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January 2, 2010 [LINK / comment]

Politics 2009: Year in review

To hell in a handbasket? With unemployment soaring above ten percent, with terrorists on a rampage, and with economic freedoms being lost week by week, it sure looks that way sometimes. But those of us who dissent from the Obama administration's agenda need to get a grip and avoid the trap of despondency. After all, the corollary of raising "hope" among your own supporters is to instill gloom among your opponents, and the Democrats would like nothing better than to paralyze Republicans and conservative independents by enacting statist policy measures that seem irreversible. So, as we review the major events of the last year as they were chronicled in this blog, just as I did in the year before, let us try to keep things in perspective and remember: "This, too, shall pass!"

What follows is a list of what I consider to be the top ten national and international political events of 2009, listed in chronological order, with links to the respective blog pieces. In a separate blog pice I will compile the major events of what was by most accounts one of the worst decades in American history, of which 2009 was probably the worst year of all.

  1. Inauguration of President Barack Obama -- hope and change!? (Jan. 20)
  2. Conferees agree on stimulus bill --a.k.a. the "porkulus" bill. (Feb. 11)
  3. "RINO" virus: a ghastly Specter -- Arlen defects to the Democrats. (Apr. 28)
  4. House votes to regulate climate -- global warming legislation. (June 29)
  5. Earthquake in Alaska: Palin quits -- and we still wonder why... (July 5)
  6. Happy Constitution Day, America! -- Tea Partiers teach civics. (Sept. 17)
  7. Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize -- and we still wonder why... (Oct. 9)
  8. House passes Obamacare bill -- Pelosi & Hoyer twist arms. (Nov. 7)
  9. Climate summit in Copenhagen -- target: U.S. capitalism? (Dec. 7)
  10. Musings on health care "reform" -- Senate scoffs at Constitution. (Dec. 23)

State & local politics

In spite of periodic disquieting signs of more mischief and acrimony spread by the "grassroots" faction, the general tone of Republican Party politics turned in a very positive direction last year. Virginia Democrats, meanwhile, failed to capitalize on President Obama's historic win last year, and their amiable nominee for governor, Creigh Deeds, found himself using negative campaign tactics that barely put a dent in the McDonnell juggernaut. Whether the GOP "grassroots" will learn the clear lesson from the Republican's landslide victory remains to be seen, however. Here are the top ten events in Virginia and Staunton-Augusta County-Waynesboro politics:

  1. Tax revolt in Augusta County -- "grassroots" flex their muscles. (Mar. 13)
  2. RPV chair Frederick is removed -- the "grassroots" mourn. (Apr. 5)
  3. Creigh Deeds wins big -- upset in Dem. gubernatorial primary. (June 9)
  4. Fourth of July, 2009 -- Dems outnumber GOP in Staunton parade. (July 5)
  5. Saxman ends bid for reelection -- local Republicans are stunned. (July 17)
  6. Dickie Bell gets GOP nomination -- party leaders make safe choice. (July 27)
  7. McDonnell comes to Staunton -- campaigning downtown. (Aug. 17)
  8. Republicans reunite in Verona -- party becomes friendlier, at last. (Oct. 10)
  9. Health care polemics heat up -- Local rallies against Obamacare. (Oct. 16)
  10. Republicans sweep Virginia races -- McDonnell wins over independents. (Nov. 4)

"Deep thoughts" (?)

The following blog posts dealt with broader problems or more fundamental issues, rather than day-to-day political happenings:

  1. Illegal immigration: no problem -- as in, it's too hot to touch. (Jan. 5)
  2. Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap. -- conservative lamentations. (Jan. 10)
  3. Virginia is for loafers? -- extended unemployment benefits. (May 21)
  4. Are conservatives "brain dead"? (Oct. 4)
  5. Whither the Republican soul? -- re: GOP litmus test. (Dec. 30)

Requiescat in pacem

The following giant figures in the world of politics and public affairs passed away in 2009:

Get well soon, Rush

Radio talk-meister Rush Limbaugh was hospitalized in Hawaii three days ago after complaining of chest pains. His substitute host Walter Williams reassured listeners that Rush is doing OK, and on Saturday Rush was released from the hospital. I join conservatives and champions of free speech everywhere in wishing Rush a speedy recovery and prompt return to the "golden EIB microphone."

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 03 Jan 2010, 12: 40 AM

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