Turkeys and Drumsticks 2011

For four years running, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to give out my awards for Turkey of the Year and Golden Drumsticks. The latter are for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere. The former are for those who exemplify silliness and stupidity. I rarely give them out to someone who is evil; they are reserved for those who regularly makes me shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. It’s a sort of “thank you” for making blogging easier.

We’ll start with the Turkeys of the Year. For reference, the past winners are:

2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez

2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden

2009: MIke Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.

2010: Janet Napolitano and TSA, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, MSNBC, Lower Merion Schools, California Voters:

For this year, I’m going with:

Nancy Pelosi: This is her third award in five years. Nancy is the gift that keeps on giving, even after you’ve tried to return it to the store. To steal a joke from Bill James’ glorious Historical Baseball Abstract, Nancy is a complete five-tool silly person. She can run silly, hit silly, throw silly, field silly and silly for power. She is silly to all fields. She can silly behind the runner as well as anyone, and you talk about pressure … man, you never saw a politician who was sillier in the clutch. She is the Albert Pujols of idiocy. This is a woman who was cornered in an interview with Jon Stewart, claiming the Democrats didn’t pass a budget because Republicans would’ve filibustered it (memo to the former Speaker: budget bills can’t be filibustered. You might remember this because you passed Obamacare as a budget bill.) This is a woman who thinks unemployments benefits will reduce the deficit. There is not a month that goes by without Pelosi saying something that makes the Right Wing roar with laughter.

The Republican Presidential Field: You know it’s been that kind of year when the winner of every Republican debate is Barack Obama. You know it’s been that kind of year when the highlights of Mitt Romney clinching the nomination doesn’t include footage of Mitt Romney. About a year from now, we’re going to look at the list of people who, at one time, led the polls — Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich — and wonder how the Party of Reagan went so wrong. Newt’s Fannie Mae and healthcare mandate past will soon doom his candidacy. I suspect Santorum will be the next flavor of the month. This will last until people remember that he’s Rick Santorum.

And, really Donald Trump deserves his own entry. None of us were fooled that he would really run for President. And he showed himself thoroughly unfit. To me, the iconic image of Trump was his stoney face while being roasted during the White House Press Corps dinner. Presidents need to be able to laugh at themselves. Reagan could. Both Bushes could. Clinton could. Obama can. Even Nixon could laugh at himself. Taking yourself so seriously is a sign that you belong nowhere near power.

Occupy Wall Street: This is painful because I had hopes for them. I think the issue that motivates them — entrenched corporate power and wealth — is legitimate. I think it’s appalling that the banks paid so small a price for so big a catastrophe. But they’ve ruined whatever good will they had with criminal and anarchistic behavior, vague or far Left demands and mindless provocation.

Let me put it this way. A few weeks ago, the Left was crowing because OWS had higher favorability numbers among the public than the Tea Party. They’re not crowing any more because the latest poll shows them as far less popular. It took the Tea Party two years to tire the public; it took OWS about two weeks. And that was with media coverage in their favor.

Anthony Weiner: I still can’t make up my mind which is stupider: texting pictures of your dick to strangers? Or lying about it and making fools of your political allies? He’ll be back, probably with a commentary gig on MSNBC or something.

The Eurozone: If we get into a second Great Depression, it will be because of these guys. Everyone knows what needs to be done. No one can do it. But at least we know that drinking bottled water may prevent dehydration.

Dishonorable Mention: Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Sullivan, Bill Maher, Kim Kardashian, Charlie Sheen, Harold Koh, the NBA, the NCAA, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Eric Holder and the ATF, the Supercommittee.

Now the Golden Drumsticks. Here are the past awards, the first round from WVR.

2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks

2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama

2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush

2010: The Tea Party, Chris Christie, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Next Wave of Republicans, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, The American Soldiers

For 2011:

Seal Team Six: The biggest story of 2011 may be their execution of Osama bin Laden, carried out with incredible skill and courage. And a big bite of this goes to Obama, who gave the order.

Mark Kelly: Gabby Giffords is not all the way back, yet. Her interview, inspiring as it was, shows some remaining cognitive and functional difficulties. But that she has come so far is a God-damned miracle. On the day she was shot, I was convinced we’d next see her in a coffin or a permanent vegetative state. A lot of the credit goes to her husband, who has been a class act and shown his wife a devotion that should make us all proud. Bonus points to the parents of little Christina Green, who refused to politicize the most tragic fatality of that awful day.

The Arab Spring: It may still all end in tears and Islamofascism. But let’s be hopeful: the protesters who shook or toppled regimes in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are what OWS deludes themselves that they are: real people putting their lives in danger to oppose brutal powerful dictators.

The Technicians at Fukushima Daichii: They made mistakes early on, but they risked their lives and their health to try to deal with this disaster. And really, the entire nation of Japan deserves recognition for responding to one of the biggest natural disasters in history with resolve, hard work and dignity.

Honorable Mention: John Boehner, Paul Ryan, the students of Penn State, the Shuttle program, Peter Schiff, Reason magazine, Hillary Clinton.

Comments are closed.

  1. Section8

    Ah, the good old days when WVR was mesmerized by O the Great.

    Barack Obama The silver-tongued Senator from Illinois represents the first real generational battle we have seen in politics in a long time. And he has a sincerity factor, whether real or not, that Hillary could never match.

    Yeah, who cares if your sincerity is real or not, better to lie to me sweetly than give me the sour taste of truth. Where do I punch the vote card! LMAO. At least I think he’s woken up finally.

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  2. West Virginia Rebel

    Hey, I get there eventually : )

    As for the awards:


    Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, and the student rioters who defended them.

    Michael Moore, for trying to ingratiate himself on the “99 percent” while still remaining part of the one percent.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger. How the mighty have fallen…

    Barack Obama. Between a leaderless foreign policy (at least on the diplomatic front) to his endless blame games and favoritism, he’s made Jimmy Carter look responsible.

    The Supercommittee. Or, what happens when you get a bunch of politicians in a room and actually try to get them to do something?

    The NRLB, or, “You vill vork vhere ve tell you to vork!”


    Steve Jobs (RIP).

    Scott Walker and other governors who stood their ground against the public service parasites.

    The St. Louis Cardinals. Great final game from the underdogs who reminded us of what baseball can be at its best.

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  3. Section8

    The Republican Presidential Field: You know it’s been that kind of year when the winner of every Republican debate is Barack Obama.

    Or a win for Ron Paul, which is a good thing. Let them all trip over themselves. Paul continues to hold study. I honestly think he’s got a shot. The press just doesn’t know it yet, but they never do until everyone else already knows the news.

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  4. richtaylor365

    Golden Drumsticks:

    1) The US Military- they should be at the head of this list every year. In an age where courage, integrity, and honor become things of a bygone era, where today’s leaders invariably come up short with even the slightest level of scrutiny and their feet of clay becomes their undoing, our soldiers step up and secure those liberties we take pride in, they are today’s real heroes.
    2) Coach K- Mike Krzyzewski became the winningest basketball coach in NCAA division one history, and he did it with a program that emphasizes academics over sports, where every player gets a degree that will secure his future outside of basketball, and where every parent who sends his kid to him knows that he will be looked after as well as they would.
    3) The 1%- those folks that actually pay the bills, those that provide the tax revenue that makes our government work, those folks that do the hiring and provide the capital for capitalism.
    4) America’s churches and religious organizations for putting their money where their faith is, for doing their part in easing the suffering and the need of the people of the world.
    5) American’s in general-for being the most generous and giving to charities around the world. Being the world leader dictates a certain behavior in helping those less fortunate; we do this better then anyone.


    1) The BCS- they also should be on this list every year, for putting money and financial gain over the integrity, equity, and fairness of the sport they supervise. And lump the NCAA into the mix, for putting students at risk and sacrificing the good name (no snickering) of academia and the solemn duty of educating our future leaders over their myopic attempts to maintain the status quo, and the constant flow of money into their coffers.
    2) Jon Corzine- for doing his best Bernie Madoff imitation and stealing that which did not belong to him. And, for forgetting the basic tenet of politics, you can only be protected from your criminality if you remain under the wing and do the bidding of “The Brotherhood”, once out of politics you lose the protection of the herd.
    3) MSNBC- for carrying the most water for the Democrats (parent company NBC a close second) and not being smart enough to realize what a dead end this strategy is, although all 27 of their viewers like the spin.
    4) Penn State- and every enabler from Joe Pa, to the chancellors, the president of the college, and every other dirty hand in this sordid and disgusting affair. If you want to know what this will do to Paterno’s legacy, it IS Paterno’s legacy, and Penn States’ as well. We will be reading about this fallout (and the multi million dollar settlements the school will be paying) for years to come.

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