December 31, 2011

Idiot of the Year 2011

2011Whew! That year went by quickly, didn't it? With the annual war on Christmas behind us, it must be time to pick 2011's Idiot of the Year. Based on tradition, last year's winner (Sen. John McCain) is excluded from consideration. Fortunately, we have quite a distinguished pool even without him.

A Year in Review

2011 was another year crowded with idiots. There were many politicians, including governors, members of Congress, and corporate sponsored presidential candidates. They continue to be noteworthy because they often have the power to put some of their crazy into practice.

Many of the 2011 honorees had made the list in previous years. We were already familiar with them and not at all surprised by their return. But others emerged on the scene in 2011 and managed to garner far more recognition than anyone deserves, appearing multiple times in 2011 alone.

The media was not left out, as some "winners" managed to ruin perfectly good TV shows while others ruined perfectly horrible TV shows.

Not surprisingly, religious organizations were popular, including churches, self-proclaimed defenders of certain Christian denominations, and popular television evangelists. And for the first time ever, an atheist made the list.

2011's Idiot of the Year

When I look back over the year, one name keeps coming up. Not only was this individual "honored" more than anyone else (except Michelle Bachmann), but he was even responsible for one of the only events to be recognized in the series. That's right, 2011's Idiot of the Year is Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX).

Rick PerryPerry was first recognized in July when he announced plans to hold a blatantly sectarian prayerfest along with known Christian extremist hate groups. Given that Perry was (and still is) both a sitting governor and a presidential candidate, this announcement was widely condemned. But Perry was not deterred and actually went through with the event even though most of the governors he invited had far more sense than to attend. This prompted extra attention in the form of a special prayerfest edition of Idiot of the Week in August. And then Perry begin campaigning in earnest. In the same month as the disastrous prayerfest, he told a child at a campaign event that nobody has any idea how old the earth is and bragged that Texas teaches creationism in their public schools. Just when any reasonable person would conclude that it could not get any worse for Perry, he released the now infamous commercial in which he appeared wearing one of the costumes from Brokeback Mountain to claim that he'd "end Obama's war on religion."

If you have any doubt, you must have missed Perry's performance in the Republican debates. This put me over the edge because Perry actually made Michelle Bachmann seem more intelligent.