislation has been trending the post office may not even exist a few years from now. A list of prospective 2016 candidates? Ugh—too soon. Too soon by a lot.
No, 2013 really has made a name for itself in only one way. It was a year of general political incompetence, frothing buffoonery and self-made disasters. It was the year a chastened Republican Party did a lot of soul-searching as to why the voters no longer liked them, and followed it up by doing all of those same things twice over. We continued our tradition of not being able to accomplish even the most basic of legislative tasks; we were introduced to new battle lines declaring that however many children needed to be shot down in their classrooms, it was the price we were willing to pay for maintaining the collective white male gun erection; we saw the slow sinking of every last political savior into swamps of their own making. So there's our topic. A genteel, very polite retrospective of the last 12 months worth of decay of the republic. And Happy Holidays!
We start with January, a blissful week removed from the 2012 War on Christmas season:
- January is the traditional time of year for introducing asinine legislation in Congress, little showboating nuggets that may be impractical to implement or impossible to pass but are intended to show the rubes back home that congressman so-and-so is nothing if not rube-friendly. Steve King kicked off what would be an impressive year of anti-immigrant, anti-everybody-else efforts by demanding the repeal of birthright citizenship.
- In reaction to the still-fresh (and it is still-still-fresh, a year later) Sandy Hook murders, Sheriff Joe was one of many to propose armed vigilante posses to patrol our schools, thus making them "safer". (What could go wrong?) Arpaio's effort was only marginally tainted when it was brought up that his "posse" itself was made up of people with criminal pasts. Other noteworthy fighters against doing even one damn thing in response to the tragedy were Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Steve Stockman, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and the entire RNC; January was also the beginning of what would be a host of Republican-led-state laws and proposed laws purporting to "nullify" any gun laws Congress did pass.
- Republicans began a stellar year of bickering over presidential appointments by complaining that Obama pick for secretary of defense Chuck Hagel, a conservative Republican, was not sufficiently conservative or Republican enough. Because of course they did.
- Conservative efforts to understand why America did not like them got off to a bad start. It never got better.
- Disgraced former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford returned to the
Appalachian campaign trail. Oh, and Glenn Beck announced a new Glenn Beck theme park; not sure what happened to that one.
A special mention, however, has to go to to Maryland state legislator Don Dwyer, however. He is the one that claimed his alcohol-fueled, multiple-injury boating crash was caused because of gay marriage. Or, more specifically, because he was sad about it.