I know I slacked on blogging for, like, a whole week. I think I was overcome by all the things I wanted to comment on, and couldn't settle on what things were of immediate blogular importance to me. Also, in some cases, things were not resolved in some of the election matches I was particularly interested in (FL, GA, MN? Still open--bizarre) and I was somewhat tempted to do a lousy McCain/Palin post mortem, even knowing that enough people were doing what could be called "pre-mortems" even as that campaign was fizzling out.
Oh well, let's assume distance has granted me perspective, and let me run down the nifty tidbits from this election.
Liddy Dole beats herself senseless with her own stupid ad. Now, I contend that she might have lost anyway, but I do not believe that ad helped her in the least. On the contrary, I think it might've decided some people that she was a total useless bigot. If you take a look at the "splitters" in this election-year race, you'll have to suppose that there were indeed people who still pulled the lever for McCain/Palin, but just couldn't bring themselves to vote Dole. True, Obama got NC--but that's a squeaker, and Hagan's victory is significant. I hope she does a bang-up job. (Oh, and think of us godless people, while you're at it, Madam Senator.)
Michele Bachman's own dumbness can't even lose it for her. Despite a weirdly McCarthy-ish pronouncement on Chris Matthews' Hardball, that spurred a fund-raising boon to her opponent Ev Tinklenberg, she won. Silver lining? She'll undoubetedly be on Chris Matthews again. Or some other national venue for her "crazay". And she'll still be, um, her. Her district kept her in, but really, the whole country wins on entertainment!
Prop. 8 wins. And that sucks. There's been some back and forth about the Mormons, who are mostly, like, in Utah not California, not minding their own business and spending big-time dollars to boost this nonsense, and also some meanness about black churches also being in support of Prop. 8. Let me just break down my impression about this:
I naturally don't think any church has any business in telling people who they can marry under the law, because we have a little thing called "separation of church and state." But I do understand the influence that belief systems have in informing the voters, so it has to be acknowledged. I think it's ironic that Mormons would involve themselves in other people's marital freedoms, and I think it's odd that African-Americans would not view this issue from a civil rights frame--but there it is. But I think generally, part of the reason for the passing of this ban on the civil rights of gay people comes down to the persistent misinformation that gay people have made a lifestyle choice, and could in a heart-beat just be straight if they wanted.
I just about know where to begin on correcting that--I don't see how anyone would come to the conclusion that despite the possibility of familial and societal rejection, despite laws on the books dissuading them, it is possible to believe that people choose to be gay just to be contrary. As for myself, I suppose the main reason gay marriage is so militated against is because if we finally look, as a society at homosexuality as being about love, not sex, our objection would finally be finished. Yes, sexuality is part, but it isn't the whole.
Also, there were gay marriage votes that went down in AZ and in FL, without as much fanfare, which show that this will be an on-going concern. I hope Prop. 8 is actually overturned in the State Supreme Court, because I know that vote isn't about equality under the law (NJ allows civil unions for the sake of equality for just that reason). Also, the people of Arkansas decided that no parents would be better than gay parents, which is a whole 'nother outrage I will have to address in a blog-post sometime. But let me just say this much: children are here to be cherished, nurtured and raised up to become worthwhile people. Why is it supposed that gay people can't do that? Gay people are worthwhile people who can cherish and nurture each other or there would not even be a gay community. They participate in the larger community, too: they are taxpayers, they are voters, they are upstanding people. Only the bigotry of others would stain any association a loving gay person or couple would have with a foster or adopted child. And that's all I have to say about that. For now.
We haven't seen the last of Sarah Palin. Whether it's gossip still leaking out from the disloyal people in the McCain/Palin campaign (which kind of makes one wonder how they got to be so disloyal) or the backers of Palin 2012 (like Bill Kristol, who is so widely respected I just plain endorse that the GOP does anything he says in the years to come. No seriously. why should I kid?) Maybe she couldn't name all the countries participating in NAFTA, even though she lives in one, and is next door to the other--leaving only....? Maybe she kind of thought Africa was a country, except it had states like we do. Maybe she knew better. The problem is we don't know, do we?
I think Palin's only hope at being a strong contender for 2012 is if she somehow gets the Senate seat from Stevens--but Stevens hasn't won it back yet, and with the vote count what it is, he might not. Could be Begich, and I'd rather it that way, myself. But let's say it's Stevens, and he has to step down due to his convictions, and the Governor has to pick his replacement.
Palin's best route to the White House in 2012 will be via a Senate position, where she can establish that she is not so parochial, and get more national recognition.
Her governorship in AK has been kind of ethics-challenged. As was her VP-candidacy. The issues regarding "Troopergate" and her shopping exploits and whatever else will follow her, and I expect she will have sustained scrutiny. Barring a Senate run, our best idea of where she is in the contention for 2012 will probably be 2010. Is she still a player in Alaska politics--or has the ethics scrutiny worn her out? I definitely think it's too soon to hitch a wagon to this star, for fear she might be a meteor.
Whither Joe Lieberman? I have an extended blog-post stewing for Holy Joe, but I will say that loyalty is often a two-way street. People can forgive a transgression, but not always forget. In the course of this presidential election, Joe Lieberman has gone so far as to call out the Democratic candidate for his patriotism (um, do you run for president if you aren't feeling this country's needs? Is there a deficit of patriotism in the act of subjecting your family to the much-needed additional security of a presidential run?) and also implied that a Democratic majority might be dangerous. This message is for him:
Senator, please! You sucked up to George Bush and you sucked up to John McCain--you better wash your mouth out before sucking up to this party again.
You should be taken back because you remain a Democrat, but I don't think you should be rewarded for actively campaigning against your party. If you lose your Chairman seat in some committee--so what? The GOP gonna offer you better? They got nothing. Come home, Joe. Harry Reid still likes you, and Obama and the Clintons* think you aren't so bad. I'll have you back, too (you know, me the lefty bloggah). So long as you get why there's hard feelings, and why they don't want you having oversight of the candidate you dissed, right now.
Change and hope. Change and hope. Change and hope. Here's all I can say about that:
Spontaneous patriotism? Yes. We. Can.
Edit: Okay, maybe Clinton isn't weighing in. On the whole, I'm of the "inside the tent pissing out" instead of "outside the tent pissing in" school.