News & Politics

2021 Year in Review, McLaughlin Group Style

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Every year since college, my best friend Dan and I have compiled our best observations on a wide range of topics that reflect on the year that has just expired. We follow the well-established template of The McLaughlin Group program. We lost the venerable John McLaughlin in 2016, after decades of shaping how political analysis and debate programs should be done.

So, you thought 2020 was insane? 2021 came in and said,”Hold my beer.”

Biggest Winner of the Year

The Deep State. Between the FBI inciting felonious conduct with impunity (the fake Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping, inciting the riot on January 6 to target political foes with the justice system, etc.), “public health” bureaucrats destroying the notion of individual liberty in service of the quixotic quest to vaccinate against a respiratory virus, the addition of 87,000 new IRS agents, and the rollback of probably President Trump’s greatest achievement—reducing the regulatory burden from the federal government—the feds have, predictably perhaps, reasserted their boot on the neck of the American public.

Biggest Loser of the Year

The faith of American citizens in their formerly trusted institutions. Media? Mere propaganda. Public schools? Fully transformed into indoctrination camps. The police? Hung out to dry by radical leftist district attorneys. The judicial system? Unable, with only rare exceptions, to stick to the letter of the law in prosecuting crimes. Congress? Keep on digging that hole, guys. The executive branch? C’mon, man.

Honorable mention: Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, who should be disbarred for his conduct in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. These charges never should have been filed in the first place, but Binger’s actions were monstrous.

Best Politician of the Year

Joe Manchin and Ron DeSantis (tie). Each has earned the wrath of the far left, holding fast in their own way to the original intent of the U.S. Constitution.

The Worst Politician of the Year Award

Kamala Harris. She makes America pine for the days of Hillary—almost.

Most Defining Moment of the Year

Biden canceling Keystone XL while simultaneously aprroving Russia’s Nord Stream II pipeline. Absolutely proved once and for all that “green” policies have zero to do with the environment.

Honorable mention: The U.S. Capitol being fenced off, guarded by thousands of troops, for the first half of the year. Keeping the American people out of their government to protect against, what, exactly?

Best Spin of the Year

The NASCAR reporter speaking to driver Brandon Brown after a win, saying, “Sounds like the crowd is chanting, ‘Let’s go, Brandon!'” This spawned endless mockery of an endlessly mockable president.

In case you missed it, they weren’t chanting “Let’s go, Brandon.” Spontaneous chants had broken out throughout the year at sporting events across America. The last two words of the chant were Joe Biden. I’ll let you figure out the first word in the chant.

Most Boring Politician(s) of the Year

Joe Biden, whose ideas are even worse than Obama’s, if you can imagine that. To be fair, he does keep us guessing—what’s he saying, what will he forget next, whom will he throw under the bus, if they will they clean the oatmeal stain off his tie before the appearance in the fake White House set …

Related: Joe Biden Is Still Avoiding the Media

Most Charismatic Politician of the Year

Rep. Lauren Bobert (R-CO). She’s legitimately funny, and that “Lets’ go, Brandon” gown was a scream.

Bummest Rap of the Year

Kim Potter, convicted of manslaughter for mistakenly deploying her Glock instead of her Taser while attempting to apprehend Daunte Wright on an open warrant for his arrest. She was justified in using maximum force, she attempted to use less than maximum force, Wright was resisting and fleeing, and the letter of the law said she was not guilty. An absolute miscarriage of justice by a jury tainted by a fundamental misunderstanding of their duty. One wonders if an impartial jury of peers is even possible in today’s American landscape.

Fairest Rap of the Year

Mario Cuomo is a horrible father.

Best Comeback

Republicans in special elections. It wasn’t the Brandon Biden Administration. It wasn’t the Department of Justice. It wasn’t the stolen elections of 2020. It wasn’t Afghanistan. What REALLY pissed off voters in Virginia, New Jersey, and school boards across America were the lies told about public school curricula, and the elitist notion of leftist politicians that parents have no say in how their children are educated. When a truck driver on a budget of $153 can defeat the longtime incumbent speaker of the New Jersey House, you know the left has overreached again.

Most Original Thinker

Robert Malone, MD, the inventor of the mRNA vaccines, who has consistently advocated for early medical treatment of covid with inexpensive and save lifesaving drugs, only to be deplatformed.

Most Stagnant Thinker

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who quietly extended the state of emergency over the pandemic another six months, into the middle of 2022, despite her state consistently having the among the lowest case rates and fatality rates from SARS-Cov-2 in the nation. For those keeping score at home, that pushes it well over two years of two weeks to flatten the curve.

Best Photo Op

The collection of over ten thousand refugees camping under a bridge in the border town of Del Rio, Texas. If the press had an ounce of integrity, that would have led the headlines for months.

Worst Photo Op

Afghans clinging to military cargo planes as they took off, with the knowledge that falling from them was a better fate than what awaited them after the Taliban took over.

Honorable mention: radical activists chasing Senator Kyrsten Synema (D-AZ) into a bathroom to protest something they had no prayer of understanding.

Enough, Already (also known as the “Shut Up and Get Out Award”)

This one’s easy. Anthony Fauci, Bureaucrat. His highlight in 2021 was the Anthony Fauci documentary—called Fauci—which featured scenes of Anthony Fauci working from a home office under a portrait on Anthony Fauci’s wall of Anthony Fauci. Hearing him say, “I am science,” was akin to Emperor Palpitine declaring, “I am the Senate!”

Worst Lie of the Year

CRT is not being taught in our schools. Governor Youngkin and the newly elected conservative majorities in school boards across the country would like a word.

Capitalist of the Year

Elon Musk. His rejoinder to Senator Fauxcahontas was perfect.

Person of the Year

The American president will always be in the running for this award. It could be for a faithful execution of the office to do the very best for the American people, or it could be awarded for failure on the domestic and international stages. Joe Biden wins in 2021 for that second thing.

Honorable Mention

Davyon Johnson, the 11-year old Oklahoma boy who saved a classmate from choking, only to go on to save a woman from a house fire—the same day. America needs more of this.

Destined for Political Stardom

Ron DeSantis, who has presented America an alternative to the fear porn and oppression from federal bureaucrats with his pitch-perfect performance as Florida’s governor.

Destined for Political Oblivion

America’s radical left. Their hold on the Democratic Party has led to disastrous results at the polls. The civil war in the party will get more pitched before moderation naturally wins out by necessity.

Destined for the Other Kind of Oblivion

I’m still surprised Joe Biden has made it this far. Maybe he’ll defy expectations and finish out his term, but that seems less likely all the time.

Best Political Theater

Democrat-run cities facing shocking increases in violent crime, homelessness, and substance abuse deaths, after de-funding the police and shutting down their entire economies. If this were anywhere other than the United States, we would be collectively clutching our pearls at the humanitarian crisis begat by local warlords failing their people.

Honorable mention: Joe Biden’s (alleged) incontinence on his November junket to Europe. Supposedly losing control of his bowels at the Vatican, followed by a loud, juicy one in front of Camilla Parker Bowles, seems metaphoric for his presidency, somehow.

Worst Political Theater

The National School Boards Association sending a hysterically unhinged letter to the Department of Justice, asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to save them from concerned parents whose children are in their charge on a daily basis domestic terrorists, only for Garland to oblige them and open an investigation.

Honorable mention: Speaking of completely staged outcomes in the grand tradition of professional wrestling, the appearance of Kamala Harris on Charlamagne Tha God’s cable show. Mr. Tha God hit her with a hard question about Joe Manchin, then her media handler attempted to end the interview, then Harris Put Her Foot Down and insisted on answering the question. I’ve seen this playbook a million times before.

Most Under-reported Story

The border crisis. This has turned into an unimaginable humanitarian crisis, and a huge threat to national security. You’d never know it by watching the nightly news.

Honorable mention: Joe Biden’s fake White House press setup. Has anyone even asked why he appears in front of the cameras from a basement made up to look like an office, instead of appearing from the Oval Office? It reminds me of the Yuri Andropov days of the Soviet Union.

Most Over-reported Story

The riots on January 6 presented as “the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol since the War of 1812.” Those who believe this dreck don’t even know the procedure that was being adjudicated by a joint session of Congress that day, never mind the horrific treatment of those taken into custody for being there. When a society rejects basic facts and truth in reporting, bad things happen.

Biggest Government Waste

Biden pushing the Build Back Better plan, which would cost at least three trillion dollars, before we even spent most of the previous stimulus bills passed to paper over the economic shutdowns blamed on the pandemic. The high-speed rail of federal debt is barreling past $30 trillion, and nobody seems to care about the consequences. Stopping BBB only forestalled the coming catastrophe for a short time.

Best Dollar Spent

The prosecution of Jussie Smollet, that also helped to expose the deep corruption of Chicago State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (who was revealed to have collaborated with Smollet’s sister, contrary to her claims of impartiality).

Boldest Political Tactic

The federal government coordinating with Big Tech to remove the sitting American president from social media, as well as thousands of groups, dozens of political pundits and elected officials, and thousands of websites, email services, and social media platforms themselves. The Great Digital Purge of January 2021 was breathtaking to behold, and remarkable in what purports to be a free society.

Best Idea of 2021

Digging into the Cuomo family’s sexual peccadilloes, which seems to have opened the floodgates of allegations at CNN. What, exactly, the hell is going on there?

Worst Idea of 2021

Biden deciding to get out of Afghanistan with no notice, no assurance for Americans and Afghans who helped us that they wouldn’t be stranded, no plan to stop billions of dollars’ worth of equipment and priceless intelligence falling into the hands of the Taliban, and no plan whatsoever to help everyone we left behind. An absolutely heartless decision, compounded by a pigheaded unwillingness to alter his plan.

Sorry to See You Go

Norm MacDonald. That one hurt. So did Rush Limbaugh.

The Kim Jong-il Not Even a Little Bit Sorry to See You Go Award

Harry Reid.

15 Minutes of Fame

Mary Lemanski, who resigned as social media director of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, Illinois. Lemanski took to Twitter to mock the victims of the intentional SUV homicide of the Dancing Grannies in the Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade. You’re all class, Mary.

Turncoat of the Year

I would say Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, but they were actually doing something pretty rare these days—representing their constituencies. This award may just be permanently retired and named after John Roberts until such time as he’s no longer on the bench.

Most Honest Person of the Year

Every single last parent who testified against critical race theory at school board meetings, then, when faced with charges of domestic terrorism, went out and elected new board members. Giving the double-barreled bird to elitists is the American Way.

Most Overrated Person, Event, or Story of the Year

Andrew Cuomo will be the savior of the Democratic Party. Oops.

Most Underrated Person, Event, or Story of the Year

The abject failure of “green” policies. Between the Texas ice storms, western wildfires, and a brutally cold European winter, we see the results of green energy before it’s even fully implemented. Regulations halt infrastructure upgrades. Anti-carbon policies create energy shortages. Heating and transportation prices have already skyrocketed, and we’re just beginning to create the change the radicals covet.

Grade the Planet (A through F, pluses and minuses accepted)

F. Though we’ve achieved actual greatness, and innovation and industry have inexorably kept us progressing, we seem to be headed into an era of global chaos and uncertainty.

Macroprediction

A DeSantis/Cruz ticket in 2024 will be unstoppable, if we get that far.

New Year’s Resolution

To become unreliant upon the system, which seems to be breaking down before our eyes.