New Year's Eve open thread; remembering the year and the decade

Happy new year, Bleeding Heartland readers!

Ten years ago today I was making pancakes when the future Mr. desmoinesdem told me Boris Yeltsin had resigned. I was living overseas and didn’t know I’d be moving back to Iowa someday. I wasn’t reading any blogs and didn’t imagine I’d ever be writing one for a hobby. I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding or babywearing or cloth diapers.

So much has changed for me during the past decade, but one thing remains the same: I stay home on New Year’s Eve to avoid drunk drivers.

There are many “best of” and “most important” lists floating around the blogosphere this week. Here are a few good posts and threads:

Talking Points Memo announced the Golden Duke Award winners for this year.

Annie Lowrey compiled the top takedowns of 2009.

Chris Bowers says the best development of the decade was the expansion of the internet, and the Obama administration’s protection of net neutrality was the “top political moment of the first year.”

Asinus Asinum Fricat lists the best and worst foods and food trends of the decade.

Mother Talkers users sum up the decade in six words.

Links to all of the year’s “I Got The News Today” diaries at Daily Kos, “tributes to American service members who died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” can be found here and here.

Jerome Armstrong and MyDD users suggested the most important elections and Congressional votes of the decade. My list of the most important Congressional votes: Bush 2001 tax cuts, PATRIOT Act, Iraq War authorization, Medicare Part D, Bush energy bill, Obama stimulus package.

I agree with most of Chris Cillizza’s list of the top 10 U.S. Senate races of the decade.

What were the top Iowa elections of the decade? The Gore, Bush and Obama victories in the presidential races are obvious choices. I would also add Tom Vilsack’s and Tom Harkin’s wins by relatively large margins in 2002, a bad year for Democrats across the country. That was when Iowa Republicans should have realized they had serious problems, but it didn’t really hit them until they lost control of the state legislature in 2006.

What would you say were the most notable statehouse races from the decade? There were so many great races in 2006 and 2008, including Eric Palmer defeating Danny Carroll twice in House district 75. Dave Hartsuch’s 2006 primary victory over Maggie Tinsman in Senate district 41 was another sign that there was no room for social moderates in the Iowa GOP. I’m still disappointed that we couldn’t elect Jerry Sullivan in House district 59 last November.

Aside from elections, the most significant political event in this state during the past decade has to be the Iowa Supreme Court’s Varnum v Brien ruling. Few people would have predicted that Iowa would be among the first states to have marriage equality.

Please post your own memories of the best or the worst from the year and the decade that passed.

  • U.S. Senate Races

    I have to say that my personal favorite from that Top 10 List is Jim Webb versus George Allen.  I’m a big fan of Webb’s pragmatic views on foreign policy and in general.  I also fear that if Webb hadn’t defeated Allen I think we could be looking at President George Allen and that guy makes George W. Bush look like one of the great intellectual policy creators of our time.

    I’m still mad that CC continues to promulgate the lie that Max Cleland was against the creation of the DHS.  Cleland voted for the bill that allowed DHS workers to unionize.  He opposed the Bush version that did not allow for unionization. That race in Georgia will always make my blood boil until they lower me into the ground.  

    • that 2002 election broke my heart

      Cleland losing and Coleman winning after Wellstone’s plane crash were just horrendous. Losing the Senate was crushing too, and the rush to war in Iraq was depressing. It was nice to see Harkin and Vilsack win, and I was surprised by the margins for both, but I was just too down about everything in national politics.  

  • Conversation with a Jim Gibbons supporter

    I was talking to this guy from West Des Moines today and he said to me he couldn’t support someone like Boswell anymore because he had never held a private sector job.  I protested that Leonard has been a farmer his whole life and he said that farmers who take government subsidies are not a part of the private sector.  He could not prove Leonard had taken any, although I am sure he had.

    It was a conversation on Leonard’s Facebook page, I would provide the link, but I don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy.  Farmers who take subsidies have never worked in the private sector, who knew?  

    • by that logic

      Chuck Grassley has never held a private sector job. He’s been an elected official for 50 years and definitely gets subsidies for his farming operation.

      I would guess the person you talked to wasn’t a Boswell supporter in the past either.

      • He said he had voted for him in the past

        He seemed particularly upset over Boswell’s recent voting record.  I think this is the first time he has really paid attention to politics.  

  • Veteran

    Probably the real reason is the fact that Boswell honorably served in country in Vietnam.  For some reason repugs seem to hate Democrats that have served in the armed forces.

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