It seems like a lot less than a year ago that I was writing my last annual year-end post, but...whatever. 2012 was a strange year. There was a lot of reason for despair -- too much violence at home and overseas, too little action about the fate of the American middle class, and not much hope that the answers would come from a hopelessly gridlocked Washington (let alone an utterly clueless Harrisburg). But the year also ended with some tiny green shoots of hope here and there -- the emerging realization that a younger, more diverse and more progressive electorate is taking control, which could possibly -- possibly -- break the logjam on issues from gun control to immigration to climate change.
Here's five blog posts from Attytood that tell one side of the story of 2012.
The unbearable wrongness of Tom Corbett. Corbett's Pennsylvania is a place where there's a fracking rig outside the dorm room that you couldn't have afforded even if your public high school hadn't run out of money two years ago. On July 26, I wrote that in a just and perfect world, we would see the impeachment of Tom Corbett:
This piece from 51 weeks ago (Jan. 4) feels like ancient history, but my response to Santorum winning (as we later learned) the Iowa caucus is worth noting if foi no other reason than this: It became the most-read post in Attytood history. Here's a sample:
Attytood has never endorsed a political candidate, and 2012 was no time to start. A "President Mitt Romney" would have caused a second recession with his corporatist, anti-47-Percent policies and set the clock back to the 1950s, at best, on social issues. But President Obama -- despite talking the talk on a number of key issues -- remained a source of endless frustration, especially as he continued and in some cases worsened the security-state abuses of the Bush years. Nothing was more vexingthan his morally indefensible and geopolitically counterproductive drone killings, as I wrote on May 29:
It's funny -- I thought a lot about the state of journalism and newspapers in 2012 -- I just didn't write as much on the subject as in the mid-2000s, in the early days of Attytood. It's not easy to articulate why. I guess I've been through all the stages of grief over the death of the American newspaper. The earlier stages like "anger" and "bargaining" are conducive to good blogging. "Acceptance" -- not so much. The one exception came on June 18, when the 40th anniversary of Watergate and the one-time reemergence of Woodward and Bernstein led me to reflect on what it all meant:
In the end, 2012 may be remembered for the 50 weeks that came before Newtown and the two weeks that came after. In Week 48, something happened that epitomized the way we were before the Sandy Hook shooting: Bob Costas spoke up on national TV about American gun culture and the murder-suicide of an NFL player and his girlfriend -- and he was crucified for it. I blogged about it on Dec. 3:
Hopefully, it's not too late for America to turn around gun violence -- or a bunch of other stuff -- in 2013. It's going to be a fascinating year, and one that I'm looking to with a higher than usual level of anticipation, and also of dread. Hopefully I'll be here 12 months from today giving you the Five for Fighting of 2013. But I've lived long enough to know there are no guarantees. I will definitely see you on Wednesday, however, to start the New Year. Have a great holiday.