TPM’s The Duke Of Dukes: The Final Four

TPM Illustration/Getty Images

And so we come to our Final Four. And we’ve got a question for you, readers. Why is Dinesh D’Souza here? What is going on?

Epic troll though he may be, is he really more of a Duke than Anthony Weiner, the man whose horrible need for attention resulted in a Coen Brothers-like series of unfortunate events ultimately ending, as some have argued, as we argue, with Trump??

And did he deserve to defeat Rob Ford??? The man who arguably defines what a Golden Duke is all about even better than the original “Duke”???? (The Golden Ford just doesn’t have that same ring.)

We don’t really think either of those characters deserved to fall to D’Souza, but, apparently, readers, you do. So here he is, in the Final Four, up against the original: Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, for whom these awards are named. Let’s hope the Duke can put an end to the rogue Dinesh’s romp.

TPM Illustration/Getty Images

The Match-Ups!

 

(1) Duke Cunningham vs. (4) Dinesh D’Souza

Dinesh started off ranked fourth in his region, trailed only by the now-long-gone Michele Bachmann, RIP. But he fought his way here, felling Golden Duke favorites including Ford, Weiner, and Chris Christie. Now he faces Duke Cunningham himself, the Golden Dukes’ namesake and a former congressman with many glorious abuses of the public trust under his belt.

This match-up prompts an epistemological question: can you out-Duke the Duke? Even if the answer is theoretically yes, is D’Souza the man for the job? We’ve already expressed our thoughts on that situation. We’ll see who makes it to the finals. (And if you vote for Dinesh, please, email us. We don’t get it, but sincerely want to know your reasoning.)

(1) Rudy Giuliani vs. (4) Dick Cheney

When the idea for the Duke of Dukes leapt from the brain of our colleague Derick Dirmaier, we have to imagine that this is the kind of thing he had in mind. A real premium match-up between a Duke of old, Dick Cheney, and the weirdest man of 2020, Rudy Giuliani.

Weirdest of 2020 is quite an accomplishment — it’s been a weird year — but Cheney will always be near and dear to our hearts. Yes, both contenders in this match-up have an expansive view of executive power that will land them in the history books, but what they’re competing over here is a bit different. Rudy is nominated not for undermining democracy, but doing so from a series of forgotten exurban parking lots while dripping wet. Yet Cheney shot his friend in the face, and made said friend apologize. Can anyone top that? If anyone can, perhaps it’s The Damp Mayor. [Cue The Clash.]

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Golden Dukes 2020
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: