As Americans welcomed 2011, major news focused on a man who opened fire on the crowd at a political meeting in Tucson on January 8. Six people died, including a nine year old child.
At first media leapt to bizarre conclusions, claiming the shooter was a right winger. Eventually a picture emerged of Jared Loughner as a mentally unstable young man who listed The Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books.
Republicans welcomed new chairman Reince Priebus in January. That same month, Royal Marshall died suddenly. Marshall was the witty sidekick for Libertarian talk show host Neal Boortz.
By March, businessman Herman Cain was beginning to capture attention for his interest in becoming the Republican nominee to oppose President Barack Obama in 2012. As spring neared, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made no bones about hate speech towards the tea party movement, calling these middle class political activists “extremists.”
In sharp contrast to anti-tea party rhetoric, leading Democrats endorsed the anarchical protesters labeling themselves as Occupy Wall Street.
It should come as no surprise that most Americans thought 2011 was a lousy year, at least for their wallet. A new Associated Press-GfK poll found 68 percent of respondents said 2011 was a “bad year”—that’s more than twice the number that said it was good.
Democrats, Republicans and racists
By the summer of 2011, a debt fight was in full swing between Democrats and Republicans. Although Americans spoke clearly in the Midterm elections of 2010, Democrats refused to cooperate in addressing the debt crisis the US government faces and will face into the future. As negotiations continued, complete with political posturing, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) pulled the liberals’ favorite weapon—the race card.
On July 15 on the House floor, Lee was angry at Republicans who wanted to do something about US debt and future spending:
Lee spoke on the floor of the US House of Representatives, and she chastised conservatives for their behavior. “I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president — only this one, only this one — has received the kind of attacks and disagreement and inability to work, only this one. Read between the lines,” she said, following with more remarks with racial overtones.
Sen. Coburn’s financial report no one heeded but should have
As Democrats balked at every turn on the debt issue, they bled the disagreement for political gain.
Meanwhile Dr. Tom Coburn, US senator from Oklahoma, presented a report, Back in Black. In more than 600 pages of data, Coburn showed how the government could save $9 trillion dollars without suffering a reduction in fulfilling obligations. His is the most practical report presented by members of either party regarding federal spending. No one paid it much attention, but Congress should have. Most media didn’t even tell Americans the report existed.
GOP gets serious about 2012
The GOP presidential field ramped up by summer’s end, with Texas Governor Rick Perry announcing his candidacy at the Red State Gathering in Charleston (S.C.) in August. Perry began to ascend in the polls shortly thereafter, but debate gaffes and media attacks weakened his campaign considerably. Perry hasn’t given up, though, and he is still a viable candidate simply because he has the most outstanding record of government service in the field, aside from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Liberals’ anti-jobs policy
President Barack Obama has campaigned since his election, obsessing over US jobs and claiming he will create them. His policy has done the opposite. By fall, Obama’s Department of Justice had launched another political attack on an American manufacturer—Gibson Guitar. Federal agents, including some the CEO described as being from the Dept. of Homeland Security, raided a Gibson plant in Tennessee over a manufacturing issue connected to India’s laws on finished wood products.
Obama’s National Labor Relations Board went after Boeing because the manufacturer wanted to add jobs in a non-forced-unionism state.
Earlier in the year, Obama had, as one business owner in the Gulf said, “shut it down in a single day.” That came after the BP oil spill, a kneejerk reaction to drilling in the Gulf because of one company’s alleged mistakes.
Liberals ramp up political rhetoric
As winter approached, Obama’s Justice Dept. continued an assault on the states with an offense on state voting laws. Democrats charged that requiring a photo ID to vote would disenfranchise minorities, even if the voter ID was provided free by the state. Media picked up a falsehood—that there have been no fraudulent voter cases of any consequence. As one column showed, the opposite is true.
As 2011 neared its end, Republican presidential candidates were working the ground in Iowa ahead of the nation’s first Caucus on January 3. A full scale attack on frontrunner Newt Gingrich was in play, with the GOP field still fairly fluid despite legacy media reports to the contrary.
As Obama campaigned on the pretext of his being a champion of the middle class, many Americans realized his policies were those of a warrior on the middle class.
Meanwhile, one activist author’s efforts to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act which many conservatives believe is a jobs killer were ignored by media.
Many conservatives believe the 2012 General Election holds the key to the wellbeing of the country. Only if changes are made in the White House and Senate will the country see prosperous years again any time soon.
The 2011 JibJab year end roundup video said 2011 is ending, “Thank heaven”—nothing seems more appropriate.
[Ed. note: Please visit the links below for more stories about politics in 2011.]