By Wisconsin Reporter
We all have a lot to be thankful for, of course. But here are five things we’re happy to say goodbye to in 2012:
5. Uncertainty — Whether you like the end result or not, the November elections and the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), cleared several things up. We will, for at least another two years, have a divided federal government. Wisconsinites affirmed that they like Gov. Scott Walker in the governor’s mansion and the GOP in charge of the Legislature, at least for now. And the Affordable Care Act will be implemented, despite the GOP’s hopes to the contrary. Walker has talked a lot about businesses needing political certainty. Job done.
4. Rising unemployment — The national unemployment rate for November was 7.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Granted, that’s hardly a cause for cheer. But it is the lowest joblessness rate since February 2009. And the national unemployment rate steadily dropped throughout the year, starting at 8.3 percent in January. Job growth has been slow, but steady, throughout the year. Here’s hoping that trend continues.
3. Political insanity — We’re hardly expecting 2013 to be a year of moonlight and roses. After all, the state and country remain deeply divided. But when little girls are being harassed at the state Capitol, or campaign volunteers say they’d been beaten up for their political views, but then recant … well, it might be time to cool things down a bit. The new year undoubtedly will bring its own tales of political craziness. But with two years of nearly endless electioneering finally over, maybe Wisconsin can get a little peace and quiet.
2. Endless, endless, endless campaign ads — It’s one thing to be a TV viewer in a swing state leading up to a presidential election. It’s a whole other thing to be a TV viewer in Wisconsin, where the glut of presidential-campaign ads were accompanied by those for the Tammy Baldwin-Tommy Thompson U.S. Senate race, the most negative race in the country according to a to a Kantar Media CMAG analysis and one of the most expensive, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And thanks to a contentious state Supreme Court race and the string of recall elections, Wisconsinites already were tired of elections long before the big election arrived. Enough.
1. The “r” words — How do we spell relief? By ridding our vocabulary of every other “r” word that has dominated the conversation over the past couple of years. Recession. Recounts. And, yes (sigh), recalls. The 2013 state Supreme Court race may yet be a doozy. And America may yet fall off the fiscal cliff. But it appears that Wisconsin finally has grown tired of recall elections, at least. And that alone is enough reason to be thrilled 2012 is over.