Marta H. Mossburg
If 2013 were a beauty pageant, it would be the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. If it were a movie, it would be “Titanic.” If it were a song, it would be “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus.
Obamacare is its defining story and should be. Learning that the foundational promises of Obamacare — if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor and if you can’t afford care, you will be able to — were colossal lies from the beginning and would have been enough to ruin 2013 for people either stuck with significantly higher health insurance bills or faced with losing life saving care no longer covered under the new legally compliant plans.
But it is as if it were one long stream of bizarre, sometimes life threatening, other times life-diminishing spectacle, like a play co-written and performed by al-Qaida and Lady Gaga.
It is the year Americans found out that some of us were more deserving of Internal Revenue Service scrutiny than others and the year that Edward Snowden revealed every American’s rights are equally violated by the National Security Agency.
It is the year that the “most transparent administration in history” spied on reporters and told Americans repeatedly that the mass murder of 13 people at Fort Hood by Major Nidal Hasan was “workplace violence” and not terrorism.
It is the year “Weiner” made more national headlines than if a bevy of five-year-old boys were editing the nation’s newspapers and the year a (now former) talk show host suggested someone should defecate in the mouth of a prominent national female political figure with whom he disagreed.
It is the year that Miley Cyrus made “twerking” a household word and the year Texas state senator Wendy Davis received more attention for the color of her pink shoes than the content of her character.
It was a year when a young man a classmate described as “a normal pothead” helped to kill three people and injure more than 200 by planting bombs at the Boston Marathon.
It is the year the nation moved from debating gay marriage to polyamory.
It is the year the Justice Department, led by a black man, sued Louisiana to force poor black children to stay in failing public schools.
It is the year a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize snapped a selfie of himself with a blonde bombshell world leader at the funeral of the Nobel Peace Prize winner whose life he eulogized.
It is the year “red lines” became no lines.
It is the year that we learned the number of children taking antipsychotic drugs has nearly tripled over the past decade.
It is the year a man in Maryland who merely questioned the supremacy of Common Core education standards being forced on U.S. public schools was arrested. Also in education, it is the year that it was revealed that Maryland, the state with the top ranked public schools in the country, has been cooking its books to achieve high scores on a national test.
It is the year boys across the country were suspended, reprimanded, and sometimes had their records permanently marked as dangerous for bringing toy guns to school, shaping their hands into the likeness of a gun and in one case, biting a food item into the shape of a gun.
It is the year that Beyonce lip-synched the national anthem at the Presidential inauguration and when performance drug-taking cyclist Lance Armstrong came kind of clean on Oprah. It is the year former Vice President and climate change warrior Al Gore sold Current TV to Big Oil, aka, Al Jazeera, netting $70 million, and the year that research revealed the world is not getting any warmer.
Oh, it is also the year Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame was suspended from the show for talking about what is in the Bible while progressive critics got him suspended for pretending the Bible says something more palatable to their cause.
Ah 2013, R.I.P.
Marta H. Mossburg writes about national affairs, culture and Maryland, where she lives. Follow her on Twitter at @mmossburg.