I have been making "The Ides of March Award" for almost ten years now. In this incarnation March 15th is the political holiday. It commemorates the day, 2,055 years ago, when Roman Senator Gaius Cassius Longinus brilliantly settled a political standoff by imposing term limits upon Julius Caesar, presenting him with the "Laurel and Dagger" award and the "Knife-in-the-Back" plaque.
What started out as a local Los Angeles contest, was converted to a national award when I moved to Indiana. There are only two rules governing nominations- all nominees must have stood for election. Political journalists and writer want-a-be's do not count. Secondly, the politician must have made a major jerk of themselves in the past year. A life time of being a stinker is impressive but not enough. The award is for a singular achievement this year.
WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
The winner for 2010 was Republican Senator Jim Bunning.
The winner for 2009 was Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagonevich.
The winner in 2008 was New York Democratic Governor Elliot Spitzer.
The contest has been growing in popularity, and beginning last year I opened the nominating process to you, the readers. And now I need your help again. With a month to go, its time for you to name your preferences. I will offer you a few guidelines to help you weed out the flash in the pan jackasses and incompetents from the truly deserving egotistical political hacks. You do not have to follow these guidelines, but applying them to possible choices may sharpen your nominations. Remember, Caesar is the mold. He was warned what was coming, and he walked into it anyway.
GUIDELINE NUMBER ONE: ARROGANCE.The contender must display an inability to realize their own limitations. Most politicians who achieve national fame are arrogant. It allows them to sell themselves repeatedly to large groups of people without laughing. But we are looking for the handful who, over the past year, have displayed a self-destructive blindness. This may be insolence in a singular category or an expansive sweep of foolishness But arrogance is an essential component for any nominee.
GUIDELINE NUMBER TWO: GREEDThe contender must be driven to over fill their plate, with power, with money, food, booze, sex, or sanctity. If they had just stopped earlier, they would have been a successful politician. But being caught while reaching too far, is a to be expected of all nominees.
GUIDELINE NUMBER THREE: SELFISHNESSDoes this political gasbag deserve to be deflated? Has he or she left a trail of damaged careers and smashed hopes and dreams in their wake? Has he or she built their success upon the efforts of others? Then they deserve to win the Ideas of March Award.
So let me know what your choices are. Let me know which politician you believe has in the past year achieved their "Level of Incompetence" and blazed beyond into the stratosphere of political insanity. The Award will be announced Sunday, March 13th, 2011. The final choice is mine, but the nominations are yours.
Please, have at it! Name names.
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