Reviews | The best, worst and weirdest political stories of 2021
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Well that was weird.
Much of the past 12 months has felt like 2021 has arrived by looking at the political madness of 2020 and thinking smugly: Hold my beer.
The capture of the Capitol? A second impeachment of Trump? Senator Ted Cruz going hard on Big Bird? Is infrastructure week really happening? Many of the political developments of the year have defied belief, let alone explanation.
As usual, a handful of people and events have managed to rise above or fall below the base chaos. These notables deserve to be remembered – and, in some cases, subpoenaed – for their roles that made 2021 so memorable. As he was last year, Donald Trump was deemed ineligible to compete because he continues to operate in a political reality of his own.
The biggest pain in the ass
Senator Joe Manchin
It’s not just that the West Virginia Democrat spent the year hampering his party’s legislative goals. Or that he wasted weeks claiming to seek Republicans’ support for voting rights legislation. Or that he apparently sees his constituents as a bunch of lazy welfare cheaters. It’s because he insisted on being such a pious, pompous, and needlessly destructive jerk about it all. Mr Manchin would have to take his barge, his coal company money and his folklore claims and blow them out of the tailpipe of that Maserati he was seen equipping himself in.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema
We got it: The Arizona Democrat doesn’t want to be seen as a party drone at the front end. But what is she Is it that wanting remains a mystery to most Americans. Her causeless maverick shtick annoyed many Democrats, including voters back home, and spawned a “Saturday Night Live” parody of Ms. Sinema as an agent against the tide of chaos.
The worst vacation planner
Senator Ted Cruz
When a storm shook millions of Texans in cold and darkness in February, the Republican lawmaker and his family quickly fled to a luxury resort in Cancun. The social media reaction was swift and brutal, bringing Mr. Cruz to shame in a quick return home.
The Biggest Loser
And just like that, the former New York governor’s brand went from pandemic rock star to alleged serial stalker. Stuffy and Handy turns out to be a bad combo.
Will Democrats face a mid-term erasure?
The biggest fashion icon
Senator Bernie Sanders
The puffy coat and mittens set from Vermont curmudgeon set a new standard for groundbreaking chic.
The saddest vacation
Representative Thomas Massie
Nothing screams “season of peace” – and “crisis of masculinity” – quite like a clumsy middle-aged Kentucky Republican arm yourself and your family for the annual Christmas card photo.
The greatest shine
Representative Liz Cheney
The Wyoming Republican was once best known as the hawkish, torture-loving, anti-gay eldest daughter of the most sinister vice president in modern times. Now she’s going all-in as her party’s fiercest champion for American democracy.
The most entertaining political quarrel
Liz Cheney and Ted Cruz
He accused her of having Trump’s inconvenience syndrome. She suggested that he was not “a real man”. He said she would make a good Democrat. She slammed him for flattering the crackpot secessionists. This duo has the makings of a hot podcast.
The most destructive
It doesn’t matter if the Fox News host believes in the poison he’s selling or if he’s just an opportunist hungry for fame and money. With his Covid madness, the January 6 nonsense incitement and the general MAGA conspiracy, Mr Carlson may have done more this year to endanger America and Americans than almost anyone. .
The most problematic presidential parent
A debut at the SoHo gallery of his paintings with six-figure list prices – seriously? Did the president’s youngest son learn nothing? It’s not a Trump-level chunk of money, but it’s still embarrassing.
The biggest suction cups
Republican National Committee
He has apparently agreed to pay up to $ 1.6 million in personal legal bills from Donald Trump, which tells you everything you need to know about the state of the party.
The most despicable
Marc des meadows
The former White House chief of staff has defied a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6 attack. For that, the House voted to recommend that he be held in contempt of Congress, sending the case back to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.
Governor Brian Kemp
Refusing to help Mr. Trump steal the 2020 election put the Republican of Georgia on the list of enemies of the former president. Now Mr Kemp faces what should be a bloody and costly main challenge from Trump stooge and former Senator David Perdue. This may be the Democrats’ best election news in months.
The Republican governor-elect of Virginia has delighted his party by disrupting the state’s constant drift into the Blue Column. More impressive still, he provided a possible blueprint for other Republican candidates in flirting with Mr. Trump’s election fraud lies while keeping the former president at a distance enough not to frighten moderate voters.
The most overanalyzed
Vice President Kamala Harris
Is it dazzling the political world? No. But relax the woman a little. She’s vice president – by definition a secondary post, and by tradition some kind of shitty post. One of his predecessors, John Nance Garner, once dismissed the job as “not worth a bucket of hot piss.” Ms Harris may be a historical figure – and her boss’s advanced age can put people on edge – but let’s get back to our expectations a bit.
The most delicate tightrope walker
Governor Ron DeSantis
Almost everyone assumes the Florida Republican wants to be a White House candidate in 2024, but he needs to avoid sounding so enthusiastic – or popular – that he stings the envy and anger of one. certain former president.
Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg
Baby photos of the twins are cute and all, but Secretary Pete really deserves props to take parental leave and unabashedly defend the practice against attacks from mocking Tories.
The most thankless job
Senator Chuck Schumer
The Democratic Senate leader wakes up every morning knowing he has few tools to deal with a restless progressive base, an unpopular president, zero margin for Democratic defections, an obstructionist Republican minority – and Joe Manchin.
Representative Kevin McCarthy
Desperate to become Speaker of the House if his party gains control of the House next year, the Republican leader frantically sucks the world of MAGA. Not only did he creep into Mar-a-Lago to kiss Mr. Trump’s ring, but he also set out to ignore the most vile trolling of his most unhinged colleagues. Paul Gosar posts an anime of himself killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden? No malicious intent. Lauren Boebert’s anti-Muslim ramblings? Why all the fuss? Phone inspiring leadership.
Greatest American Hero
Police Officer Eugene Goodman
As MAGA fanatics rampaged across the Capitol on January 6, Capitol Police Officer Goodman lured the invaders away from the Senate Chamber, where lawmakers were congregated. This man more than deserved his congressional gold medal.
The most desperate for attention
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene
Can anyone from Fox News already offer the Georgia Republican their own show? It’s not as if she has an interest in legislating.
The biggest lie
There was no massive electoral fraud. Donald Trump lost. Do with it.
Happy New Year everyone. Here is a more boring 2022.
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