A line from "Jabberwocky," written last night as I was adding some of the early Top Comments to the list. Exactly how I felt, pretty much how I still feel. I don't know that we could have had a better election result because not only did the President win reelection, we gained seats in the Senate (with some decidedly better Democrats), and, although we didn't take back the House, the Republicans who lost were mostly from the Tea Party wing of the party. Some pretty remarkable results on the state level too, and not just the two-by-four Maine, Maryland and Washington hit the opponents of marriage equality with.
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First, the news from California. So many good things, it's difficult to organize them. Let's begin with our famous initiative process. Two dueling propositions to raise money for the schools. Prop 30, from Jerry Brown because he couldn't get a supermajority of the legislature to raise any money to cover the shortfall the state's institutions of higher learning have been operating under. Because that one made sense, there had to be an opposing/substitute/whatever proposition (38), supported by Molly Munger, one of the heirs to the Berkshire Hathaway fortune, which would have increased tax rates for ALL Californians, and which probably would have been limited to K-12 education. That lost with a 72.7% NO vote, Brown's won by 53%. Brown's Prop 30 means I won't have any more classes cut from my schedule in the spring. We didn't get rid of the death penalty but we DID make the three strikes law a little less Draconian (the initiative that established THAT said that the legislature couldn't mess with it AT ALL).
There was also Prop 40, which the Republicans put on the ballot to contest, in a fit of buyer's remorse, the map the Independent Redistricting Commission (which the Republicans fought VERY hard to establish) had drawn for the state Senate. Why? They saw in the Senate map the possibility that the Democrats could get a 2/3 majority, and, if you've been following this, the old infamous Proposition 13 said that the Legislature could not raise taxes of ANY kind without a 2/3 vote. A Yes vote was a vote to keep the map as it was, and 72% of California voters said "keep the map." Funny about that. Guess what happened with the state legislative races. According to the Los Angeles Times,
Democrats were within striking distance of a supermajority in the state Senate late Tuesday, and were drawing near in the Assembly as well, moving the party closer to unilateral power to raise taxes.Be careful what you wish for, Republicans. You might just get it.
The map they drew for Congress had some interesting results too. They made some of the seats that the legislature had drawn for incumbent protection more competitive. Somehow, that didn't work well for the Republicans either. Ventura County has been represented by Elton Gallegly (R) for a long time, but he retired. This was a tossup, according to a lot of the prognosticators. Julia Brownley (D) - 51.7%. In California's 7th District, Ami Bera (D) is leading Dan Lungren by .2%; in the 36th, which is Palm Springs and environs, Dr. Raul Ruiz (D) is leading Mary Bono Mack by 2.8% (51.4% of the vote); in the 52nd, Scott Peters (D) has a 685 vote margin vs. Brian Bilbray, and in the 41st in Riverside County, Mark Takano (D) was elected with 56.4% of the vote. By the way, Mark Takano is gay.
You knew I wasn't going to let THAT go unnoticed. The gay caucus of the House gained two members this election, Takano and Sean Maloney, a former aide to Bill Clinton, who beat Nan Hayworth, a Tea Party Republican, in New York's 18th District (this was one of two seats we picked up in New York; the other was a seat in the district that includes Syracuse, which Dan Maffei took back from Ann Marie Buerkle by 11 points). Returning? Jared Polis (D-CO) and David Cicilline (D-RI), and Marc Pocan, a gay man, is replacing Tammy Baldwin, famously the first out gay person to serve in the United States Senate, in Wisconsin's Second District. The Republicans ran a gay candidate too, Richard Tisei, a former Minority leader of the Massachusetts State Senate, against John Tierney, who had some legal issues going on, and Tierney still won.
Yes, once again NOT ONE Republican represents New England in the House of Representatives.
And what a night it was for civil rights. I'll link some of the diaries that have been written about that today, because I have very little to say that my fellow Kossacks didn't say.
From Steveningen: Chris Kluwe speaks for me today.
From Meteor Blades: Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington bring joy to supporters of marriage equality.
From Rieux:Breaking: Marriage Equality Did Even Better In Minnesota Last Night Than You Think.
From lostboyjim: Huge win for Marriage Equality last night.
From Boise Blue: This is the day I've been waiting for .
And the schadenfreude diary I wish I had written, from Scott Wooledge:National Organization for Marriage finally responds.
I know I've left some out here, but I had errands to run this morning so I couldn't read everything along these lines.
Thank you, everyone who helped make this day possible, through contributions, through GOTV activity, through exhaustive blogging, and through participating as citizens. On to 2014, when we take back the House.
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