Alaska Votes to Go Back
It’s surprising that more Alaskans aren’t wearing those puffy white braces around their necks. If you missed getting whiplash from Tuesday’s election results, you either don’t follow politics or you’re hibernating with the bears.
The nation rejected the radical right agenda on many levels. Four states approved marriage equality for their gay and lesbian citizens. (I know! Maryland, Maine, Michigan and Washington aren’t, like Anchorage, holding public meetings so hundreds of people can quote scripture about why their freedoms are under attack if they can’t FIRE or EVICT gay people.)
Recreational marijuana was legalized in Washington and Colorado. Three days later a King County prosecutor dismissed all pending possession cases. See, they’re already saving taxpayers money.
Hawaii is sending a Buddhist to the Senate and a Hindu to the House of Representatives. Both women are Democrats. Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono is an immigrant from Japan, and the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate.
Wisconsin elected Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay senator. (Former Sen. Larry Craig doesn’t count, for obvious reasons.)
Because of pick-ups across the country, women now make up 20 percent of the United States Senate.
The “legitimate rape,” “forcible rape,” “God’s will rape” and “that rape thing” candidates were defeated by Democrats, mainly in states that went for Mitt Romney. Turns out conservative women made the difference in those elections by voting for sanity over party.
Thank you, ladies.
Virginia, after a year of “trans-vaginal probing” state laws, sent a Democrat to the Senate and went blue for Obama. Turns out women there may smile and nod with their party on the outside of the voting booth, but check a different box on the inside.
California voted to RAISE taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year instead of cutting public education. They could have privatized schools, like Florida has, but with so many of those schools failing (including one that was paying its principal more than half a million dollars of taxpayer money), they went a different direction.
Montana, another Romney state, voted 75 percent in favor of a 28th Amendment to the Constitution stating, “Corporations are not people, money is not speech.”
The Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and many other reactionaries spent hundreds of millions of dollars and earned no return on their investment. Even Donald Trump was mad at Karl Rove, tweeting, “Every race CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”
The Citizens United decision met up with “Citizens, United” and lost.
If the House of Representatives was decided by electoral votes instead of popular ones, the Democrats would have taken over. But thanks to gerrymandering in states run by Republicans, the GOP held power. Speaker John Boehner, seeing the result of the election, said, “We don’t have a tea party caucus.” Actually, sir, you do. It’s called the Republican caucus. Moderate Republicans like Indiana’s Dick Lugar were primaried by loons who lost on Tuesday to Democrats. Lugar’s seat hadn’t been held by a Democrat since 1977.
The states with the highest-paid workers and highest wages for teachers voted for Obama.
When George W. Bush lost the popular vote and won the electoral vote (only because the U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t let the ballots be counted), he called his win a “mandate.” President Barack Obama has an actual mandate. The country rejected the extreme agenda of a right bankrolled by billionaires and corporations. People stood in line for hours – even after the election was called for Obama – defying deliberate attempts to disenfranchise voters across the country.
Depending on your point of view, the whiplash in Alaska either happened early in the evening or later.
The kickback against the extreme red tide of 2010 took care of business nationally, but the residue of that extreme agenda washed up here. (Health note: Red tides either mean don’t eat the mussels, or the government is going to start to stink pretty soon.)
Nationally, we went forward. As a state, we went back in time. When they count the 35,000 absentee votes still outstanding, we will hit 51 percent turnout in Alaska. That’s the lowest showing for a presidential election year since statehood. (I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: any adult getting a Permanent Fund check should be required to vote – even if you don’t check a box, you should have to show up and tear a ballot in half.)
A majority of Alaskans voted to give away our wealth to Big Oil as quickly as possible. Within 24 hours, new senators-elect were already talking abortion bills. The social issues that have been kept off the table will now be the main course. Fantastic. Women will become baby pipelines, public school teachers will be vilified and we can wage war on the gay agenda and Sharia Law, (which, ironically, agrees with this crew on gay people).
Here’s the good news for all of us. The election is over and with four Supreme Court Justices in their 70s, we needed the president to win. The bad news is that next legislative session’s Gavel to Gavel coverage will need to air in black and white, we’ve gone that far back.