The Top 5 Political Surprises Of 2023

The Top 5 Political Surprises Of 2023

The Top 5 Political Surprises Of 2023

This past year has been a wild one. “May you live in interesting times” was definitely a curse in 2023.

There was a lot that happened that could have been considered for a “top 5” list, but this particular list will focus on political events that we did not see coming. I’m going to leave the Hamas invasion and massacre on October 7th off this list, since that feels more like a top 5 event, but not necessarily a political one. In my mind, a “political surprise” involves an elected official doing something that no one expected. This top 5 list is presented in no particular order, except for number one. Ready?

5) The Saga of the Speaker of the House
No sooner do Republicans get the majority in the House of Representatives, than they make complete asses out of themselves. Last January, the party became an absolute joke as Kevin McCarthy ran short of the number of votes needed until the fifteenth round of votes, and after a whole lot of drama from the Freedom Caucus and certain concessions being wrung out by members like Matt Gaetz. For a time, the House seemed to function normally, with McCarthy presenting a perfectly acceptable alternative to Joe Biden (remember, the Speaker of the House is second in line for the presidency) and competently running his office. And then came the budget negotiations, Matt Gaetz using the nuclear option on McCarthy, and the clown show returned in spades. With McCarthy removed by a sketchy alliance of eight Republicans joining all the Democrats, the insanity began once again. The vote for Speaker of the House turned into a demented version of “The Price is Right,” with contestants coming on down, and then promptly taking themselves back out. Yes, we all like Mike Johnson – but was that drama really necessary, especially since no one can find a difference between the way McCarthy was running things and the way Johnson has run things? Matt Gaetz wanted Kevin McCarthy to either bend to his personal wishes or go, and he got his way. McCarthy, now leaving the House, will have his seat filled by special election, and whether a Republican will win is a whole different question. Kevin McCarthy was also a prolific fundraiser for Republicans, and Mike Johnson has never been tested as a fundraiser. The ripple effect for ousting McCarthy may continue on for a long time. But hey, Matt Gaetz got exposure, so he’s happy.

4) The Expelling of George Santos
Yet another story of craziness coming from the House of Representatives. I think most people can agree that George Santos was problematic at best, but he didn’t actually do anything as a member of Congress to warrant his expulsion. Everything that Santos was dealing with came directly from his campaign, and the ethics violations he was charged with. In the end, he was not going to win another term. But being expelled without a conviction? That should leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. And of course, Santos has stayed on the political scene, mostly because he keeps being asked for interviews on why he won’t leave.

3) Joe Biden’s “No Comment” on the Maui Wildfires
Captain Empathy struck again. The wildfires that decimated the town of Lahaina, and the devastation and death that came with it, have largely faded from the American consciousness in the wake of world events like war. But Maui will never be the same after the hellish destruction of the historic area. The death toll currently stands at 100, with only four people on the “official” missing list. However, because of the homeless population that lived in the area, there may never be an accurate total of the dead – after all, if no one is looking for you, are you really considered “missing”?

In the midst of all the tragedy and Democrat incompetence (remember, Hawaii is a deep blue state and Maui is run like a “good old boys club” where only the connected get elected), Joe Biden stepped into the story with two words that may end up defining his legacy as a cognitively impaired president who simply can’t think on his feet any longer, and must be handed cue cards in order to know what the hell he should be saying.

The epic amount of clean-up needed by the White House included sending Joe and Jill to Maui to play the “comforter-in-chief” role, but that didn’t go so well. This may have finally been the moment when Joe Biden’s mask of the “kindly old grandpa” slipped in a way that just could not be ignored by the American public at large. This was an unforced error that revealed quite a lot about Biden himself and the inner machinations of the White House, and it was ugly.

2) The East Palestine Train Derailment and Political Fallout
Talk about unforced errors. Who remembers the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that caused a LOT of toxic chemicals to be released into the ground, and then burn in the air? The Biden administration refused to do much about it for weeks, instead letting the bureaucrats of the EPA deal with the fallout. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, whose qualifications for his job included being a gay married man and getting engaged in a train station, proved to be unshockingly incompetent when it came to an actual transportation disaster. It took Donald Trump showing up in East Palestine, and quite literally “showing up” the entire Biden administration, for Pete Buttigieg to get off his ass and face the music from the people of Ohio – and even then, he didn’t want cameras around to document him catching hell from the people he was supposed to be serving.

Biden, of course, has never bothered to show up – and East Palestine has noticed.

Over ten months later, Biden still hasn’t visited.

But for many residents, Biden’s absence feels like disrespect. Despite years of promoting himself as “working class Joe,” Biden is widely viewed here as a Washington insider who is neglecting the catastrophe in their midst.

“I believe that it is political for him,” said Krissy Ferguson, who lives within a mile of where the train derailed, in a county former President Donald Trump won with more than 70% of votes in 2020.

“I believe that if we were in a blue area, he would have come, and that hurts,” she said.

Again, it didn’t have to be this way. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if Joe Biden had simply made a cameo appearance in East Palestine. His failure to do so will cost him.

And number one on this top 5 list is…
1) The Evolution of Senator John Fetterman
Our long-time readers will know that this blog is no fan of John Fetterman’s politics. We held our noses when it came to Dr. Oz, mostly because losing the Pennsylvania seat would make life a lot more difficult when it came to winning back the Senate. Fetterman’s health collapse, both during the campaign and once he was elected, is still a cause for concern, especially after it was obvious that he needed significant help and support, and it looked like he wasn’t getting that from his own wife.

And then the Hamas attack on Israel happened on October 7th, and John Fetterman became an absolute champion for Israel. Not just Israel’s right to defend itself against an existential terrorist threat like Hamas, but against anti-Semitism in general – and he wasn’t afraid to stick a thumb in the progressive left’s eye to do it.

Fetterman had posters of the hostages taped up outside his Senate office, as anti-Semites were busy ripping them down. He wore Israel’s flag as a cape to the “March for Israel” in November. He is simply standing with the only democracy in the Middle East, and he doesn’t care if leftists disagree with him.

“I mean, of course I expected that there will always be a diversity of opinions, and that as long as things go that the Democratic caucus might splinter more. … I would be the last man standing to be absolutely there on the Israeli side on this with no conditions.”

“I grieve, and it’s awful the incredible civilian deaths and the suffering. It’s awful. War is hell, as they say. But only one side has used civilians as human shields. Only one side has broken the cease-fires. Only one side will systematically rape, torture and mutilate Israeli women and girls in the most unspeakable, awful ways. … Without destroying Hamas, there will be no enduring peace and a stable, two-state solution.”

Now, let’s not kid ourselves. Fetterman is still a pro-choice Democrat. But he is standing with Israel, telling Senator Menendez to resign or be kicked out, speaking out against China owning American farmland, is pointing out that we have a massive illegal immigration problem, and telling the progressives that they have left him behind. “Surprise” may not be an adequate word for the political evolution of John Fetterman. Stunned? Shocked? Gobsmacked? Could we potentially get more Democrats like him in the future? Who knows. But all of this adds up to making John Fetterman the biggest political surprise of 2023.

Did I miss something in this Top 5 list? Was there a political surprise that belongs on this list that I forgot? Let me know in the comments, and let me know what YOUR Top 5 political surprises were in 2023.

Featured image via Proulain on Pixabay, cropped, Pixabay license

Written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Become a Victory Girl!

Are you interested in writing for Victory Girls? If you’d like to blog about politics and current events from a conservative POV, send us a writing sample here.
Ava Gardner