November 7th, 2012



The day after election day.


Barack Obama won the presidential election so solidly that *even recounts or flipped results in Florida AND Ohio wouldn't undo his victory*. Democrats hold the senate. Rape apologists and unchecked misogynists got voted out in multiple races. Puerto Rico voted to move toward statehood. Three more states (Maine, Maryland and Washington) legalized same sex marriage and one (Minnesota) voted not to illegalize it in their state constitution. A bunch of places legalized marijuana. There's going to be a gay (female) senator, a pansexual congresswoman, a(nother?) gay congressman, an Asian American female senator, a disabled combat veteran congresswoman, and probably some more I'm forgetting just now.

Republicans hold the house, by a sizable margin. I like to think this is because Democrats chose to throw their resources into holding what they already had (senate and white house) rather than trying to take something new. So there's a possibility that the partisan political gridlock will continue. But then again it may not; now that Obama doesn't have to be concerned with maintaining or increasing his odds of winning reelection, he might be able to push harder. I think the democratic majority in the senate is stronger now, too.

More importantly, more largely, this election has shown that there is a rock bottom level of basic decency and fairness that the American electorate is willing to accept, and when candidates fall below that point, they lose. Romney's unwillingness to take a solid stand on ANYTHING except, "I am not Obama so vote for me!!1!" Romney's and Ryan's outright lies. Damn near every male right-wing politician who said anything about rape during campaign season. Mind, this bottom point is still several stages lower than it ought to be, but it's THERE, and that gives me hope.

Closer to home, it looks like Michigan rejected all six of our proposed state constitutional amendments: we didn't entrench the right of public employees to unionize and we didn't promise to get 25% of our energy from renewable sources, both of which make me sad. But we also didn't expand the power of the governor to appoint non-elected "emergency managers" and oust local elected officials; we didn't vote to require a statewide vote with a 2/3 majority before the legislature can increase taxes; and we didn't vote to require a statewide vote every time someone wants to build a new bridge or tunnel to Canada, all of which make me very pleased. (The emergency managers one is just wrong and I can't wait for a high court to find that kind of thing unconstitutional, but meanwhile I'd rather Detroit not be the test case. The 2/3 majority on taxes would have pretty much guaranteed the legislature would never be able to spend money again, which gets in the way of governing. And the bit about bridges just isn't something that needs to be codified in our constitution or decided by public vote.) I never did decide how I felt about the last proposal, which would have unionized all home healthcare workers in the state -- generally I think unions are good idea, but I'm not sure this is the way to go about it -- so I'm not upset that this one lost too.

My immediate area is solidly democratic, so there were no surprises there. We seem to have defeated a ridiculously expensive library proposal -- again -- which suits me fine: I'm in favor of spending money on library resources, but this was something like $65 million for a new *building* to literally replace a perfectly functional building of the same square footage in the same location. If Bill Gates offered us a grant to do just that I'd say we should take it, but out of tax money when we're also debating things like whether to stop running school buses? No. Not a wise use of public funds.

I guess that's it for Nicki's election recap. M and I stayed up until past midnight watching the coverage, and as predicted, I cried when they called it for Obama. (I have yet to listen to his victory speech or Romney's concession.) Then she went to bed while I checked Tumblr and Facebook and then spent a couple of hours knitting because I was too keyed up to sleep. I guess it was about 3 when I got to bed, and yet I woke up at 7:30 too excited to go back to sleep because *Obama won!*

I've been a lazy bum all day today, just knitting and watching TV and cuddling dogs, which I think I deserve after the past couple of months. Probably I'll regret it later when I'm down to pretzels and hummus for dinner because I didn't cook anything to eat during the week, but, eh. Right now that's a price I'm willing to pay.