Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Left-wing melancholics like myself don't do political elation very well. This morning I woke up thinking gloomily about how dangerous the situation remains in this country, and how much hard work it’ll take to set things right.

That said, I’m pretty goddamn elated. Richard Pombo is gone, for one thing. As I mentioned before, this was a race I felt very strongly about. Unseating that repellent waste of skin was not just a political victory, but an aesthetic one. When I say that I hope the remainder of his dreams go unfulfilled, I'm really just saying that I hope humanity has a future.

I’m also very happy about the failure of California’s Proposition 90, which was a catastrophically corrupt attempt to elevate property rights over…well, pretty much everything. It’ll be back, in one form or another, but I tend to think the political climate will be even more hostile next time to this sort of addled extremism.

Speaking of extremism, Arizona’s refusal to ban gay marriage, the overturn of South Dakota’s abortion ban, and the ousting of the reptilian Phill Kline are astonishing defeats for misogyny, bigotry, and cynicism in places where many of us didn’t expect to see them. (California’santi- abortion bill lost handily as well, though that outcome was never really in doubt.)

Plus, the election coincided with Echidne’s three-year anniversary. She’s one of my favorite bloggers and people, and a daily inspiration to me.

So all in all, I’m happy. We made it to the foot of the mountain. Now, we just have to start climbing.


pablo said...

I like the idea of being a "left-wing melancholic." I am also guardedly happy about the outcome, but I think the results are not a mandate so much as a trial by the voters to see if our side can do any better. Well, I can say that I did my part to bring about change in Kansas.

roger said...

voters here in wa state also rejected a "property rights" initiative. oregon's bad example most likely had some effect on the vote both here and in ca.

as humans and former californians we also celebrate pombo's defeat.

and on the positive side, we will get to hear the republicans address "madam speaker."

Nanette said...

I think I probably qualify as a "left-wing melancholic" too. :) Subdued elation, also pleasantly surprised that we were able to pull this off at all. I still have that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling, but that may just be residue from the past 6 years and the seemingly endless supply of shoes that Republicans have had.

I'm very happy about Pombo too... I'd not really ever heard of him, or how awful he was, until different bloggers started agitating against him and detailing his ills. From what I understand, that race was a true, on the ground grassroots effort to get rid of him, so kudos to them. More than some, that one politician had wide-ranging disastrous reach.

Hopefully Arizona's standout as the one state, among several that had it on the ballot, that didn't pass the hate amendment will encourage others to also reject such things (and to revisit the ones already passed). Hate and bigotry, especially of a population that is "just not like us", seems to sometimes have a snowball effect, sweeping up even people who really don't care, but who come to think that if they don't that there is something wrong with them.

Of course, Arizona did pass a couple of hate amendments, mostly targeted towards Latin@s, but still. That too can be worked on.

Anyway, I'm glad there is a Democratic majority in both houses - considering who the politicians are, it's probably more like a slight tap on the brakes as opposed to a full stop or even a slowing down... but it does provide a tiny bit of breathing space (and more open mics) for those on the left to spend more time advocating for various progressive policies (and upcoming politicians) instead of nipping at the heels of Republicans. Or, I guess, in addition to.

Congrats to Echidne - obviously the snake goddesses (or whoever) wanted to present her with the best present ever... I've heard of her over the past couple of years or so (mostly in the context of someone wondering why she wasn't quoted or referenced more, as she is such a wonderful writer), but haven't really read her. Will try and change that.

charley said...

my daughter said, "i thought you would be really happy." i replied "well, yeah, but they've done a lot of damage."

on a brighter note, fox news is going to be even more entertaining.