Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Wrap-Up

Well, good news and bad news...

The Democats won! Yay! They've got a minimum of 50 seats in the Senate (with one still outstanding but leaning Democrat) and a solid majority in the House with 234 seats to the Republicans' 201, as the votes stand today.

I saw smug-ass criminal Tom Delay on MSNBC last night before the results came in and he said "Oh, Nancy Peolosi is going to get 17 seats or so and have a one-vote majority. She's not going to be able to accomplish anything and we'll clean her clock in two years." Ooops, sorry fuckface, looks like a 35-seat pickup for the Democrats which means she CAN lose a couple of guys on various votes and still get real work done.

For context on this victory, the Republicans won 54 seats in 1992, almost all of them concentrated in the deep South. Yesterday, Democrats all across the nation won. At 234 seats, the Democrats now have a majority as large as the biggest Republicans were ever able to muster. Though the majority in the Senate may be as slim as a 1-vote margin, it's still a good starting point... if we can only keep Joe Lieberman in line. It's a pity that the racist hicks in Tennessee were too scared to elect a black man, but I was never too excited about Ford in the first place... he was really just a Republican in sheep's clothing.

Speaking of blacks, African-Americans who threw in their lot with the Republican Party (the official racist enemy of non-whites everywhere) got their asses handed to them, big-time: Kenneth "I Rigged the 2004 Ohio Presidential Vote" Blackwell was beaten 75-25%, Michael Steele got beat by 10% in Maryland, and Lynn Swann got his ass handed to him by 20%, despite leftover good feelings from "Brian's Song" and football fans everywhere.

Despite declaring 2006 "the Year of the Black Republican," the Republicans only fielded 6 black candidates for the House, versus the Democrats 41. African-American voters seemed to care more about substantive issues this year than they did about Gay Marriage in 2004... 90% voted Democratic. As Bush himself said at the 2006 NAACP convention (after deliberately skipping it for 5 years in a row, the first President to ever do so): "I understand that racism still lingers in America. It's a lot easier to change a law than to change a human heart. And I understand that many African-Americans distrust my political party." After seeing Ford go from 12% up to Ford losing by 10% after the GOP ran Mandingo-esque commercials in Tennessee of a naked white woman coyly saying "call me, Harold," it's easy to believe that black folks might not trust the Republican Party. It's also easy to believe that the Republican Party hasn't quite managed to change their "human" heart about the benefits of openly appealing to racism.

In other good news, at least nine dirty politicians from the Schemin' 109th Congress got metaphorically beheaded by an angry electorate:

Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) lost her kamikaze bid for a Florida Senate seat, despite God telling her personally that he wanted her to be Senator. Poor Katherine... How was she to know God was lying to her?

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) was notorious both for his paranoid conspiracies about the CIA committing 9/11 and the recent FBI raids on his home and office for corruption and fraud. It's true, Curt: not only are they all out to get you, they just got you! Those dirty Zionist CIA Homosexuals! Damn you all to helllllll...

Speaking of homosexuality, Rick "Gays = Man on Dog" Santorum spent more than $20 million to lose a swing state by almost 20 points. Haw haw haw. Man On Dog Santorum's backers attempted every cheap or dirty trick in the book, including funding a Green Party candidate to challenge Casey from the left, but it all availed to naught. It was hilarious to see his kid crying on national television last night during his dad's concession speech. Maybe she'll run for Senate in 20 years to avenger her daddy like G.W. Bush.

Among other major crooks, there's Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) who was never much fun -- except when he was trying to explain how a Abramoff-hosted fundraiser wasn't really a fundraiser. Voters didn't seem to buy it, though, so he's out on his ass.

Likewise, Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), whose legendary hatred of Mother Earth leads one to believe that she beat him as a child, is out on his ass due to his Abramoff connections and a smart campaign by the Democratic challenger... an expert in Wind Power Technology. Mother Earth has one wicked sense of humor, huh?

Rep. J.D. "The Sportscaster" Hayworth (R-AZ), also a Friend of Jack Abramoff, was ushered out of office in Arizona despite hating Mexicans more than anyone except Tom Tancredo (who, sadly, won). Don't feel bad for him, though... Hayworth can probably get his old job back and go back to being the stupidest sportscaster in Arizona, or, if he's scammed enough cash out of Abramoff, he might be able to retire and do what he loves for a living... like getting a rifle and going illegal-hunting with his buds The Minutemen down on the border. Knowing Hayworth, he'll choose the unpaid illegal hunting. His kind loves to see the pink mist.

Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS), who made a play for scumbaggery with a shady house sale scheme, never really followed through on his fraud. Or on anything else. A friend of mine from Kansas told me that people in Kansas have been FURIOUS for the last six weeks that Ryun wasn't even bothering to campaign, merely assuming that he would beat the Democratic challenger, Nancy Boyda, without even running a campaign. Ryun's reasoning? "Everyone in Kansas hates Democrats, right?" Boyda smashed him by 50,000 votes, thus proving it's always polite to ASK people for their vote, even in Kansas where they "hate Democrats, right?" If he wasn't retarded, Ryun might have noticed that Democrat Governor Kathleen Sibelius was cruising towards re-election with a 30-point margin. Thank God for the stupidity and myopia of the religious right, I guess.

Also gone in this election are the beater-and-choker crowd, namely Reps. Don Sherwood (R-PA) and John Sweeney (R-NY). Strangely, Sherwood's voters turned him out of office despite his heartfelt ads admitting to and apologizing for cheating on his wife but denying that he choked his girlfriend. Though my tastes run to more complex and refined scandals, spousal abuse seems to hold America's attention. It's one of those crimes that are easily understood (like blowjobs in the Oval Office versus the complex bribery of Abramoff & Tom Delay).

In Montana, voters attempted to kick out Sen. Conrad Burns (R), whose Abramoff ties were as many and colorful as the statesman's favorite colloquialisms about the "brown man who paints [his] house!" But, as befits a man who was raised by wolves in the crawl space beneath a rustic log cabin (or something like that -- it's in his stump speech), he's still trying to force his election into a lengthy recount. Live like a scum, die like a scum, I suppose. Hopefully both Burns and Allen will realize that holding out for prolonged recounts only makes them and their party seem like poor losers.

Of course, we should remember those who couldn't be with us today but are certainly here in spirit: Tom Delay's name on the ballot in Texas and Mark Foley's name on the ballot in Florida were both too odious for red-state voters to hold their noses and vote Republican anyway. Good for them. Also not here to enjoy his loss is former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), the only sitting congressman from the 109th Congress to be sentenced for a felony. And of course, the Republican's patron saint, former Rep. Duke Cunningham, is still living off the taxpayer, only now it's in an orange jumpsuit in federal prison. Both of these criminal scumbags' seats went to Democrats. Yay. Now Dems need to clean their own house of William "Freezer Money" Jefferson.

Abortion stayed legal in South Dakota (they had a 100% ban Amendment on the ballot). California stopped yet another parental notification law. Kansas threw out a right-wing Attorney General who had spent the last four years investigating the private medical records of women who'd had abortions and attempting to prosecute the doctors who performed them legally.

In Kansas, a full NINE major members of the Republican Party (including one former GOP State Party Chairman) switched parties and ran as Democrats. The major Kansas newspapers endorsed them all... why? Because the Kansas Republican Party is held hostage by crazy religious fundamentalist Theo-Cons who don't want to teach evolution in the schools, want to outlaw abortion and to destroy the separation of church and state. Faced with a primary system which routinely defeated moderate middle-of-the-road candidates in favor of Theologist Nutjobs, these Nine Republicans threw in the towel and joined the Democratic Party. We've expanded our tent... they've shrunk theirs, and that's fine with me.

Not everything went great for liberals and progressives in this election: Colorado (where it's already illegal to get a same-sex marriage) had a huge turnout of psychotic right-wing fundamentalists who were FURIOUS that Pastor Ted Haggerd had been so tempted by all that luscious, sweaty gay man-sex that they rallied to defeat a ballot allowing Domestic Partnerships! Silly gays... Civil Rights are for straights! God said so 5000 years ago, and how can poorly translated and extensively edited Jewish tribal mysticism from thousands of years ago be wrong?

Speaking of Same-Sex Marriage, there are seven fewer states in which you can get Gay Married now. You'd better hurry off to Massachusetts before someone puts it on the ballot there. Judging by the voting results in this latest round of Same Sex Ballot Measures, about 62% of America evidently hates The Gay. Strangely, a similar amendment in Arizona FAILED by a margin of only 1000 votes. Yay for Arizona. I guess having the highest population in the nation of unemployed college graduates DOES count for something?

Luckily, except for Arizona, almost all the states ever likely to try it already have an Amendment on the books now, so that ends this era of anti-gay bashing. 43 out of 50 states now officially proscribe same-sex marriage. I hope the fundies enjoy their time in the sun, because all of this crap is going to be overturned in 20 years... the kids today just don't care. They were brought up on internet porn from the time they could walk, and it all seems rather stupid to them. The demographics are in our favor... we just have to wait for today's high schoolers and teenagers to start voting in 10 years, and for the Korea & Vietnam generations to die off and take their stupid bigotry with them.

In a brilliant maneuver, the Democrats finally discovered the antidote to Karl Rove's "Same Sex Marriage Amendments" which bring out religious nutbags en masse: "Minimum Wage Amendments." There were six minimum wage Amendments on ballots across America and they all passed. Even better, MWA's are the gift which keeps giving: you can ALWAYS raise it again... but once you outlaw Gay Marriage, it's kinda difficult to outlaw it again.

Thus sounds the death knell for Rovism—the disgusting, quaint and now fully discredited theory that majorities are built not by expanding support with ideas that work but by mobilizing extremist minorities with ideas that aren't intended to be enacted and wouldn't work if they were.

In my opinion, the best news of the 2006 elections is the opportunity it gives Democrats to earn the lasting support of the independents and disgruntled Republicans whose votes just dropped into their laps. If the Democrats can expand on this support they've got now, they can win even more seats in 2008 (provided Hillary Clinton isn't at the top of the ballot).

That's my .02¢, anyway.

Speaking of my money, four of the five House candidates (all from other states) that I gave money to, won their races. Seriously, "The Internets" are the best thing to ever happen to Progressive Politics. Small money donations really do help. $20 from 10,000 people across the country is one hell of a lot better than $2000 from a big corporation, and the threat that this blog money might disappear will hopefully keep the Democrats in line.

The Blogs are owed a great deal of the credit for this Democratic Tsunami, as is Howard Dean, whose 50-state strategy of finding, running and funding Democratic candidates in previously-uncontested Republican districts destroyed the GOP's ability to concentrate all their resources into battleground states.

Now, the first thing that needs to happen, is for the Democrats to fix the voting machines, otherwise this gigantic windfall has been for naught. I wouldn't put it past Diebold to allow ONE election to be won by the Dems just to take the wind out of voting machine reform legislation and set us up for the Presidential Theft of 2008.