Opinion

Suzan Harjo: 2012 Hall of Fame and Mantle of Shame Awards





"HALL OF FAME: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for winning second terms by a whopping 332 electoral votes to 206 for Republican challenger Mitt Romney and Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, confounding most of the Democrats’ critics and supporters, who predicted the closest election ever. Few publicly forecast an Obama-Biden victory by a large margin, but their top campaigners, especially political consultant David Axelrod, were confident about turnout and the 2 million new voters they registered. Nate Silver merged polls and emerged as the most accurate predictor anywhere, and his New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog became a political must-read. On election eve in the battleground state of Wisconsin, Songwriter/Musician Bob Dylan interrupted “Blowin’ in the Wind” to say, “Don’t believe the media. I think it’s going to be a landslide.”

MANTLE OF SHAME: Governor Mitt Romney and Representative Paul Ryan for trying to win ugly. Voter disdain and white lies marked their campaign, and a secret tape of Romney dissing the “47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what” may have been the tipping point against his candidacy. He said the 47 percent believe they are victims and entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to not pay income tax: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Projections by GOP advisors Karl Rove and Dick Morris were so wrong they disputed news of their candidates’ loss and had meltdowns on TV, while Donald Trump tweeted for “revolution.” Author Ann Coulter commiserated with radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, taking up a “makers and takers” mantra after the Ryanism that the country is “a majority of takers versus makers.” They and Ryan, who remains House budget committee chair despite Republican term-limit rules, continue to cast half the electorate as freeloaders in the spending/taxing tug of war that threatens to take the economy over the “fiscal cliff.”"

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Suzan Shown Harjo: 2012 Hall of Fame and Mantle of Shame Awards (Indian Country Today 12/28)