Golden Dukes: It’s Time To Vote On 2022’s Meritorious Achievement In The Crazy

The most competitive category yet.
Golden Dukes 2022. TPM illustration.
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Prepare yourselves. It’s going to be hard to choose.

As I mentioned the other day, things are busy over here at TPM this week. If you don’t know why, this should explain it.

But also you can read more here.

Anyways, it’s still Golden Dukes season and we are relentless in our devotion to celebrating our favorite filth. So far you’ve voted on the the best scandals of the year, on a local and national scale. Now it’s time to move onto one of the most competitive categories of the 2022 Golden Dukes: Meritorious Achievement In The Crazy.

It was hard to boil down the list of nominees to just four, but I think these are some of our best nominations yet. If you need some convincing, I’ve included some TPM staff and reader nomination pitches below. Vote here ⬇️⬇️⬇️ and happy Duke-ing!

Peter Thiel Cyborg Blake Masters

I know it’s hard to believe, but Peter Thiel cyborg Blake Masters was actually the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Arizona in 2022. Crazy, I know! Masters tried so hard to do and say anything that would further burnish his MAGA cred, but the coup de grâce was his open embrace of the bogus conspiracy smear that Jan. 6 was a false-flag FBI operation. 

“Don’t we suspect that like one-third of the people outside of the Capitol complex on January 6 were actual FBI agents hanging out?” Masters wondered aloud at a public event. “What did people know and when did they know it? We got to get to the bottom of this.”

— Nominated by: David Kurtz, TPM’s executive editor

Werewolf Wannabe Herschel Walker

I think the video pretty much speaks for itself but basically in a November campaign speech Herschel Walker went on a bizarre rant about a movie he recently watched. “Fright Night, Freak Night, or some type of night,” he said, trying to remember the name of the movie. “I don’t know if you know, but vampires are some cool people, are they not? But let me tell you something that I found out: a werewolf can kill a vampire. Did you know that? I never knew that … So, I don’t want to be a vampire any more. I want to be a werewolf.”

– Nominated by: TPM reporter Emine Yücel

Madison Cawthorn And His Graceful Exit

A lot of people talk about making a graceful exit. But there’s nobody who failed at that quite so gloriously and spectacularly as Madison Cawthorn, the freshman North Carolina member of Congress. Cawthorn managed to enact seven out of seven deadly sins during his departure from the national political scene, becoming embroiled in a MAGA-themed cryptocurrency scam, various sex scandals, and drunk driving and weapons-at-airports allegations. It’s a feast for the connoisseur, a level of corruption and absurdity distinguished not only in its breadth, but in its depth.

But the real crowning moment for Cawthorn, what could earn him the Golden Duke, can only be his professed revulsion at having supposedly been invited to cocaine-fueled, casual D.C. sex soirées by his idols in the conservative movement. “I’ve always paid attention to politics,” Cawthorn said. “Then all of a sudden you get invited — ‘We’re going to have a sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come.’ … What did you just ask me to come to? And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy.” 

– Nominated by: TPM investigative reporter Josh Kovensky

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin, for his crazy belief that Ukrainians were just rustic Russians with funny accents who would welcome his undermanned, underequipped, and undertrained army with open arms. It turned out that he really did believe all that delusional garbage he’s been spewing for the last couple decades. Good luck with all that, Vlad.

— Nominated by: TPM reader

Latest Editors' Blog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: