Your Best and Worst of 2012

 

We’ve reached that trough in the holiday season where we fill the void between the Christmas drinking and the New Year’s drinking by clicking, with Pavlovian fervor, on itemized run-downs of the year that’s slipping away. God knows I have some whiskey to get back to, so here’s mine. Add your thoughts or categories in the comments:

Best Political Development of the Year: The erosion of public-sector labor’s power, as evinced by the failure of the effort to recall Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin and the passage of right-to-work laws in Michigan.

Worst Political Development of the Year: The Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling. Mitt Romney’s loss and the underperformance of Republican Senate candidates both stung, but it was Chief Justice Roberts’ elevation of “institutional integrity” over constitutional fidelity that will have the deepest long-term effect on the state of American liberty.

Best Rising Star of the Right: It’s an unfortunately thin field, but this probably has to go to the newest U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. Honorable mentions to South Carolina’s new representative in the upper chamber, Tim Scott, and the failed Utah congressional candidate Mia Love.

Republican Pol You’d Rather Forget About: Todd Akin. Richard Mourdock artlessly expressed a fairly basic belief of the pro-life community — that the value of a human life is not contingent on the nature of its conception. Akin, by contrast, managed to suggest both a halting misunderstanding of biology and a casual disregard for the gravity of rape. He is a template for how not to talk about social issues.

Democrat Who Scares You the Most: In terms of political views, Elizabeth Warren. In terms of prospects for future political success, Cory Booker. 

Democrat That’s Not Getting the Props They Deserve: Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who almost single-handedly led to the Ocean State getting its public pension system under control.

Favorite Ricochet Moment: Apart from the outpouring of support we received earlier this month, I’d probably have to go with Lileks suggesting to John Yoo on the NR cruise that he toy with the left by running for the “water board” in Oakland.

2012’s Leading Sign That We May No Longer be a Serious Country: That any of us knows the name Sandra Fluke. 

2012’s Leading Sign That We Remain a Serious Country: Give me a minute …

Best International Development: The election of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma and that country’s steps towards democracy. 

Worst International Development: The continued devolution of the “Arab Spring” into chaos, totalitarianism, and islamism.

State That Impressed You Most: Texas, in absolute terms. Apart from the aforementioned Wisconsin and Michigan, kudos also to Louisiana for passing Bobby Jindal’s sweeping education reform and Indiana for becoming a right-to-work state.

State That Depressed You Most: California, which, despite its current travails, increased taxes and defeated a ballot initiative to rein in its regnant unions, sending an unmistakeable message that the blue state model will have to be pried from its cold, dead hands.

Cultural Meme You Hope You Never Have to Reference Again: Gangnam Style

Best (Non-Fiction) Book of the Year: Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson’s Why Nations Fail.

Best Movie of the Year: You got me. For the first time in several years, I can’t think of a Big, Important Film that I’ll want to revisit in years to come. I had hoped it would be Lincoln, but I found it bloated, questionably cast (Sally Field as Mary Lincoln?), and prone to occasional fits of schmaltz. Only Daniel Day-Lewis’s hypnotizing performance redeemed it for me.

Hope for 2013: In political terms, that we control the damage. In personal terms … well, basically the same.

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Members have made 30 comments.

  1. Profile photo of EJHill Member
    Troy Senik, Ed. Cultural Meme You Hope You Never Have to Reference Again:Gangnam Style

    I don’t understand…

    • #1
    • December 29, 2012 at 2:44 am
  2. Profile photo of Knotwise the Poet Member

    Ditto to both of your choices for best and worst political developments.

    Signs that we may no longer be a serious country: Related to your Sandra Fluke comments, the fact that the War on Women meme was actually persuasive to some people; and that Obama won because “he cares.”

    Best Movie of 2012: “The Avengers”- yeah, it’s not an “important” film, but it’s (in my opinion) a near-flawless piece of popcorn-escapism that should not have worked, with plenty of wonderfully quotable bits and terrific character-writing courtesy of Mr. Whedon. I have already “revisited” it several times and will continue to throughout the years- it’s fun and satisfying every time. I also enjoyed “Lincoln” a lot and was deeply moved by “Les Mis” (in spite of its flaws).

    • #2
    • December 29, 2012 at 2:53 am
  3. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    Could you elaborate on Sally Fields? What made you say that? I’m asking purely out of curiosity.

    • #3
    • December 29, 2012 at 2:53 am
  4. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    By the way, I’d pick Act of Valor as my favorite film of the year, even if it wasn’t the best.

    • #4
    • December 29, 2012 at 2:58 am
  5. Profile photo of EJHill Member
    bereket kelile: Could you elaborate on Sally Fields?

    Mary.jpg

    • #5
    • December 29, 2012 at 3:08 am
  6. Profile photo of Scott R Member

    Sign that we remain a serious country: Fracking.

    • #6
    • December 29, 2012 at 3:46 am
  7. Profile photo of RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Why was the re-election of Obama not the worst political development of 2012? He will be able to nominate and get confirmed at least one more and perhaps two Supreme Court Justices, practically assuring the move away from Constitutional government.

    • #7
    • December 29, 2012 at 3:54 am
  8. Profile photo of Casey Member

    Hey, I just caught on to Gangnam style a week ago and just now caught on to the EJHill reference… Do I have to give it up so soon?

    • #8
    • December 29, 2012 at 4:29 am
  9. Profile photo of Edward Smith Inactive

    I hear Sandra Fluke is dating the twin brother Harvey & Maurice Fisch.

    Oy! She’s sleeping with the Fisch’s.

    I’ll be here till next Friday. Be sure to tip your waitress.

    • #9
    • December 29, 2012 at 4:30 am
  10. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    I agree with those choices Troy. I suppose Argo was the best until that idiot Carter jabbered on during the credits. California doubled down on socialism and union thuggery. Their beggars bowl will be held high these next few years.

    • #10
    • December 29, 2012 at 5:01 am
  11. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member
    DocJay: I agree with those choices Troy. I suppose Argo was the best until that idiot Carter jabbered on during the credits. California doubled down on socialism and union thuggery. Their beggars bowl will be held high these next few years. · 58 minutes ago

    That was a good movie too. Everyone in the theater was applauding when the plane took off. For me, that was an indicator that we’re still a serious country.

    • #11
    • December 29, 2012 at 6:06 am
  12. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member
    Troy Senik, Ed.:

    Favorite Ricochet Moment:Apart from the outpouring of support we received earlier this month, I’d probably have to go with Lileks suggesting to John Yoo on the NR cruise that he toy with the left by running for the “water board” in Oakland.

    That would be unbelievably awesome. He should totally do it!

    • #12
    • December 29, 2012 at 6:09 am
  13. Profile photo of Troy Senik Editor
    Troy Senik Post author
    bereket kelile: Could you elaborate on Sally Fields? What made you say that? I’m asking purely out of curiosity. · 5 hours ago

    The first point — and the one that made me squeamish even before seeing the film — was that Abe was nearly 10 years older than his wife. Daniel Day-Lewis is more than 10 years Sally Field’s junior.

    Beyond that, she doesn’t quite match the hard aesthetic of the White House era Mary Todd Lincoln. The performance itself wasn’t awful, but I remained constantly cognizant of the fact that I was watching Sally Field rather than Mary Lincoln, which is exactly the opposite reaction that I had to Daniel Day-Lewis.

    • #13
    • December 29, 2012 at 8:14 am
  14. Profile photo of Troy Senik Editor
    Troy Senik Post author
    RushBabe49: Why was the re-election of Obama not the worst political development of 2012? He will be able to nominate and get confirmed at least one more and perhaps two Supreme Court Justices, practically assuring the move away from Constitutional government. · 4 hours ago

    The silver lining with presidents or supreme court justices is that eventually you’re rid of them. Alas, you can’t say that about massive entitlement expansions. 

    • #14
    • December 29, 2012 at 8:17 am
  15. Profile photo of Troy Senik Editor
    Troy Senik Post author
    Scott Reusser: Sign that we remain a serious country: Fracking. · 4 hours ago

    That’s a very good pick. Although the width and depth of the opposition may also be symptomatic of our unseriousness (I agree with Joel Kotkin that a Clinton-style Democrat would be trying to surf this energy development wave rather than blocking it).

    • #15
    • December 29, 2012 at 8:19 am
  16. Profile photo of tabula rasa Member

    Worst Political Development. Obama’s reelection trumps everything else. I agree wholeheartedly that the Roberts decision upholding Obamacare was right up there. A true defining moment for Roberts, and he flunked.

    Best Rising Star of the Right: I agree with Troy’s picks but would add Jeff Flake. I think he’s going to be a major player. 

    2012’s Leading Sign That We May No Longer be a Serious Country: Yet another trillion + deficit and we re-elected the man most likely to see that trend continue. Truly baffling.

    2012’s Leading Sign That We Remain a Serious Country: Republicans continue to succeed on the state and local level.

    Best (Non-Fiction) Book of the Year: Charles Kesler’s I Am The Change. I posted on it here.

    Best Movie of the Year: I love The Hobbit, though I’m not going to argue that it’s an artistic triumph. The scene with the eagles was stunning.

    Best kid’s movie: Wreck It Ralph was a lot of fun.

    Hope for 2013: (1) My confidence that still God loves America, though He’s probably getting a bit discouraged with us and (2) that Ricochet will survive and thrive.

    • #16
    • December 29, 2012 at 8:43 am
  17. Profile photo of Casey Member

    2012’s Leading Sign That We Remain a Serious Country: May we never become a serious country.

    • #17
    • December 29, 2012 at 8:58 am
  18. Profile photo of Conservative in CA Inactive

    2012 Leading Sign We Are No Longer A Serious Country: 3rd straight year without a budget, enough said. Sign #2: No budget + economic stagnation + fiscal cliff = re-elected president. Really?

    • #18
    • December 29, 2012 at 9:29 am
  19. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge

    I really liked Sally Fields. She was the best part of the movie, in my opinion.

    • #19
    • December 29, 2012 at 9:47 am
  20. Profile photo of EJHill Member

    And then, Marilyn Monroe makes headlines again today. Let me check… Yep. Still dead. And even less in her head than Ashley Judd, if that’s even possible. I can appreciate keeping great art alive and celebrating the artist, but that’s not America’s obsession with Marilyn. It’s just creepy.

    • #20
    • December 29, 2012 at 10:06 am
  21. Profile photo of Flagg Taylor Member
    tabula rasa:Best Movie of the Year: I loveThe Hobbit,though I’m not going to argue that it’s an artistic triumph. The scene with the eagles was stunning.

    Edited 13 hours ago

    TR-Can I take my 7 year old to The Hobbit? We’ve read it twice.

    • #21
    • December 29, 2012 at 10:20 am
  22. Profile photo of MBF Member
    MBF

    Worst 2012 Political Outcome Wisconsin Version: Tammy Baldwin riding Obamas’s coat tails to the US Senate. Just wait. You’ll find out eventually. Think of a lesbian version of Dennis Kucinich and you’re on the right track.

    • #22
    • December 29, 2012 at 10:40 am
  23. Profile photo of tabula rasa Member
    Steven Jones
    Flagg Taylor
    tabula rasa:Best Movie of the Year: I loveThe Hobbit,though I’m not going to argue that it’s an artistic triumph. The scene with the eagles was stunning.

    Edited 13 hours ago

    TR-Can I take my 7 year old to The Hobbit? We’ve read it twice. · 1 hour ago

    Depends on the 7 year old. Orcs can induce nightmares. · 46 minutes ago

    Two of my grandsons (both six) went and weren’t permanently warped. They were familiar with the LOTR so weren’t shocked. There’s a lot of violence, but I think of it as more akin to comic book violence than, say, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    My six-year-old granddaughter doesn’t want to see it because she’s currently afraid of “bad guys.”

    So it depends on the child.

    Yes, 2006 was a great year for new grandchildren in the TR family.

    • #23
    • December 30, 2012 at 1:11 am
  24. Profile photo of tabula rasa Member
    Mark Belling Fan: Worst 2012 Political Outcome Wisconsin Version: Tammy Baldwin riding Obamas’s coat tails to the US Senate. Just wait. You’ll find out eventually. Think of a lesbian version of Dennis Kucinich and you’re on the right track. · 2 hours ago

    Does Wisconsin need schizophrenia medication? Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin as senators–will they ever support the same legislation?.

    • #24
    • December 30, 2012 at 1:14 am
  25. Profile photo of flownover Inactive
    Troy Senik, Ed.
    bereket kelile: Could you elaborate on Sally Fields? What made you say that? I’m asking purely out of curiosity. · 5 hours ago

    The first point — and the one that made me squeamish even before seeing the film — was that Abe was nearly 10 years older than his wife. Daniel Day-Lewis is more than 10 years Sally Field’s junior.

    Beyond that, she doesn’t quite match the hard aesthetic of the White House era Mary Todd Lincoln. The performance itself wasn’t awful, but I remained constantly cognizant of the fact that I was watching Sally Field rather than Mary Lincoln, which is exactly the opposite reaction that I had to Daniel Day-Lewis. · 17 hours ago

    No kidding, I kept waiting for her and Hal Needham to fly off over the battlefields of Antietam in her drone nun’s flying hat !

    • #25
    • December 30, 2012 at 1:41 am
  26. Profile photo of EJHill Member
    flownover No kidding, I kept waiting for her and Hal Needham to fly off over the battlefields of Antietam in her drone nun’s flying hat !

    No, no, no. Sally Field would advance on Stonewall Jackson’s troops holding a sign above her head that read “UNION.”

    And then Jackson would shoot her.

    • #26
    • December 30, 2012 at 2:09 am
  27. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    Needham still getting props. Dig it. There ain’t nothin’ like the life of a Hollywood stuntman.

    flownover
    Troy Senik, Ed.
    bereket kelile: Could you elaborate on Sally Fields? What made you say that? I’m asking purely out of curiosity. · 5 hours ago

    The first point — and the one that made me squeamish even before seeing the film — was that Abe was nearly 10 years older than his wife. Daniel Day-Lewis is more than 10 years Sally Field’s junior.

    Beyond that, she doesn’t quite match the hard aesthetic of the White House era Mary Todd Lincoln. The performance itself wasn’t awful, but I remained constantly cognizant of the fact that I was watching Sally Field rather than Mary Lincoln, which is exactly the opposite reaction that I had to Daniel Day-Lewis. · 17 hours ago

    No kidding, I kept waiting for her and Hal Needham to fly off over the battlefields of Antietam in her drone nun’s flying hat ! · 28 minutes ago

    • #27
    • December 30, 2012 at 2:14 am
  28. Profile photo of flownover Inactive
    EJHill
    flownover No kidding, I kept waiting for her and Hal Needham to fly off over the battlefields of Antietam in her drone nun’s flying hat !

    No, no, no. Sally Field would advance on Stonewall Jackson’s troops holding a sign above her head that read “UNION.”

    And then Jackson would shoot her. · 20 hours ago

    Yeah, we could have used Sally at Chancellorsville, what a horrible mistake. Sybil could have pulled it off. 

    Just watch , she’ll get an Oscar for best supporting white woman .

    • #28
    • December 30, 2012 at 10:26 am
  29. Profile photo of Steven Jones Coolidge
    Flagg Taylor
    tabula rasa:Best Movie of the Year: I loveThe Hobbit,though I’m not going to argue that it’s an artistic triumph. The scene with the eagles was stunning.

    Edited 13 hours ago

    TR-Can I take my 7 year old to The Hobbit? We’ve read it twice. · 1 hour ago

    Depends on the 7 year old. Orcs can induce nightmares.

    • #29
    • December 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm
  30. Profile photo of libertyPell Member

    And the best of your best, Mr. Senik: Gina Raimondo and Why Nations Fail. 

    • #30
    • December 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm