Alex Pareene Votes: The 2012 Golden Duke Awards

December 28, 2012 6:08 a.m.
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Alex Pareene writes about Politics at Salon

Best Scandal — General Interest

Jesse Jackson Jr (I can’t write in Mike Crapo?)

So the Jesse Jackson Jr scandal is, in real life terms, terribly sad, considering the guy seems to have had a complete meltdown. There’s no hilarious sexual element or even much in the way of satisfying comeuppance. But the bizarre way in which the entire thing was handled makes it especially memorable, and any scandal involving the famous son of a famous political figure always trumps a scandal by a guy whose parents weren’t famous. What’s also amazing is disappearing from the public eye for for mysterious reasons, for months, and then revealing that you’ve been getting treated for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic, while also facing an ethics committee probe and and FBI investigation — and then *winning reelection.* That’s impressive.

Best Scandal — Sex and Generalized Carnality

Scott DesJarlais

Again, winning reelection makes any scandal more impressive. Plus: There were like four mistresses, right? And the guy personally demanded like a dozen abortions, right? Scott DesJarlais had seven career-ending scandals all revealed at the same time and then his career just didn’t end. This guy.

Best Scandal — Local Venue

Amy Koch

Minnesota gets so few proper sex scandals, I have to give it to the former majority leader of the state Senate. Also, it had a happy ending, when Minnesota voters rejected the Koch-supported constitutional gay marriage ban.

Meritorious Achievement in The Crazy

Clint Eastwood

Jan Brewer is insane, yes, but the Clint Eastwood address to the RNC was one of the most genuinely, truly weird things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. What made it so amazing was that it happened in the midst of a political convention, which are always America’s least spontaneous pseudo-events. It was mesmerizing.

Biggest Campaign Freakout

You Didn’t Build That

Yeah, I’m not sure why anyone ever thought this was a good rallying cry. The fact that it was a blatantly dishonest misinterpretation was annoying, but I don’t think it was pointed out often enough that it was a line that only appealed to people who imagine themselves to be “job creators.” Why would anyone not convinced that their economic security was a reflection of the intrinsic worth care if Obama insulted people who own businesses? What percentage of Americans actually own businesses? Making “we built it!!!” the theme of the entire convention and a good portion of the campaign nicely encapsulates the myopia of the entire Romney campaign.

Most Hilariously Wrong Campaign Prediction

Dick Morris

I’d give it to Rubin, except she didn’t so much make “predictions” as live-blog her experience in the parallel universe where Romney’s disciplined and brilliant campaign “won” each and every day of the campaign. Dick Morris, though, should be sued into oblivion by the credulous old right-wingers he’s devoted the last decade to bilking, and the fact that any media organization pays him is a decent argument for press censorship.

Most Over-The-Top Campaign Ad

Priorities USA

I dunno, effectively calling a guy a murderer is pretty unbeatable.

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