Economic Crisis and Fiscal Incompetence
While it is obvious that the decline in the economy and the rise of unemployment above 10% make one of the most important stories of the year, the government response to this crisis is really an even bigger story. The decision to address the crisis with uncontrolled and poorly directed spending, causing further economic decline and an exploding debt which may be impossible to resolve without defaulting on debt obligations, will have consequences which last for decades. Gross fiscal irresponsibility including bailouts for favored industries, handouts to political allies and the largest budget increase in history while continuing to escalate the war in Afghanistan showed such economic ignorance, greed and irresponsibility that it actually woke the sleeping voters and may lead to one of the greatest political upheavals of our times in 2010. More coverage.
The Rise of the Liberty Movement
The economic crisis spurred the emergence of a powerful non-partisan movement for smaller government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty. The people rose up in the millions and shouted "stop" at a government they view as out of control. This was manifested in the Tea Party protests and a rise in activism from independent voters as well as a pronounced political shift to the right on economic issues in the Republican Party. As the people expressed their displeasure in the streets and in the polls and in raising spokesmen like Glenn Beck to national prominence, Republican legislators actually heard the message and stood firm in opposition to every major spending measure in the Congress in a remarkable show of political resolve. More coverage.
When Russian hackers released a decade worth of emails between top climate scientists it stopped the efforts of global socialists to implement draconian environmental regulation dead in its tracks. The evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate, misrepresent and conceal scientific data was impossible to write off and it eviscerated the Copenhagen Climate Conference and left Al Gore hanging in the wind. More coverage.
The Health Care Debacle
The health care debate exposed the dark and rotten underbelly of partisan politics to the public in a way which hadn't been seen since the days of Richard Nixon. An awakened electorate got to watch Democrat leaders engaging in every kind of bullying and bribery to pass legislation to which their constituents were overwhelmingly opposed both on the right and left. The issue served as a vehicle for exposing partisan corruption of the media and the disdain of legislators for any interests but those of the political class. As voters watched in horror their eyes were opened to the blatant corporate takeover of the establishment left and the gross corruption of the political process. More coverage.