Nel's New Day

November 5, 2014

Election Day 2014: The Bad, the Good, the Funny

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 10:50 PM
Tags: , , ,

A 34-year-old woman dropped her severely autistic six-year-old son over 100 feet off an historic bridge on the Oregon Coast on Election  Day eve. The mother, whose husband has MS and a brain tumor, lost her ability to cope. The boy’s body was found four hours later a mile east of the bridge. The entire community is devastated by this act by a woman who could no longer cope and fastened balloons and stuffed animals on the railing of the mile-long span. A volunteer with a crisis line said that there are few resources for a family in this situation.

Many people who live in the richest country of the world cannot fathom this kind of desperation; they believe that people in need can always find resources. They’re wrong. The political party that spent $3 trillion on a war to keep control of oil leaves little assistance for people like this woman. Yesterday these selfish people, who give all the nation’s resources to the wealthiest people and corporations, increased their control over decisions about how this wealthy country spends its money.

The GOP gained at least seven seats in the senate with Alaska’s Sen. Mark Begich waiting to concede until after the absentee ballots are counted and Sen. Mark Warner hanging on by a hair in Virginia. Louisiana’s Sen. Mary Landrieu goes into a runoff with her GOP opponent on December 6. States with new GOP senators at this time are West Virginia, Arkansas, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Iowa, and North Carolina. A Democrat may have taken Pennsylvania from GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, but three other states with Democratic governors lost to Republicans.

Oddities:

  • David Perdue, the man who has bragged about sending jobs offshore, will be the Georgia senator. In his acceptance speech, he said that he’ll focus on more jobs. He didn’t say where.
  • Pat Roberts, Virginia resident who lives in a recliner the few times he is in Kansas each year, kept his senate seat in that state.
  • George P. Bush won Texas land commissioner, becoming the first Bush in the dynasty to win his first election. H.W. lost a congressional election in 1964, and W. likewise in 1978. P.’s dad, Jeb, lost a bid for Florida in 1994.
  • Mitch McConnell was declared the winner in Kentucky just one minute after the polls closed. The Associated Press didn’t wait until any results came out. Did it know something about the election that the rest of us don’t?
  • Rep. Michael Grimm was reelected for his Staten Island congressional seat, despite his indictments on 20 counts for skimming $1 million from his former restaurant, mail and wire fraud, health care fraud, hiring undocumented workers, perjury and obstruction. He had also threatened a reporter by saying that he would “break you in half like a boy.”
  • Gov. Scott Walker is so pleased about his win that he’s already preening himself for a presidential run in two years.

Comments when Scott Brown lost his try to be senator of New Hampshire:

“The Constitution provides that every state has two Senators, but not every Senator has two states.”—Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

“[Scott Brown is the] first person in American history to have lost a Senate race to two different women.”—Rachel Maddow

And I’ll add “to two different women in two different states.” Jon Stewart joked on last night’s The Daily Show that Vermont is building a wall to keep Brown from moving over there.

The GOP spent today trying to convince people that this election proves the death of liberalism. Conservative columnist and Fox pundit Charles Krauthammer has a habit of minimizing Democratic ascendancy and exaggerating the party’s losses. When the Dems won in 2008, he wrote, “If you want to generalize off of this week’s election, it’s a mistake.” We can say the same thing about the GOP wins yesterday.

Positive pieces of the election:

Despite tempting offers from the GOP, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) plans to continue working with Democrats. He said, “My independence has always been respected” in the Democratic caucus, and “it’s in Maine’s interest” to have a senator represented in both parties.

Kentucky’s legislature has remained blue—as they have since 1921–creating a problem for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). His term is up in 2016, and he can’t run simultaneously for senator and president unless the state’s legislature changes the law stopping him from doing this. They refused before the election; the question is whether they’ll change his mind now.

The election of Democrat Alma Adams from North Carolina to the U.S. House makes her the 100th woman in Congress, the largest number in history. Currently, the Senate has 20 women, and the House has 79 women.

In my bright blue state of Oregon, the numbers are up for both the state House (17 – Dem, 12 – GOP, 1 undecided) and state Senate (35 – Dem, 25 – GOP). The governor is a Democrat as are four of the five U.S. House Representatives and both U.S. Senators. The state added an Equal Rights Amendment to its constitution, and a law mandating the labeling of GMO food is only 10,000 down, waiting for more results, despite being outspent by corporate naysayers by $12 million.

A nearby town just elected an all women city council and mayor, the latter being very progressive. The woman mayor of our town who has done amazing things to attract educational institutions during the past two years was re-elected.

In neighboring Washington state, people passed a gun safety law for extended background checks by 60 percent although five percent voted both for this and stopping any more background checks throughout the state. The Northwest is as positive in politics as it is in safety from dire consequences of climate change.

The awkward position for the GOP now is how they will resolve the problem between the ultra-conservative people elected and the progressive issues that they passed. Colorado and North Dakota both defeated personhood initiatives by two to one. Of the five states that passed increases in minimum wages, four are red states and at least two of them by two-to-1 votes: Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

By a large margin, Missouri voters rejected a constitutional amendment to evaluate teachers based on test results and fire or demote them at will. People who vote in a progressive way won’t be pleased when their elected legislators ignore their wishes. Both Missouri and Montana defeated voter suppression measures.

The GOP might want to note the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” The GOP has had only one goal since Barack Obama was elected president—to take the Congress and wipe him out. They’re part of the way there. What now?  The party’s defacto leader, Rush Limbaugh, told listeners that Republicans “were not elected to govern” because their only purpose is to “stop Obama.” The conservative National Review agrees, warning Republicans about “the governing trap.”

The newest GOP members of Congress are not all Tea Partiers, but most of them lean that way. They’ve talked a good middle-of-the-road position but only to get elected. Now they can follow Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as he tries to push his party toward impeaching the president. The end result of that will be tea-party-vs.-establishment lines. If the GOP proves that members can work with Democrats, it will hurt them in 2016. Thus their reasoning:

  1. Governing would require some compromise.
  2. Compromising makes you a “hostage,” which is unacceptable.
  3. Ergo, don’t try to govern.

The GOP has no interest whatsoever in helping the country. Its leaders just want the power to do whatever they want. With this massive intransigence, legislation can pass only when one party controls both the White House and the two chambers of Congress while maintaining over 60 members in the Senate to avoid filibusters. Without these advantages, the GOP moves to Plan B—play politics until you achieve total control.

My Portland has emailed me a note of “comfort”:

“I am glad Oregon passed the pot law so that now we can just smoke it for the next few years and forget about the f**king election results everywhere else in the country!!!  This country so sucks–once again the forces of evil (and utter stupidity) have prevailed.  Thank goodness for the northwest!!!! Please let Texas secede!!!!”

I’m going to watch the GOP avoid governing and see what they do about the internecine war within their troops.

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1 Comment »

  1. Keep Portland – and Oregon – weird.

    Like

    Comment by Lee Lynch — November 6, 2014 @ 11:10 PM | Reply


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