In the full-contact sport of politics, there are always winners and losers and 2022 was no exception. Among the winners this year are House Republicans, who won back the majority in the U.S. House and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who was re-elected with a stunning 59% of the vote in Florida. And then there are the unlucky ones on the other side of the ledger who drew the short straw this year. And to that end, here are the biggest political losers of 2022.
1. Russian President Vladimir Putin
When Russian President Vladimir Putin made the ill-fated decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022, he did so with the belief that it would be a quick and easy endeavor. But here we are nearly a year later, and Russian forces are bogged down with no end in sight. Putin will now be remembered by history as a murderous tyrant and brutal aggressor who invaded a sovereign country without provocation. And by doing so, Putin created an international hero for freedom in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. As we head into 2023 with 100,000 Russians dead in Ukraine, one thing is perfectly clear — when it comes to rogue regimes, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has company.
2. Dr. Anthony Fauci
As time marched on and the fog of COVID-19 began to clear in 2022, loser No. 2 came into focus with the words and deeds of mainstream media darling and Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci. Unfortunately for Fauci, the scrutiny will now only intensify — because the American people are still hungry for answers — as House Republicans move forward with their oversight responsibilities in the next Congress.
Fauci’s overall COVID-19 response — whether it’s mask efficacy, school closures, vaccine mandates, the Wuhan Lab, Big Tech censorship, or misleading congressional testimony — what started in 2021 and continued in 2022 is likely to snowball for Fauci in 2023 and beyond. For example, in a recent sworn deposition by Attorneys General Jeff Landry of Louisiana and Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Fauci answered “I don’t recall” a mind-blowing 174 times. The reason for the selective amnesia? The truth isn’t on Fauci’s side.
3. Big Tech Companies
Big Tech comes in at No. 3 by accomplishing something many thought was impossible, by drawing bipartisan condemnation from members of Congress in a bitterly divided Washington. But as they say, it was all downhill from there. First, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was exposed for putting his thumb on the scale in the 2020 presidential election by funding what amounted to a $400 million partisan get-out-the-vote effort for Joe Biden in the name of “safe” voting during COVID-19.
Then, billionaire Elon Musk purchased Twitter and immediately exposed the tech giant’s role in interfering in the 2020 election by censoring stories that would have negatively impacted Biden. No one knows where the Pulitzer Prize worthy “Twitter Files” will ultimately lead, but it’s safe to say that those involved should buckle up for a rocky 2023. And as far as Facebook’s parent company Meta is concerned, the announcement that it cut 11,000 employees along with the news that its value dropped by $700 billion has people wondering where the bottom is.
4. Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema
2022 will also be remembered as the year that cost Senators Joe Manchin, D-WV, and Kyrsten Sinema, I-AZ, their political careers, which allows them to share the next spot on the list of biggest losers. By voting for the fraudulent Inflation Reduction Act and the irresponsible 4,000-page $1.7 trillion omnibus bill without any meaningful debate, Manchin is no longer electable in West Virginia. Recall that Manchin only won by 19,000 votes in 2018 — a great year for Democrats — so winning in a presidential year in a state President Donald Trump won by 39 points probably spells the end for the Manchin era in the Mountain State.
As for Sinema, her decision to leave the Democrat Party to become an independent will not only make her re-election in Arizona impossible but may also cost the Democrats a critical U.S. Senate seat and possibly their majority status in 2024.
5. Representative Liz Cheney
And perhaps the biggest loser of 2022 is outgoing Republican Representative Liz Cheney. Cheney went from being one of the leading conservative voices in the U.S. House to a footnote in former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s biography in the course of 24 short months.
Cheney managed to lose an unlosable congressional primary in Wyoming due to her partisan perch on the illegitimate January 6 Select Committee. Not only did the committee waste millions and still come up with absolutely nothing new, it was in the end exposed as a taxpayer-funded presidential exploratory committee. To quote a committee staffer from a recent Washington Post story, “…when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”
So now, everything begins anew. Who will be a winner, and who will be a loser in 365 days? Only time will tell.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, a Fox News contributor, the 2016 deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump for President, and the former chief investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight during the Clinton administration. He is the co-author with Corey Lewandowski of “Trump: America First: The President Succeeds Against All Odds,” along with “Let Trump Be Trump” and “Trump’s Enemies.”