The Top 10 Political News Stories of 2012

Tags: 2102, Politics, Barack Obama, President, Hillary Clinton, Gay Marriage, Fiscal Cliff, Marijuana, Newtown shootings, Benghazi, Newt Gingrich, Christina Majaski

Christina Majaski by Christina Majaski
One can hardly ring in the New Year without a reminder of all that has occurred in the old year. While some would choose to forget about the past and move forward with a lengthy and unrealistic list of resolutions, on the political side, it’s just more fun to a) remind Republicans that Democrats pretty much kicked ass and b) never ever let anyone forget about the Clown Cavalcade of Republican flubs which made up 2012.
So without further adieu and much Auld Lang Syne (aka buckle up bitches), we present the Slogr wrap-up of the top 10 Political News Stories of 2012. 

10.  Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Clinton for President
Hillary Clinton is totally going to kick ass in 2016.  Although she has said she will not run for office in 2016, Hillary Clinton has a huge fan base of hopefuls who are not quite ready to let the dream die. According to Bloomberg National Poll, she is “viewed favorably by  70% of Americans and nearly six out of 10 people rate her as excellent or good for the 2016 presidential nominee. Democrats of course rate her excellent or good at a rate of 8 in 10. Not certain who the 2 slow Dems were, but this simply means that if there is a God, we will have a Hillary Clinton running for presidency in 2016.

9.  Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock Redefine Rape, Ignorance

First there was Todd Akin who posited that if a woman was legitimately raped, her body had ways of preventing a pregnancy.  The political firestorm that followed had many republicans calling for Akin to step down from the race.  When he refused, some returned to his side in order to preserve the party numbers.  Presumably those who did are absolutely certain they don’t need the female vote in their next election.  Akin discovered otherwise.  Akin’s spiritual twin, failed Tea Party Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, beat Richard Lugar (a 36 year veteran of the senate) in the primary. After winning, Mourdock immediately committed political suicide with his comment that “something God intended to happen”. For the first time in 36 years, the seat is held by a Democrat who would likely have never stood a chance against Lugar.

8.  Newt Gingrich Is Crazy like a Fox.  A Crazy, Crazy Fox.

Newt Gingrich started out by producing a half hour, extraordinarily damning video about Mitt Romney, his relationship with Bain Capital and predilection for buying and liquidating whatever company took his fancy.  Next, Gingrich could be found in debates that the US should eliminate child labor restrictions and let schools hire them as janitors.Although not necessarily political events, these gaffes will certainly go down in history as some of the most effective reasons not to vote for any of the nominees the Republican Party offered up for 2012.

7.  Mayor Cory Booker Rocks 2012

Hurricane Sandy was a major event in 2012, killing at least 253 people and causing roughly $65.6 billion dollars in damage and loss to the mid-atlantic and northeastern areas of the United States. In an area which suffered a large amount of damage, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker once again showed the rest of the country how politicians are supposed to behave in crisis. Booker publicly invited residents in his neighborhood to his own home for food and heat. This of course is not the first time we’ve heard of the Mayor’s good deeds (don’t forget the Hot Pockets tweets and saving a woman from a burning building) and likely will not be the last.
2012 was a slamming year for Mayor Booker, but you can be sure you will hear of him quite a bit in the future.
We can’t overlook Governor Chris Christie praising how President Obama handled disaster relief, in spite of what his party would have liked, either. So, big props to New Jersey.

6.  Benghazi Attack Produces New Conspiracy Theorists

As if an attack on an American embassy were not horrifying enough, the Benghazi Attack spawned a number of new nutjobs who claimed a variety of conspiracy theories which included a cover up, that the President didn’t respond properly and also that maybe the President himself had something to do with it. .The political rumblings were enough to derail Susan Rice’s nomination for Secretary of State with Senator John McCain (and many of his party) claiming that the President downplayed the deaths of 4 people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, simply to win the election. Because that’s exactly how you win an election. 

5.  Newtown Shootings: More Deaths Become Political

It really shouldn’t, but it seems that death results in a shitstorm of accusations from both sides and in the case of one of the most important events of 2012, the murder of 20 children in a Newtown, Connecticut school, is no different. However, it seemed the shootings were barely reported before accusations of liberals taking away guns from conservatives became the focus of the tragedy. To many, this event will go down in history as the event which disarmed and made Americans vulnerable to a Socialist government, and not as the event where 20 children and 6 adults were viciously mowed down in a school. Lucky for the shooter, he will be known for far more than even he had dreamed.

4.  Weed Became Legal in Colorado and Washington

Part of the success of the elections this year was a movement toward legalization of marijuana. In fact, 2012 became the year that two states, Washington and Colorado, made it legal to get high. As more of society realizes that decriminalizing marijuana use decreases the number of citizens who are jailed for non-violent crimes and are aware of the myriad of possible benefits to the economy, it is possible that more states will follow. For now though, we celebrate change that is bigger than it seems at first glance (and cross our fingers for legalization of gay marriage in the future).

3. Gay Marriage Victories

Although not a completely triumphant year for same-sex marriage, a number of gay marriage advances can be added to the victory side of the 2012 score card. In four states, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington, voters chose to support various aspects of marriage equality.
In Minnesota, voters chose against amending the constitution to deny same-sex marriage. Maryland, Washington and Maine (which lost a 2009 referendum) all approved laws legalizing gay marriage.
While Maine, Maryland, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, Washington and the District of Columbia have legalized same sex marriage, there are still 39 states which have banned it by amendment or statute, indicating quite a ways to go before breaking out the bubbly and claiming a clear victory.

2.  Fiscal Cliff Becomes Household Phrase

Although everyone is familiar by now with the phrase “fiscal cliff”, few are aware of its meaning, except of course that cliff obviously means some sort of impending doom. The fiscal cliff has been used to describe the decisions that the government will have to make by the end of 2012 (when the Budget Control Act of 2011 is supposed to go into effect)… or else. The fear is that if certain decisions are not made, then the country falls over the cliff and we all die while standing in porridge lines.  

1.  Barack Obama is Re-Elected

The 2012 election produced a number of wins for the Democratic Party including topping the House vote, but none can be more significant than President Obama curb stomping Mitt Romney. Although making history by losing every county in West Virginia, President Obama ended up winning both the electoral and popular votes. This occurred because, as Paul Ryan will go down in history as saying, too many minorities voted this election, but that is for another article.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good year politically. Let’s see what happens in 2013. Happy New Year!

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