Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wallow in the Victories ... Then Start Working on 2012

We did it: pure liberal victories against repug horrors - victories that two months ago no one would have predicted. Savor each and every delicious one, slowly with great pleasure. Then get back into the fight.

David Atkins "thereisnospoon" at Hullabaloo:

A brief roundup of the mostly good news from (Tuesday) night:

First off, in non-election-specific news, it looks like the Texas Republican gerrymandering overreach will cost them: the courts will be redrawing the map, which will likely mean three more Dem House seats in 2012.

In election news, Mississippi's personhood amendment was defeated in a 55-45 landslide. That's a great result. What's not so great is that this thing was so extreme that even a bunch of Freepers voted against it. That doesn't bode well for the fact that 45% of Mississippians voted for a law that, beyond its misogyny, would have insane unintended consequences for in-vitro fertilization, birth control and other basic reproductive issues. Still, a victory is a victory, especially on an issue that up until recently had been polling dead even. Unfortunately, Mississippi did pass a stringent new voter ID law and the MS GOP may have taken control of the statehouse for the first time since reconstruction.

In Arizona, the recall of white supremacist, Arizona Senate President and SB1070 architect Russell Pearce was a resounding success. Russell has been replaced by more moderate Republican Jerry Lewis. It's a conservative Arizona Senate district that's unwinnable for even a blue doggy Dem (after all, it elected Pearce six times), so the backlash against Pearce and for common decency is a beautiful thing to see. For more, see here.

The Ohio union-busting bill was crushed in a huge victory for the middle-class and a defeat for Republican governor Kasich there. The Ohio result was coupled with a rejection of the state to be required to participate in the still unpopular ACA. That was mostly a symbolic vote without real consequences, though.

In Maine, voters chose to keep same-day voter registration even after the Maine GOP tried to accuse gays of subverting the election process. No joke.

In North Carolina, Dems retook the contentious Wake County School Board, which has been a subject of national attention since a teabagger takeover there.

In Iowa, Dem Liz Mathis easily won election in what was supposed to be a close race, keeping the State Senate narrowly in Democratic hands. Had the race gone the other way, marriage equality in Iowa could have been threatened.


But all in all, the key theme for the night was Republican overreach. Republicans thought they had a big mandate in 2010, and they went for broke. Voters across the country gave conservative utopians a wake-up all, and the media is taking note.

All in all, last night was a very good night for progressives and bodes well for 2012. It's also a reminder that as much obsession as there is over the endless "Obama Wars", there are a lot of other elections and races that matter out there for a lot of people's lives. The chessboard is grand--and the President, while the most important, is just one piece on the board.

It will be just a one-off if we don't use the post-victory elation to build a bigger victory for next year.

Digby on the Mississippi victory:

The good news is this:

On the No on 26 Facebook page, people who seem to have been previously unengaged have been excitedly talking for days about continuing their work after the election.

“It’s so helpful to know that you’re not alone,” Hemmins told me just before the election. “There’s been some talk of staying together after the vote as a group, I’m not sure for what purpose or to what extent… The religious right seems to be coming at women from so many different directions. Unfortunately, I can see us needing to rally the forces in the future.”

Indeed. On the Personhood Mississippi page, they’re already talking about taking the cause to the legislature.

We seem to be entering a new age of civic and social engagement and these battles are training activists for the demands of citizenship. Even in Mississippi. That's unequivocally a good thing.

Have you talked to your Democratic neighbors today?

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