In a year’s end special, Roll Call’s HOH brings us “Parallel Universe,” in which Emily Heil and Elizabeth Brotherton bring us “Washington’s versions of 2009’s buzziest storylines.”
In it, they take shots at former former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s tome Going Rogue and more than one slam at Sen. John Ensign’s (R-Nev.) disastrous year in fidelity matters. They also bring John and Kate Gosselin and MTV’s (if you haven’t watched this train wreck of a show you must) “Jersey Shore” into this joy read.
See full HOH’s “Parallel Universe” after the jump…
Parallel Universe. Ever since the cupcakeries arrived and a president who listens to Jay-Z moved into the White House, pundits have been eager to crown Washington as hip and happening, the center of the pop-culture universe.
But we know better. One needs only to look back at 2009, when the kookiest of Congressional stories were … well, just pale echoes of those from the real hotbeds of hip, from Wasilla, Alaska, to the Jersey Shore.
HOH couldn’t help but see parallels between the biggest national trends and those in our fair city. With best wishes for a fun and gossip-filled holiday, HOH leaves you for the year with this guide to the Washington versions of 2009’s buzziest storylines.
Â• Vampires = the Public Option.
The randy teenage vampires that populated the year’s pop-culture products are life-draining media darlings, much like the most divisive and discussed policy issue of 2009. The public insurance option, too, seemed to thrive at night (another midnight session, anyone?) and find favor with romantics. And like the fanged phenoms, we’re never quite sure whether the public option is alive or dead.
Â• Balloon Boy = “Going Rogue.”
Like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) much-anticipated book, “Going Rogue,” the tale of balloon boy riveted the nation and ate up plenty of cable TV time. But we watched to find out the fate of the kid thought to be trapped in a science experiment gone awry (and we dutifully read the Palin tome), and reached the same conclusion: There wasn’t much inside.
Â• Tareq and Michaele Salahi = Rep. John Hall.
The White House’s most infamous non-invitees edged out the New York Democrat as 2009’s gutsiest party-crashers. HOH brought you the story of how Hall brazenly wandered into a reception for a Republican Senator and proceeded to eat the snacks and thank people (including the GOP honoree) for coming. Both get bonus points for style – the Salahis brought TV cameras and Michaele wore a bright red sari; Hall brought two crotch-sniffing dogs.
Â• John and Kate = Democrats.
Remember back in 2008, when now-messily divorced reality-TV stars John and Kate Gosselin were a happy family? Sure, things might sometimes have been tense in their unruly brood, but they stuck together. Ditto for the Dems, who’ve seen their 2008 unity dissolve into snipey backbiting. If they canÂ’t reconcile, they could find themselves in the same boat as the Gosselins – with their show getting canceled.
Â• “Jersey Shore” = C Street.
On the MTV reality show, cast members claim to have class but really make fools of themselves. Members who occupy the famous row house say they are committed to pious ideals but really, um, just make fools of themselves. (Cough, John Ensign, cough). A key difference: “Jersey Shore” is filmed, but C Street is very secretive.
Â• Kanye West = Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).
In the slightly paraphrased words of the hip-hop artist: “HOH, IÂ’m-a let you finish this item but I just want you to know that Wilson yelling ‘You lie!’ during President Barack Obama’s address to Congress is one of the best public outbursts of 2009.”
Â• Paula Abdul = Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.).
This year, the always-wacky singer finally flew the coop and left the “American Idol” judges’ table. Lieberman, too, wandered further than usual off the reservation this year by threatening to leave the health care reform effort. Does that make Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Simon Cowell?
Â• Tiger Woods = Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.).
High-profile players with bright futures. Inappropriate mistresses. Endorsements in jeopardy. Need we say more?