Monday, November 9, 2009

Post-Election Day Blues, and Other Musings

The Smith Dems, as well as the entire Democratic Party, had a rough night on Tuesday. Deeds and Wagner went down in Virginia, “the fat man beat the bald man” (Newsweek direct quote!) in New Jersey, and Maine said Yes on One. And, just to add insult to injury…the official Smith Dems boyfriend Nate Silver WAS WRONG. Silver, who called the ENTIRE ELECTORAL MAP last year, got Maine wrong! Has hell frozen over while we were all busy with week 9 of midterms?!

To the numbers: McDonell 56-Deeds 42 for Governor and Bolling 54-Wagner 41 for Lieutenant Governor.

Yes, the man who is against feminists, gays and condoms is now the highest in the land of Virginia. According to the Washington Post, his thesis said that working women and feminists are detrimental to the family, government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators” and he described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

In response to that, Mr. Governor, we say we’re the sons and daughters of working mothers and all we learned is that we can have it all. We say stay out of our private lives and we’ll stay out of yours. We say sorry but Eisenstadt v. Baird is still good law, and it’s certainly not going anywhere.

Jody Wagner ran an inspiring campaign and we are lucky to have worked for such an amazing woman. Keep an eye on that one…the lady is going places! Also, in Smith alum news, Gwen Mason, running in VA’s oh-so-red 17th district for House of Delegates, lost to Bill Cleaveland. After hearing her constituent’s accents, I dreamt of mint juleps and the smell of jasmine floating over the bayou, of sweet tea and wooden rocking chairs. They were that Southern, y’all.

New Jersey (and a personal apology to Liz Rich, who wanted to move the minute the results were final) also did not go our way. Chris Christie beat incumbent Jon Corzine, 49-44 (NYT). He’s the first Republican to win a state-wide campaign in twelve years. What’s up with that, New Jersey voters? And just to spark your interest, something might be rotten in the state of New Jersey: “In New Jersey, a sprawling corruption case begun by Mr. Christie, which culminated in July with the arrests of dozens of politicians and others, appeared to have taken its toll on the Democratic get-out-the-vote machinery. In Hudson County, a party bastion where a number of Democratic officials were charged, only 39 percent of registered voters cast their ballots, county officials said.” (New York Times)

And, maybe saddest of all, Maine said Yes on One. Maine already had a gay marriage law on the books, and this legislation repealed it. The moderate Northern state was looked at as a good barometer of where the dialogue on gay marriage was heading. The loss might mean a shift away from gay marriage initiatives all together…or it might mean an escalation. Personally, we’re hoping for the latter and we’ll be on the front lines. For our part, every area where the Smith Dems worked SAID NO! and we should be proud of our work there. Also, they had HUGE voter turn out- almost 89% of registered voters turned out- and the race was close, 53-47. In the inspirational words of Jesse Connolly, the campaign manager for No on One, “We're in this for the long haul. For next week, and next month, and next year-- until all Maine families are treated equally. Because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.” Tear inducing, non? Also, something funny to lighten the mood: Question 5 in Maine did pass…so Mainers can’t get married, but they can get high. Well, not really, but they did vote to expand their decade-old medical marijuana legislation. Congrats?

And while no one was watching, Democrats took NY-23. In quite possibly the strangest election of the cycle, the Republican party basically imploded, Sarah Palin and Rush made fools of themselves…like that’s something new?...and a Dem came out on top. Could we ask for anything better? Bill Owens beat Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman (LOOK UP HIS PICTURE RIGHT NOW), after being endorsed by his former Republican rival Dede Scozzafava. Scozzafava, who is a moderate Republican, was criticized by the right for being pro-choice and pro-gay marriage; their criticism cost them the seat. The seat opened up after long-term Republican congressman, John McHugh, was appointed by Obama as Secretary of the Navy. Cleverly done, Mr. President. Congratulations, Congressman Owens!

All in all, you should be SO PROUD of yourselves.