4. Martha Raddatz won all the debates.
Yes, even after we got through the primaries, there were still more debates! A few between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and then one with Joe Biden and
The first debate was moderated by a Raggedy Andy doll and President Obama spent most of the time in Jedi Meditation. All the news pundits claimed that Romney won because even though he told so many baldfaced lies that Baron Munchausen clawed his way out of the grave just to look shocked at him, Romney looked totes forcefull while lying! And apparently just making shit up equals a policy debate win now. Nerds everywhere spent the next two days whacking themselves in the head with breadboards.
Then came the vice presidential debate, in which Paul Ryan learned – all too late – that sometimes in a debate you have to know things and think on your feet and answer the question that the mean lady asked. Joe Biden spent most of the time giving Ryan noogies and grabbing Ryan’s arm and doing that “Stop hitting yourself!” thing.
Martha Raddatz shocked everyone by committing thoughtful, prepared, bad-ass journalism, which many Republican politicians said was totally unfair, while nerds everywhere doodled her name on the covers of our history books and then mailed her early drafts of our New Year’s resolutions so she would hold us accountable.
And then Joe Biden gave us the most magical gift of all: One million delightful gifs.
During the second presidential debate, Candy Crowley corrected Mitt Romney on one of his 8,000 lies, narrowly keeping Jiminy Cricket from committing seppuku right on stage.
Of course, Crowley stating a checkable objective fact during a debate meant that pundits said she was biased and aggressive and inappropriate. Rock on, Candy Crowley: Reality fans found it a breath of fresh air.
It was during this debate that we learned that during his wild and crazy Massachusetts days, Mitt Romney collected binders full of women.
In the final presidential debate, Mitt Romney disastrously misinterpreted the advice “everyone likes a nice sweater.”
It was the foreign policy debate, so the candidates were confined to three topics:
5. The nation embraced Hillary Clinton as our favorite bad-ass.
We always knew she was full of fire, moxie and dragon blood, but this is the year the rest of the country caught up with us. God, she was cool. She was smart, tough, and in charge. And somehow through it all she also let it slip that she was fun.
Retire for a little bit if you must, but please don’t go too far, Hillary. We already miss you so much that our faces start to melt whenever we even think about it. Fortunately, you taught us to wear sunglasses like a boss. A world boss.
6. Barack Obama and Joe Biden supported same-sex marriage right out loud.
…After Joe Biden pushed a little bit. Thanks, Mr. Vice President. We know you never touch alcohol, but I’m pretty sure you’re getting your club sodas paid for any time you want it.
The President followed suit shortly after, making him the first United States president to ever do so.
We were a little bit excited.
7. OMG, did you see that election?!?!
So after 115 months of wretched, corrupt, irrelevant sound-biting build-up that was so horrible it made everyone in the United States and way too many people in other countries stop making their savory fall stews and try to stuff turnips directly into their ears just so they could stop hearing it for a few minutes, we finally went ahead and had an election, and land o’ Goshen, was it ever fun!
And I am not even talking about the part where Karl Rove thought he had Ohio in the bag and Ohio was all “Nuh-uh, Dude, there’s a hole in this bag,” and then Fox called Ohio for Obama and Karl Rove’s head started popping out sparks, spiders, and gold coins and he just kept talking and pointing at tinier and tinier sections of the Ohio map until he was pointing at individual houses and then at Republican-leaning dollhouses inside those houses and the Fox anchors figured he must know something because when has Karl ever been wrong, right? So Fox News, which claims to be a legitimate, objective news organization, un-called Ohio because a Republican political operative told them to.
And then a few minutes later they realized they had to re-call Ohio for Obama and Karl Rove turned bright puce and spent the next 20 minutes screaming “Do overs!” “Take back, Jack!” and “OK, for real this time! Election starts… Now! Ohio is mine! Ohio is mine! I paid for it fair and square! Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine!” over and over until everyone just quietly tiptoed away and they left one light bulb on over his head and a dead camera pointed at him and hoped he would tire himself out.
OK, yes, I take it back: That was really, really fun.
But even more fun was the actual results part. Wonderful, practical, earnest ultranerd Elizabeth Warren won a Senate seat! Tammy Baldwin became our first out lesbian senator! Kyrsten Sinema became our first out bisexual congresswoman! (And she’s an atheist! According to Pat Robertson, she can personally cause hurricanes!) Tulsi Gabbard became our first Hindu Congressional Representative! Mazie Hirono became the first female Asian-American Senator!
Team Rape took enjoyably humiliating defeat after enjoyably humiliating defeat right to the teeth!
And overall we elected a record number of women to Congress: The 113th Congress will have 20, count ‘em 20, women in the Senate and 81 women in the House of Representatives!
We were lucky enough to have a levelheaded guide — who just happened to be an out lesbian — to guide us through the election craziness and help make sense of it all. Rachel Maddow was the voice of reason in the face of political lies and bluster, your funny best friend who knew just what to say on a rough political day, a firm hand on the tiller who totally took charge of MSNBC’s debate and election coverage, and always, always, the smartest person in the room.
And man, could she sum up an election result.
Are we done yet? No!
After 32 straight defeats at the ballot box, marriage equality finally, finally won big in an election. The good people of Minnesota refused to ban it, and Maine, Maryland, and Washington decided that, yeah, being in love was a pretty good reason to get married after all.
Here’s hoping for less of the awful politics in 2013 and a whole lot more of the brave, the funny, and the mushy.
And here’s wishing you a happy 2013 as well.
Now somebody please go turn off Karl.
2012: The Year in Lesbian/Bi Politics