We’re almost through our 10th year around here. Wow. Who would have thought it? It was a much different world back in May of 2010 when the first Ricochet Podcast went online and was followed by a website that the founders envisioned would be more civilized because everyone would have “skin in the game;” even if that “skin” was nothing more than the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
What was roiling us back then? Well, according to Time, the #1 story that year was an environmental disaster in the Gulf: the explosion of the BP drilling rig, “The Deepwater Horizon.”
But in politics the top story was undoubtedly the passage of ObamaCare and the backlash that came with it in the form of the Tea Party movement. In their year-end review Time lamented that the Tea Party types were “chasing a socialist poltergeist” and the press was still hanging on to the notion that ObamaCare was going to expand health coverage to an additional 32 million people and “would in the long term trim costs.” How’s that working out for you?
Well, Joe Biden, who at the signing ceremony turned to President Barack Obama and proclaimed, “This is a big effing deal!” recently admitted on the Iowa campaign trail that it sucked. “There are two ways people know when something is important, ” said the former Vice President. “One, when it’s so clear when it’s passed that everybody understands it – and no one did understand Obamacare – including the way it was rolled out.” It’s been ten years and now the talk is “Medicare for All.” A big effing deal indeed.
As for the Tea Party, their struggles are the other side of that coin. Sent to Washington to control spending and reverse ObamaCare, they ran into a roadblock of their own: House Speaker John Boehner. It wasn’t that Boehner didn’t sympathize with them but he didn’t understand them. He also believed they didn’t understand how Washington worked. Eventually, a lack of communication and Boehner’s penchant for secret negotiations with Obama would do him in. Now the fiscal conservatives are in full retreat. The public debt has ballooned and so has the deficit.
Among other stories that made Time’s Top 10 list that year was the continuing frustration with the war in Afghanistan and America’s “Islamaphobia.” The frustration with the former hasn’t eased much, and as for the latter, if anything the press is convinced we’re even more irrationally racist than we were back then. Because another story on that list was Arizona’s attempts to control its international border with Mexico. Had the Supreme Court not gutted the law on the basis of Federal supremacy, who knows if an outsider candidate would have been able to make such hay out of the unchecked stream of illegal aliens just a few years later?
Rounding out the list was another issue that still manages to make blood pressures rise on the left: the Citizens United ruling. As we enter the 2020 campaign the Left is still railing against it and raising funds off of it. Being against free speech and being against the ability to criticize candidates is a strange shibboleth for a party that is simultaneously claiming that the current occupant of the White House is thisclose to destroying the Constitution and declaring himself President-for-Life. But cognitive dissonance in politics is certainly nothing new.
Time’s Top Ten Political Stories of 2010:
- The BP Oil Spill
- The Rise of the Tea Party
- Obama’s Quagmire: Health Care
- Obama’s Quagmire II: The Economy
- U.S. Islamophobia
- McChrystal and the War in Afghanistan
- Arizona’s Strict Immigration Law
- U.S.-China Tensions
- The Arrival of the iPad
- The Supreme Court Sides With Citizens United