2009 was the year American politics went crazy. From Glenn Beck to the preacher who prayed for Obama’s death, VIEW OUR GALLERY of the most polarizing, deranged—and dangerous—wingnuts. Avlon is the author of Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America.
History will show that 2009 was the year that hope turned to hate. In the three-ring circus of American politics—Democrats, Republicans, and independents—the freak sideshow has rarely flexed their muscle faster or dominated more of the debate.
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It was the year that conservatives started taking tactics from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, where Tea Party protests devolved to town-hall hijackings, where comparisons of the president to Hitler and a communist became almost commonplace.
And so at a time of the year when we collect top 10 lists, U.S. politics was far more deserving of a list of low-lights, a reminder of the long strange trip we’ve taken from the postpartisan promises of campaign ’08 to the sleazy hyper-partisanship and outbreak of Obama Derangement Syndrome afflicting us today.
Here’s hoping to a better—and saner—2010.
John P. Avlon writes a column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun. He the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, published by Beast Books, which can be ordered here.