As this vexed year draws to a close, we would like to offer profound thanks to our readers for subscribing to The National Memo — and to revisit a few favorite examples of our unique reporting and commentary in 2015.
We believe it is worth recalling stories that remain highly relevant as the election year approaches because, for instance, there are at least 5 Horrible Ideas The Republicans Will Never Let Die. And as Barack Obama’s historic presidency enters its final months, we should also remember the 5 Obama Accomplishments & Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened.
As reproductive rights literally came under fire this year, we highlighted 5 Things ‘Pro-Lifers’ Would Support If They Were ‘Pro-Mom’ and noted that If Abortion Foes Were Really Pro-Life, They’d Go After Fertility Clinics Too. We focused on society’s marginalized in When Police Brutality Goes Viral and The Lives Of American Others, scrutinized attempts to overturn the rule of law in the name of faith with The Anarchy of Religious Liberty, and addressed many insidious right-wing myths in posts like The Reality Of Refugee Admissions: Yes, The Government Vets Them.
In a year that saw tens of thousands of deaths by gun violance and still more needless massacres, we questioned the National Rifle Association’s declared commitment to gun safety, showing in Concealed-Carry Crazy: What Gun Lobbyists Mean When They Tout ‘Gun Safety’ that the NRA could scarcely care about anything less. Although the Charleston shooting failed to prompt needed changes in the nation’s gun laws, that tragedy stimulated a long-overdue conversation about public displays of the Confederacy’s symbols, which we joined in Never Patriotic: The Real Meaning Of The Confederate Flag.
The year began — rather improbably — with a national debate about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, noted in Rise Of The Know-Betters: Just The Facts About Anti-Vaxx. And we took readers back to the harrowing time, not so long ago, When There Was No Vaccine.
Annoyingly, it is impossible to discuss 2015 without acknowledging the political ascendance of Donald Trump, a phenomenon less surprising than it seems when we consider the 5 Reasons Donald Trump Is The Republican Party. Not surprising at all, perhaps, since Pop Culture Warned Us About Donald Trump — Part 1: The Penguin; Part 2: ‘MAD Magazine’; Part 3: Lex Luthor; Part 4: ‘The Dead Zone’.
Trump’s few actual policy ideas are ludicrous — as exemplified in An Engineer Explains Why Trump’s Wall Is So Implausible. But the GOP frontrunner is no joke, so we posed 21 Questions For Donald Trump that we doubt he will ever answer. And the media is unlikely to remedy that problem, as we discussed in 5 Ways The GOP Plays The Media And Wins and The Media Needs To Stop Playing Nice With Donald Trump.
On the other side of the partisan aisle, presidential candidates coped with a far more hostile and uncomprehending press corps, as we noted in Hillary Clinton And The Burden Of Authenticity, What Socialism Means To Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton — And You, not to mention the bizarre drama of the Democratic front-runner, the newspaper of record, and, the House Select Committee on Benghazi that kicked off with Straining To Attack Clinton, ‘New York Times’ and Trey Gowdy Deliver Libya Squib and concluded with a famous 11-hour ordeal of testimony on Capitol Hill.
We trust that you will continue to allow us to entertain and, we hope, enlighten in 2016 — and meanwhile, Happy New Year!
Photo: The New Year’s Eve “16” numerals that are part of the Times Square ball drop. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton