(Editor's note: The Lieberman Award is given annually to the worst example of a human being over a twelve month period. Click the tag at the end of the post to review past winners.)

medalGin and Tacos and its parent company, Nordyne Defense Dynamics, hold very high standards with respect to the final product you see published here four or five times per week. When we say someone is an asshole, we want you the reader to know that we have done our homework and vetted the subject thoroughly. We aren't going to give you people who are just kind of an asshole. You can rest assured that when we look back at a year and say "This person was an asshole of such magnitude that 2015 was in part defined by how rotten he is at being human," the honor is richly deserved and well earned.

As loathsome as it may be at this point to give Donald Trump additional attention, there really is no other choice for this award. Here is a man who is so much of a asshole that he succeeds in making people like Ted Cruz seem rational and intelligent by comparison. He leads what is a fascist movement in all but name, exposing the ugliest aspects of the American electorate to no end more complex or noble than to bask in the attention it brings him. Here is a man so devoid of principles that he doesn't mind being embraced by the white supremacist movement and spreading its propaganda, operating on the apparent theory that it doesn't matter who follows him as long as he has a following. He may or may not, as Hillary Clinton claimed, be an effective recruiting agent for ISIS but he sure does wonders for the dying American neo-Nazi movement.

There is no doubt that the thrill of having an audience of fans and admirers is a high on which it is easy for a public figure to get hooked; Elia Kazan's 1957 film A Face in the Crowd demonstrates that principle and its deep roots in American politics. But like any addiction it has the ability to rob people of their dignity in the pursuit of the next fix. People with the ability to feel things like shame and self-awareness are confronted with a moral dilemma; how far will I go to get more attention? Will I lie to get it? Will I stoop to appealing to the lowest common denominator? Will I wade into the basest swamps of populism, playing on racism and xenophobia in exchange for the thrill of standing before a crowd of admirers?

Well, Donald "Lonesome Rhodes" Trump doesn't need to worry about any such questions, because in his mind there is no question. There are no issues of morality or decency, only the goal of having cameras and microphones stuck in his face. Anything that accomplishes that goal is, by definition, acceptable behavior. The end result of his egomania, and the sad willingness of the ratings- and hits-hungry media to debase themselves by rewarding it, is the death of the last few vestiges of dignity in American elections. What were already expensive, hyperbolic spectacles of little interest to many voting-eligible Americans have now become fully indistinguishable from reality shows – and not even the higher class of reality shows that require participants to have some sort of talent to put forth for public consumption, but the most vulgar, Real Housewives of Whatever variety driven exclusively by egomania and delusions of grandeur. So that one man can get half-erect from an ephemeral feeling of power, we've turned the process of electing the president of our country (a process already teetering on the brink of credibility in recent years) into a nauseating hybrid of Survivor and a lynch mob.

There is neither use nor interest in criticizing the things Donald Trump says because the words don't even mean anything to him. They are simply his calculation of whatever he can say at a given moment to draw the most attention to himself. And at this he is truly gifted. No one can deny his incredible instinct for self-promotion. His ideology is not an ideology; there is nothing he says that you could not find in YouTube comments posted by 14 year old boys. He says what people who don't think about things believe. And that is why they find him so inspiring. He boasts of "telling it like it is" when even the most cursory look at his life would lead to the conclusion that this man hasn't the slightest experience with reality or How Things Are. Yet the evil genius of it is that his intended audience is far too dumb to consider that, or to care when it is pointed out to them. The kind of person who could convince himself that a spoiled, sociopathic billionaire is the voice that the Common Man really needs is fully prepared to accept any logical impossibility that he decides to embrace.

In short, Donald Trump is not merely a terrible person. He was the terrible person of 2015. God help us, he will probably ruin most of 2016 as well.


  • When you're watching something happen and you just know that it will be a significant event, yet you can't believe that you're actually witnessing it first-hand.

    That is how I felt half-way through reading this post. Your prose is beautiful, and all I can add is my undying adulation. Bravo.

  • Sometimes the boring choice is boring because it is the only choice. There's no surprise at seeing Trump as the winner, because, really, who the hell else could it POSSIBLY be this year? Trump is the Patient Zero of American Assholism this year–everyone became more of an asshole because of him, if only insofar as they had to acknowledge his existence, and thus perpetuate that existence. He is the Human Hantavirus. He is Candyman. To be near him, to say his name, is to bring his presence into yours, and be lessened by having done so.

    The Liebermans were many–MANY–this year, and God knows, any year that Scott Walker continues to slither under the Madison sky is a year in which the title for THE Lieberman will be heavily contested.

    But it's worth noting–hard–that this was the year in which Walker AND Ted Cruz stood on the same stage with another man, and the people who watched said, "What an ASSHOLE," and they weren't talking about Walker or Cruz.

    That…That's the kind of thing that makes you trail off mid-sentence and just leave the room without bothering to turn off the lights or lock up because fuck it, you're never coming back.

    Fuck you, Mr. Trump.

  • Haikucrazytoo says:

    Can't resist adding an end of year haiku on the subject. (Sure, count the syllables; I did.)

    Trumpet (playing taps)

    All trumped up now
    With nowhere to go to now
    Except the gallows.

    Never mind. Last Exit to Brooklyn where a tree grows and azaleas bloom in January.

  • "He says what people who don't think about things believe."

    This line sums up the non-wealthy portion of the Republican Party. There is no nuance to anything to them. Everything is simple.

  • You got it wrong! It's Donald "Loathsome Roads" Trump, not Donald "Lonesome Rhodes" Trump.

    Just trying to keep you honest! ;-)

  • Beautifully and accurately, if depressingly and blood-curdlingly, said. Happy New Year, all, in spite of same.

  • I can't remember the last time I've thought of Lieberman, and here I find his loathsome visage smirking merrily at me, with a dollop of Trump on the side. Damn you Ed.

  • I make a motion that we now add Trump to the award so that it would be known as the Lieberman/Trump Asshole of the Year award. Or Trump/Lieberman. But then again, we all knew Trump was an asshole, he's just taken it to such new heights as to redefine the term hence forth. Lieberman was a circumcised Dick (Cheney) masquerading as a Dem, when in reality was a fuckin' repug.

  • I reject the notion that The Trump is, at the core, any different than any of the other GOP candidates. He's more bombastic and he says things in plain speech that the other candidates are saying in code words and dog whistles or through the policies they support and enact in their respective roles. At the very least, they think these things and agree with him.

    What's freaking everyone out is that The Trump has pulled off the mask. He's exposed the real GOP. He's let the cat out of the bag. And that is one of the cardinal sins of the One Percent.

    For heaven's sake, the other GOP candidate are patently racist, homophobic, misogynist, anti-working people, anti-labor, anti-environment. When you come right down to it, I really don't see any daylight between them and The Trump. They try to cover better than he does, but if you really look at them, they're just the same in substance if not in style.

    The down side is, as Ed noted, that his bombastic, shoot-from-the-hip style, by comparison, makes some of the other nutcakes in the GOP race look almost sane — and thinking that would be a huge mistake. They are all Trumps.

  • Trump can't play guitar. His fingers, too short.

    This is how the world ends. This is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a yee-haw.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    May I respectfully suggest that you take Lieberman's name off this award – he's beyond yesterday's news – and rename it for Dumb-'n-old tRUMP.

    Long after Lieberman's a dirt-covered skeleton, tRUMP's name will continue to live – in infamy.

    After he's long dead and gone, and his casino and bullshit real estate "empire" are bought up by other rich, but lesser, assholes, the name tRUMP will still reverberate with people.

    Some will hold his name close to their hearts – they will fondly remember him every time they curse (or do worse to) a black/brown person, a woman, an LGBT person, a non-"Christian," and/or some other minority.
    They will feel a need to raise their right hand high, and yell, "Seig Heil!" or "Heil tRUMP!"

    In still others, if they think of him, their spleens will ache, they'll get nervous-headaches, and cold-sores. They'll seek dark places until they remember that he's dead, and that it's safe to go outside, and to turn on the TV.

    And in the final group, when sitting on their toilet, unable to poop, one though of tRUMP — just the mere glimmer – will scare the shit outta them, and, Voila!, mission accomplished! They may put his photo inside bathroom stalls in busy venues to, you know, hurry people's "business" along.

    I predict that in the near future, the name tRUMP, will become synonymous with s-h-i-t.
    "Where were you just now?"
    'In the john, taking a tRUMP.'
    "How was it?"
    'Well, if you must know, I had Mexican food last night, and it was an EPIC tRUMP! Best tRUMP I've had in ages!!! Thanks for asking.'

    So, how about it, Ed!
    Dump Joe, and rename the "ASSHOLE OF THE YEAR," after Donald tRUMP.
    It 'd be the right – extremely right – thing to do!

    Who's with me?

  • If you can make 'taking a trump' as well-known as 'santorum,' you will be a hero for the ages. Also, 'not with a bang, but with a grifter' is just about perfect.

  • See, this is why you need to get an SSRI prescription or something. Next week you'll be all mopey about how shitty your life is, but today you're putting out a work of art well beyond the rest of us.

  • Congratulations on the most appropriately titled and designated award ever. There's no more fitting award for Trump; he's an asshole of monumental (Yooge!) proportions. One caveat; taking into account his honed feral hucksterism and America's insatiable appetite for the same, perhaps some study of his slimy strategies


    and some counter methods


    are appropriate.

  • @ c u n d gulag. I think you may be on to something with this trump/dump/turd thing. Really. Listening to him bloviate is like witnessing someone blowing ass at the bottom of a septic tank.

  • Great writing as usual. Happy New Year to Ed and everyone who follows Gin and Tacos. Thank you. Ed, and to all the folks who write such interesting and informative comments. This is the best blog on the web, IMHO.

  • I completely agree with Skipper. All of the Republicans are as bad as Trump. Trump is just the head of the pimple.

  • DamnTheTorpedos says:

    I've taken to calling him "Loathesome Rhodes" in the past few months. Glad to see someone else has made the connection.

  • I've been lurking and reading here for awhile. I always enjoy your stuff, Ed, and appreciate your style and the dry wit that runs through the work.

    You really hit the high notes on this one. I heard echoes of Hunter Thompson in this piece, which I hope you will consider a compliment. As a very long time fan of the Doktor, I can offer none higher. Bravo.


  • It is very appropriate that The Donald should receive this award, since I have it on the best authority that Joe Lieberman has helped in The Donald's campaign. In fact my source attests to the following:
    The Donald decided to campaign in New Hampshire while riding on an elephant, symbol of his party. He instructed the New Englander, Joe Lieberman to procure an elephant for this purpose, and Joe did so. The Donald rode the elephant for hours, up and down the streets Manchester. The following week The Donald told Joe how much he enjoyed it, and said that he'd like to do it again some time, and by the way was it a boy elephant or a girl elephant? Joe didn't know, but he puzzled about this for a while and finally said – "Oh, I know! It was certainly a boy elephant – all the time you were riding I kept hearing people saying 'look at the schmuck on that elephant!'"
    [Yes, an old joke, but I like it!]

  • As a former constituent of the namesake I must respectfully disagree. Trump has not taken an oath, to his state, the US Senate, and the American people. Trump says things, hateful, ugly things and doesn't claim to be misquoted, out of context, or make attempts to walk them back or deny them. Trump does not hide behind family or representatives, allowing them to spew misogny, misanthropy, deception, and FUD on his behalf while he denies holdingthose beliefs.
    No the true heir to this award and should be the lifetime recipient and hall of fame occupant is Failgunner Ted Cruz. He truly embodies all that was malevolent and reprehensible in Holy Joe Lieberman, Connecticut's bastard son. Trump is a pompous windbag, with no obligations of decency hoisted upon him by assuming elected office. He has no mantle of representing anyone but himself, and we all know it. But every day, the people of Texas must accept that their choice to lead and represent is a grifter of tremendous magnitude and with all the moral authority of a despotic tyrant. Gaze upon Failguuner and despair.

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