When Rep. Mike Honda eked out a win over his Democratic rival, Ro Khanna, last month, he gave a rather pugnacious victory speech (or rather, his first campaign speech of 2016) that raised and perhaps singed a few eyebrows.
But Honda’s speech barely compared to the embarrassment of riches that 2014 offered in political speech. Let’s take a moment to laud some of the finer moments in public oratory from the year that was.
“So it is amazing that in the name of liberality, in the name of being tolerant, this fascist intolerance has arisen. People that stand up and say, you know, I agree with the majority of Americans, I agree with Moses and Jesus that marriage was a man and a woman, now all of a sudden, people like me are considered haters, hate mongers, evil, which really is exactly what we’ve seen throughout our history as going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe. What did they do? First, they would call people ‘haters’ and ‘evil’ and build up disdain for those people who held those opinions or religious views or religious heritage. And then the next came, well, those people are so evil and hateful, let’s bring every book that they’ve written or has to do with them and let’s start burning the books, because we can’t tolerate their intolerance.”
The Let-Bygones-Be-Bygones Award goes to Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich.:
“I want to say to lobbyist Pete Hoekstra, you are a disgrace. And I’m glad we could hand you one more loss before you fade into total obscurity and irrelevance.
“To Brian Ellis, you owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable smear campaign. You had the audacity to try and call me today after running a campaign that was called the nastiest in the country. I ran for office to stop people like you — to stop people who are more interested in themselves than doing what’s best for their district.”
The Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do award goes to Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. (who is now resigning after pleading guilty to felony tax fraud):
“The bottom line: You had my back when I needed you most, and I’ll never forget it. As the only Republican federally elected in New York City, I know I have a profound responsibility.”
The Let’s-Get-Ready-To-Rumble Award goes to California Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Champ (a registered sex offender previously convicted of manslaughter, and now facing attempted murder charges after allegedly shooting his neighbor in August):
“I will fight to bring back the highest form of proven education, from God Almighty. Read his Bible. Just do it.”
The Everything’s-Better-In-Idaho Award goes to… Idaho, for having such a fantastic gubernatorial debate:
“I’m about as politically correct as the proverbial turd in a punchbowl, and I’m proud of it, and I’m going for it…”