The biggest problem with not posting regularly is that so damn much happens it's hard to keep up. Like I said last time, I'm n0t as young as I used to be.
So the elections yesterday, Nov. 3, produced mixed results. In Maine the ballot to disallow gay marriages was voted in, as was an initiative to expand medical marijuana usage. This may be the first concrete proof of the idea that marijuana damages brain cells. Even if I get sick, I'll vacation somewhere else.
Republicans won govenorships in New Jersey and Virginia. From what I heard prior to the elections those were not big surprises. Some people think they were. The Republicans (what's left of them) are hoping these off-off year elections will give them momentum in 2010. Good luck with that.
The Democrats are saying it proves that voters want things to get done and point to their victory in New York's 23rd district and say it proves their agenda must move forward. Good luck with that. Senate majority leader Harry Reid is unsure that there will be a health care bill by the end of the year. One wonders what the use of a majority is if it takes so long to get done something most of the country wants done.
About the 23rd district elections—it was a satisfying pie in the face for conservatives who have taken the Republican party hostage. All the big stars and would be stars came there to kneel at the altar of right-wing wingnuttery (Gov. Pawlenty of Minn., where will you go for votes now?). Pawlenty, Sarah of the sexy boots and half-term governorship Palin, Dick Armey (a major mover behind the "tea-baggers") all came to support Doug Hoffman, a carpet-bagger who doesn't even live in the district, over the Republican party nominee, Ms. Scozzafava. In a remarkable and delightful turn of events, after withdrawing from the race because of the outside blitz for Mr. Hoffman, she threw her support to the Democrat, Mr. Owens, who finally won.
Upstaters know a pig in the poke when they see one. And kudos to Ms. Scozzafava for recognizing that the Republican Party she thought she was a part of, is essentially dead. I remember when the Republicans were a respectable party.
I'm showing my age, but back in the day there were people one could admire and respect, even if one wouldn't vote for them. Eisenhower, Margaret Chase Smith, Henry Cabot Lodge, Prescott Bush (grandpa of our George). There is probably a lot of rotational velocity happening in their graves right now.
Back to Maine. That was a real disappointment. It is taking so long for people to recognize that the 14th amendment applies to everyone, not just those with officially approved love partners. It's time for people like me, straight people who do recognize those rights, to get up and do more to get rid of these hypocritical laws which deny people the right to celebrate their love in a legal marriage. With the divorce rate and co-habitation without benefit of clergy rising so rapidly among heterosexuals in this country, you'd think conservatives would be glad anyone is willing to marry. We have to recognize that the money for these anti-gay campaigns only comes from a few sources, mostly very rich conservative businessmen who want to exercise their power without going thru the messy business of running for office themselves. And the Catholic Church, the church of "priests were always meant to be men and the sexual-abuse thing has nothing to do with that". I read that there were second offerings taken is some churches for funds to support the anti-gay marriage vote. Isn't that illegal?
Of course the Church has never shied away from telling it's parishioners that they would be liable for hell-fire if they didn't vote the Catholic way. I know, I used to be Catholic, and I remember.
I didn't mean this to be a diatribe against the church. One doesn't expect anything different from that quarter so why dwell on it? And I do recognize that the Church has very often done a lot of good in the world. But I am more concerned with the way certain individuals and other organizations flow money into a state where they don't even have any, or a large, presence, to influence the general vote, especially when they use lies and fear to get their way.
This is a subversion of democracy.
I live in Massachusetts, which has allowed same-sex marriage for some years now, and last time I looked out the window, the state was still there. Heterosexuals were still getting married as well as same-sex couples—the world has not ended for us.
It must be a real stone in the throat for conservatives to see that the state is not falling apart. Too bad.