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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Good Day

Many excellent outcomes in yesterday's polling.

Firstly, voters in Mississippi rejected a ridiculous proposal that would have conferred "personhood" to zygotes. The vote was expected to be close, but it wasn't. The proposal was soundly rejected. Had it passed, I'd have considered retiring to Mississippi, if only to collect my retirement benefits nine months earlier. Amanda Marcotte has some intriguing insights on what happened in Mississippi:

It's not something I've ever seen an extensive study on, but the folk wisdom of pro-choice circles is "pro-life in the streets, pro-choice in the dark", as it were. In other words, there's an intense amount of pressure to identify as "pro-life" in conservative communities, even if you secretly disagree. To be vocally pro-choice is to be marked as a pervert and a feminist, and so it's avoided, to the point where some polling data suggests that half of people who identify as "pro-life" are actually pro-choice, at least to some extent. Certainly enough that they're not willing to see women thrown in jail for having miscarriages. Because of this intense social pressure, I suspect many people who side with pro-choicers on this law or that law won't say so to a pollster over the phone. Not only are you admitting out loud something that can get you marked as a "pervert" in your community, you may be doing so in front of friends, colleagues, or family members who overhear your conversation with the pollster. No wonder so many people say they're "undecided". But when you actually have your ballot in hand and you know that no one will ever find out how you voted, a solid percentage of voters go with common sense (and with sex!) instead of prevailing community pressures. Frankly, the way the poll numbers turned out, it appears many people who said they would vote yes on 26 instead voted no.

Secondly, Ohio voters spanked Faux News Governor John Kasich with an overwhelming rejection of a law that would make union members second-class citizens. As Zandar notes over at Balloon Juice, Issue 2 was a disaster for Ohio Republicans.

Kasich is toast, folks. The failure of Republicans to coalesce around this issue not only backfired miserably, it had the completely opposite effect, creating an off-year grassroots surge that knocked the blocks out from under Cincy conservatives. He cannot be jettisoned fast enough in the Buckeye State and Republicans in Ohio are now in a deep hole. The network to bring Ohio back into the blue column next year is already in place. The overreach was brutal, and a significant number of Ohio GOP voters jumped ship on this measure and mobilized Democrats to boot.
The coattails on the Issue 2 No vote completely reworked the government of one of the more conservative cities in the state and made it overwhelmingly progressive, not to mention creating a majority African-American council to back Mayor Mallory.

Keep pissing off working people, Republicans! Its a winning message!

Thirdly, Arizona recalled sitting state Senate President and uber teabagger Russell Pearce. Pearce was the force behind Arizona's anti-immigration law SB 1070.

Considered the de facto governor of Arizona, the seemingly invincible and right-wing extremist Pearce became the first state Senate president in American history to be thrown out of office in a recall election. Led by an inspiring citizens movement, Pearce's downfall marks an extraordinary sea change in Arizona politics, especially in the areas of the changing electoral demographics and immigration reform policies.

Far-right extremism took a beating yesterday, although I doubt the pundents in the so-called liberal media will notice, as they'll continue to insist we are a "center-right" nation. I wonder if Governor Bought 'n' Paid For is taking notice?

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