TheDC Analysis: 2010’s People of the Year – Greene, Palin, Sanchez and more

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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Time magazine, a card-carrying member of the lamestream media, named Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday as its 2010 Person of the Year.

The choice, while defensible (even if it was two years late), was also boring. Since, frankly, it is hard to choose just one person of the year, here is my — emphasis on my —  much more interesting list of 2010’s People of the Year:

ALVIN GREENE: For showing anyone can run for Congress

Everybody loves a “Rudy” story.

But imagine for a moment, if instead of just being undersized and under-talented, Rudy was also legless – and still made Notre Dame’s football team.

Well, meet the legless “Rudy” of American politics, Alvin Greene. The obstacles confronting Greene were great: his intellect was not exactly Einstein-ian, he had no cash resources, he did no campaigning, and he was burdened with an obscenity felony charge hanging over his head for allegedly showing pornography to a college student. Yet, still he persisted, defeated his primary foes, and took the Democratic nomination for Senate in South Carolina.

Then he did something else even more impressive. He won our hearts.

Sure, Alvin Greene didn’t know many things. But he did know a few. He knew that Jim DeMint started the recession, that he is the “greatest person ever,” and, unlike most politicians, he had a real plan to reinvigorate the economy – to “make toys of me, especially for the holidays.”

Greene may have lost his quest to be a senator, but he isn’t going away anytime soon. He told The Daily Caller after his narrow election defeat (DeMint held on to only a 34% win in the end) that he is considering a run for the presidency, even possibly as a Republican.

For showing that this great country of ours is a place where anyone can run for federal office, cheers to you Alvin Greene.

HANK JOHNSON: For showing anyone can be in Congress

If Alvin Greene proved to the world that America is truly a place where anyone can run for federal office, Hank Johnson proves the country is also a place where anyone can be elected to federal office.

Elected in 2006, Johnson registered on the political radar for the first time in a major way in March when during a congressional hearing about a planned military buildup on the island of Guam, he expressed concern that such a buildup might cause the Pacific island to capsize.

“My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,” Johnson told Admiral Robert Willard, head of the Pacific fleet.

“We don’t anticipate that,” the Admiral replied, presumably stunned by the question.

You can watch the back and forth here:

If you are wondering whether such a transparent display of idiocy harmed Johnson in his re-election bid this year, you will be relieved to know that though Republicans were able to sweep many Democrats out of office in the November midterms, Johnson was not among them. He may not have the intellectual abilities of Gary Kasparov – or, for that matter, Gary Busey – but his constituents apparently love him just the way he is: he beat his Republican rival with nearly 75% of the vote.

For showing that this is a country where anyone cannot only run, but be elected to federal office, I raise a glass to you Hank Johnson.

RICK SANCHEZ: For speaking up to power – even if it made no sense

When 2010 began, Rick Sanchez had it all. He had his own cable news show on a network with even fewer viewers than MSNBC. In his on-air fiefdom, he had the freedom to regale his audience by getting tazed, by thoughtfully explaining how to use a teleprompter, and by discussing volcanic science with the confidence of a PhD geologist and the erudition of Ed Schultz.

But all that changed when Sanchez spoke up to the man.

“I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like [comedian Jon] Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah,” he told a radio host.

After the interview, Sanchez lost his perch at CNN. Sure, what Sanchez said displayed elements of classic anti-Semitic frothing and, sure, it had the unfortunate characteristic for him of also not being true (unless names like Kent, Heller, and Walton have been conspiratorially excised of their -steins on Turner Broadcasting’s website). But give credit to Sanchez for turning off the brain and just letting his freak flag fly for public consumption.

For what it is worth, I don’t think CNN fired Sanchez for some personal animus towards Jews – I am not sure he understood what he was saying. Which, in the end, was the problem and most likely the actual reason Sanchez was finally shown the door.

Though out of a job at CNN, Sanchez fortunately still has his recently published book to fall back on, “Conventional Idiocy,” which stands near the top of the Best Seller Rankings – that is, if you understand “stands near the top” to include a book ranked #150,915 in sales.

For showing how to run your mouth when there is nothing in the engine, cheers to you Rick Sanchez.

MEL GIBSON: For lacking shame

Having already taken on the Jews, Mel Gibson came for women and blacks in 2010 (gays better watch out in 2011).

In a phone conversation with his then-girlfriend and mother of his youngest child, Gibson allegedly told the beauty that if she was, say, “raped by a pack of ni*****,” “it will be your fault…because you provoked it.”

Gibson was also accused by his former paramour of punching her in the face. The audio release of Gibson’s alleged long-winded rant is among the creepiest ever recorded – if it is, in fact, an un-manipulated recording. It is worth a listen either way — at the very least because it may be the most entertaining thing Gibson has produced since he cinematically gave his life for Scottish freedom.

Not surprisingly, the scandal-plagued star was dropped by his agency after the audio of the alleged phone conversation was made public. Gibson, however, will be returning to a theater near you very soon in a movie that has a general premise which appears to be — and this is not a joke — a man down on his luck is saved by befriending a hand-puppet.

Watch it for yourself:

But for continuing to bounce back time after time despite numerous outrageous, condemnable, and career-ending incidents, and for willing to subject himself to what looks to be the most humiliating movie role in the history of film, I raise by Bar-Mitzvah Kiddush cup (briefly and reluctantly) to you Mel Gibson.

SARAH PALIN: For showing quitters can be winners

The GOP’s trouncing of the Democrats in the midterm elections is arguably the biggest domestic political story of the year and few deserve more credit for the GOP’s victory than former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

While Tea Partiers like to say they don’t have a leader, Palin is as close to being the face of the movement as any. Since John McCain plucked her out of obscurity to be his running mate in 2008, Palin has had a meteoric rise in power and influence. She merely has to put up a Facebook message or a Twitter post to cause Democrats to tremble.

And all this power has come in the aftermath of her quitting her job as governor of Alaska. Who says quitters can’t be winners?

God bless Sarah Palin for making money in her post-Alaska adventures. It is the American way. But what is most impressive is that despite giving up on her state and shirking her political responsibilities, she is considered by at least some grassroots conservatives to be a serious presidential contender!

Well done, governor. Well done indeed.

So cheers to you, Sarah Palin, for both personifying capitalism and, perhaps most impressively, showing Americans that while it might be true that cheaters never prosper, quitters most certainly can.