Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Reactions to the 2008 Elections

1) My home of Florida had state-level amendments to vote on, including the nationally-relevant Amendment 2 that would block gay couples from marrying or even having civil unions.

Amendment 2 passed with 62 percent of the vote. Due to the rules on amendments, a successful amendment has to be over 60 percent (simple majority of 51 percent won't do). So there we have it. Here in Florida, 62 percent of the voting population are a bunch of homophobes.

Amendment 1 was a tad more shocking. It was set to remove antiquated and discriminatory property limits against the Japanese that had been put into the state constitution back in the 1920s. 52 percent of voters went NO on that. The state doesn't even have a statute in the books to overturn, no law was ever directly written because of it, and it never really went into effect. It just needed to get edited out of the document. AND PEOPLE VOTED NO TO THAT? What the hell is wrong with this state (well, other than being filled with a bunch of crazies)???

The only other amendment getting shot down was No.8, the one allowing counties to raise their own local sales taxes to generate additional income for their community colleges. That was also rejected by about 56 percent of voters. The only thing I can think happened here was that people didn't want government to raise more taxes...

2) I'm running into people on the street this morning who didn't watch the news last night. How refreshing. ;-)

3) Note to Liddy Dole, former Senator from North Carolina: calling your opponent - a woman who volunteered to work as a Sunday school teacher - "Godless" was obviously a REALLY BAD IDEA. Enjoy the defamation lawsuit.

3a) Note to the Republican campaigning 'experts': the cultural identity politics you bastards have played since, hell the Nixon years, ain't gonna fly well when the economy's in the crapper, the military is stretched to the breaking point, and the most you can do against your opponents is call them Marxist, Communist and/or Socialist. Considering there's an entire generation born after 1989 now able to vote who slept through their high school history classes not caring about that crap, and considering there's a slightly older generation of Gen-Xers like myself who witnessed Marxism/Communism/Socialism collapsing on themselves, those words are not as scary as they used to be.

3a.1) And the race card? Done and gone, for the most part. There will still be idiots who campaign (and sadly vote) on such matters, but this giant hurdle has been passed, and this should signal that a solid majority of voters are going to look past skin color. Done, and gone, and good riddance.

4) Also done and gone with the election loss of incumbant Chris Shays is the presence of House Republicans from the New England states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Conneticut (New York apparently is the firewall protecting the rest of the country from Bostonian accents). That's right folks. One of the two regions that brought us the Republican Party (the Midwest/Great Lakes states were the other) back in the 1850s no longer wants them. You can view this as a result of the so-called "Southern Strategy" deployed by the GOP from the late 1960s on: when the party realized its' social conservatism worked well with the social conservatism of disgruntled Southern whites who were abandoning the Democratic party over the 1964-65 civil rights laws. So the Republicans got the social conservatives, and slowly drove the more moderate elements out. No more northeastern RINOs. No more representation from a large population voting block. And considering how New York and Pennsylvania (and now Maryland and Virginia) are slowly switching from purple-red to purple-blue, there's a lot more North (and Mid-Atlantic) that can switch to and stay solid Democrat. Combine this with the loss of the entire Pacific coast at a national level the last 4-5 elections, and the inroads the Democrats are making in the Mountain West and places like Colorado, the Republicans are becoming less a national party than ever before. Good job, Rove, on that permanent majority, ya? And O Irony: the Party of Lincoln went acourtin for the Southern vote, and now the Old Confederate South is pretty much the only home they've got.

5) The biggest deal outside of the Presidential election was how the Senate was going to shake out: would the Democrats get a filibuster-proof majority (this is really a moot point: the GOP will figure out ways to delay legislation if they want to...)? Even by this morning, about three Senate elections are still unresolved: Minnesota, Oregon, and Alaska. Let's just say that the Dems will get 56-58 seats and the GOP 40-42 (with two seats held by Independents who caucus with the Dems). That's still a sizeable number to the Democrats, well enough that they can boot Lieberman from his prize chairmanships on key committees and not feel bad about it (if Joe switches to the GOP, it's one less headache for the Democrats, as well as Lieberman finding out his Republican buddies won't like his moderate/liberal positions on everything outside of Israel/War on Terror).

5a) If Alaska returns Ted Stevens to office... SHAME ON YOU! Regardless of his court conviction, Stevens was one of the worst politicians in government. Shame, Alaska. SHAME.
UPDATE: Stevens did lose in a close contest. Still, that it was close even with his felony conviction? It proves that incumbents have too much of an advantage in getting re-elected, and that voters are too eager to call other politicians outside of their district/state crooks but unable to view their own that way. Tsk.

6) Wither the Republican Party at this point, in the face of a massive Democratic victory? That's gonna take a longer article to write about. Give me a few days.
UPDATE: Give me a few weeks. NaNoWriMo is taking a toll on meh...

6a) And to all the political commentators and Republican blowhards now calling for "bipartisanship" and "let's govern from the center"... where the hell were you bastards when Bush/Cheney/Rove/DeLay were running roughshod over everybody from 2002 to 2006??? Where was your bipartisanship then?

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