My personal memories of 2010 will be less than stellar; outside of the growth of this blog there is a paucity of professional accomplishments to celebrate. Politically, 2010 will stand as one of the most confusing years in the history of our nation. The hallmark of this year is the level to which political message has risen above real political action and governance. This is the year where the transformation of political parties has come to fruition. Once instruments that supported and nurtured a set of principles, Democrats and Republicans have outgrown their simple and honest purpose. Principles are now defined and crafted to suit the ambitions of the parties.
Republicans have long been proficient at political branding; indeed, the conservative success of the last thirty years is linked directly to their ability to push Democrats away from their own name. But 2010 stands as a shining example of that talent in action. In 2008, Americans had reason to firmly reject the notions of supply side economics and interventionist foreign policies that conservatism had wrought. The Republican Party was dead, the pundits declared, and it would be a long stay in the wilderness before they returned. President Obama’s pragmatism and ability to work across the aisle (demonstrated in the Senate), would preclude real controversies. Domination of the Senate and House by the Democrats would allow for the orderly procession of problem-solving legislation. 2010 culminates a very different 2 year period from the one predicted by the pundits.