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And In Other Good News


Marriage equality wins in Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

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  • wengler

    Arizona’s proto-secessionist amendment failed.

    • parrot

      pity … we could have built a fence around it and walked away … except for the border patrols …

  • Xof

    Squeaking ahead in Minnesota, too.

  • wengler

    Don’t look now but Bachmann just slipped into second in MN-6.

    • adolphus

      It looks like she slipped back into first. Her and King are the only dark spots from yesterday as far as I can tell.

      is it too early to make start haranguing people who voted for all this goodness yesterday to show up at the polls in 2014?

      • Oh fucking hell no. Finding a way to turn this new demographic reality for Presidential races on the midterms is now project number one for the progressive movement, IMO.

        • BobS

          I wouldn’t expect the Republicans to give up their own project of voter suppression any time soon. Any progressive project to cement that demographic majority needs to address that issue, starting with an organized campaign by the Democratic party itself to help people secure photographic ID.

  • Three states affirm marriage equality, we get our first openly gay Senator, and the pro-Adam&Steve President wins handily. Praise Jebus! I can’t believe it was only eight years ago that Kerry went down with 13 states voting to ban gay marriage.

    Also, two states repudiating the Drug War by popular acclaim is mind bending from the perspective of just a few years ago. Everyone at the DCCC needs to be fired immediately, but other than that this was a hell of a night.

  • NewHavenGuy

    …WHEW. Wings of the angel of death fluttering over our heads, no joke.

    Down ballot news is good too, though I’d have liked to take the House back.

    This isn’t Victory(TM), but your readers know that. Arpaio won, eg, Bachmann and Allen West likely to be re-elected. Not a sea change. But a start.

    A lot of good-minded people seemed to think that 1/20/09 was Mission Accomplished or some such shit. Get drunk, recoup and realize tomorrow: years, maybe decades of angry political fights coming up.

    I’ve got your back, cover mine. Keep pushing. The Birchers started 50 years ago and never stopped, and are coming close to ruining the country altogether. Push back like your life depends on it. “Politics” isn’t some thing that happens every four years: it is reality. Power, how and whom for it is used. Very real, every damn day. PUSH BACK.

    • JoshA

      West is behind by 2500 votes with 100% in. Recount, I guess?

  • Right! Step to, come on, two lines by self-identified gender, c’mon, c’mon, can’t get mass gay married unless you get organized, right, look sharp.

    Now. Each same-sex dyad will receive one (1) trailer, one (1) copy of Das Kapital, and one (1) adopted child to indoctrinate. Do NOT loose your copy of Das Kapital, it’s a bitch to find enough firewood to fire up the boilers that power the printing machines, which we use since the Butlerian Jihad destroyed all technology, to replace it.

    • NewHavenGuy

      You forgot Alinsky. And the New Black Panthers.

    • Warren Terra

      I just can’t tell satire from the sad reality anymore.

      • parrot

        there’s nothing more satirical than reality … w/ apologies to g. morandi …

      • Holden Pattern

        Poe’s law is a harsh mistress.

    • daveNYC

      I thought that we were going to give the couples random children out of the public schools.

  • laura


    • Halo4 + reelection=win

      Actually, it is “Forward Unto Dawn.”

  • wengler

    Ifthese exit poll numbers are to be believed, Romney was able to pump up white voters by a fair number over McCain, but ended up losing because Hispanics and young people hate him.

    And 18-29 year olds were a larger voting bloc than 65+.

    • NonyNony

      And 18-29 year olds were a larger voting bloc than 65+.

      Exit polls. That means people showing up to vote and getting harassed by exit pollsters. No absentee ballots in that count.

      And I’m wondering if you can measure the racism in my home state of Ohio by the difference in votes for Romney and votes for Josh Mandel, or if something else in at play there. Brown consistently gets 2-3% more of the vote than Obama did across all age groups. On the other hand, the difference between Obama and Brown’s vote totals is only 50K votes – it looks like a whole chunk of people just decided they would vote for Romney and just skip voting for Senator altogether on the Republican side – there’s a 200K vote difference between Romney and Mandel’s vote totals.

      I’m trying to figure out what the heck happened there. Admittedly Josh Mandel is probably one of the smarmiest characters in the Ohio government right now, but that usually isn’t a show stopper in this state.

      • MattT

        Exit polls. That means people showing up to vote and getting harassed by exit pollsters. No absentee ballots in that count.

        I think they changed the way they do exit polls this year to include phone interviews, because so much voting was early/absentee.

      • Joseph Slater

        In fairness to voters in what is my state too, there’s a pretty good argument that Mandel is even less likeable the Romney, and even less qualified for the office he sought.

  • Warren Terra

    It is amazing to me that in 2004 Gay Marriage was a stick made to Karl Rove’s hand, with which to beat the Democrats by stirring up the bigotry and the fears of his base; that in 2008 Obama felt obligated to run from the subject, and to deny his earlier support for it – and yet in 2012 our party’s nominee and our party’s official platform embraced the equality of our Gay friends, relatives, and neighbors, and did so proudly, invoking it in big speeches. And they won, and in three or possibly four states the electorate directly embraced the idea. It’s a long way to have come in eight years.

    • wengler

      That’s what 8 years of old bigots dying can do. They got replaced with young people who don’t get why gay people shouldn’t have equal rights

  • Manju

    in 2004 Gay Marriage was a stick made to Karl Rove’s hand, with which to beat the Democrats by stirring up the bigotry

    Since Nate Silver is the hero of the day, lets follow his lead and listen to the statisticians:

    Political scientists believe the exact opposite. In an article by Ansolabehere and Stewart III, appropriately titled, Moral values and the gay-marriage backlash did not help Bush, they argue that, the “Marriage referenda mobilized voters on both sides, not just the conservatives, and the net result may have been to John Kerry’s benefit.” Here are the facts from Ansolabehere and Stewart III:

    The (more logical) conclusion seems to be that “moral values” and the gay-marriage backlash did not help Bush


    The data says; “Stand by your values, Liberals!” Also, Thomas Frank is an idiot.

    • Warren Terra

      Interesting. Certainly contrary to the conventional wisdom. At the very least, I’d argue that it seems the intention behind the 2004 anti-Gay referenda was to (disproportionately) mobilize the anti-Gay Republican base, even if the data you cite suggest that was not in fact the result.

      • Manju

        Certainly contrary to the conventional wisdom.

        Well, its bigger than SSM, Warren.

        The whole CW about values voters is largely voodoo. You are right that Conservatives are too stupid to realize this. So your description of their motives may very well be correct.

        But let them figure that out. The good news is you don’t really have to worry about losing elections over your social values. The bad news is the reason you were losing post-64 is because race trumped class b/f that…to the benefit of liberalism.

        But I won’t continue with that beatdown. For now, you are the party and ideology of civil rights and you can win by being true to thyself.


        • Malaclypse

          The bad news is the reason you were losing post-64 is because race trumped class b/f that…to the benefit of liberalism.

          And after 1964, race trumped class to the benefit of conservatives, who have very effectively cornered themselves into being the Party of White People. Did you have a point?

          • Cody

            Can’t we all just be friends today?

          • Manju

            And after 1964, race trumped class to the benefit of conservatives

            This is largely inaccurate.

            I can’t do a response that now. On topics this incendiary I need to speak thru left-leaning academics with pristine reputations.

            I assure you I can gather quotes and data from them telling you that you are largely wrong. But there is a lot of nuance here so before I do that let me know if you are genuinely interested.

            In other words, I’m not interested in hearing about my mother basement (which is spectacular btw) or me being a retarded 14 yr old.

            • Malaclypse

              But there is a lot of nuance here so before I do that let me know if you are genuinely interested.

              My life will remain incomplete without a 30,000-word comment on Robert Byrd and DW-Nominate.

              • Manju

                ok. I won’t bother.

            • I can’t do a response that now. On topics this incendiary I need to speak thru left-leaning academics with pristine reputations.

              Not really. A good argument would do. I personally don’t care about author ideology per se.

              I assure you I can gather quotes and data from them telling you that you are largely wrong. But there is a lot of nuance here so before I do that let me know if you are genuinely interested.

              And that Bloom is a Good Intellectual Historian as well! :)

        • John

          I don’t see how you can say that race trumped class in the south before 1964 in any broad way. Certainly, rich people in the South, like everybody else, voted Democratic. At the same time, this was already significantly less true in presidential races than it once had been (Eisenhower won 5 of the 11 southern states in 1956, and had support from LBJ’s Texas oilman friends, among others).

          • Manju

            I don’t see how you can say that race trumped class in the south before 1964 in any broad way.

            Rich Southern Whites voted against the Bankers Party at a much higher clip than their brethren in the North b/c they hated Blacks more than they loved money.

            Poor Southern Whites voted for the Party they are expected to vote for at a much higher rate than their Northern brethren because of that Party’s “gentleman’s agreement” to maintain Jim Crow.

            Race clearly trumped class.

            (As I mentioned, I’ll do this later with cites from Nate Silverish Political Scientists. But that’s the gist)

      • JohnR

        Certainly contrary to the conventional wisdom.

        Ah, conventional wisdom. It’s as wise as common sense is common.

    • The Dark Avenger
      • Manju

        Linking to Thomas Frank is like linking to Un Skewed Polls Dot Com.

        • The Dark Avenger

          Except he uses research like history, talking to local politicians, and narrating how a Democratic candidate became the governor of Kansas, rather than abstract election data to draw his conclusions from.

          From a recent interview:

          BILL MOYERS: And Barack Obama for all of his virtues and intelligence is not a man of the people.

          THOMAS FRANK: No, he’s not. And he also, he’s a man of academia. He’s a man who believes in experts and expertise as we’ve seen in many, many, many, all the different sort of arenas of his presidency whether you’re talking about the war in Afghanistan or whether you’re talking about the financial crisis.

          This is a man who defers to experts, believes in expertise. He does not have much sympathy for, say the labor movement. He can’t go out there and tell you why, say the regulatory agencies failed. He can’t, it doesn’t make sense to him. He can’t talk about these things that everybody wants to know about.

          Now, on the other side you’ve got a movement, the conservative movement, a right wing populist movement that talks a very good game, that speaks to people’s anger and that offers them a kind of idealism, a kind of hope that perversely draws on a lot of the rhetoric of the 1930s and models itself after a lot of the movements of the 1930s.

          And what they offer, this is interesting. What they offer, the dream, the sort of utopia, the vision that they have for the future of our country is pure free markets. And they say this all the time. It’s not me making this up. You go to any Tea Party rally–

          BILL MOYERS: That’s right. We’ve covered them. You’re exactly right.

          THOMAS FRANK: –and they talk about this. If we can just get government out of the way and we can reach out, you know, and–

          BILL MOYERS: But getting government out of the way is what helped bring down the economy–

          THOMAS FRANK: Of course, but they say the only problem is that government, you know, yes, we deregulated all that stuff, we deregulated all through those years, but we didn’t go far enough. And so you can say to them, “Well, look at the record of George W. Bush, the champion deregulator. Look at all the amazing things that he did to set Wall Street loose to deregulate.”

          And they’re like, “Well, George W. Bush was not a real conservative.” They say this all the time. It’s very easy for them to, you know, because they’re such purists and such ideologues to excommunicate someone like George W. Bush from their movement and say, “Well, he wasn’t pure enough.” Ten years ago they had little statues of him on their desks, you know. But how he’s thrown out of the movement, “Not pure enough” —

          BILL MOYERS: That’s their idealism?

          THOMAS FRANK: — because of the bailouts.

          BILL MOYERS: Their idealism is their unblinking faith in the free market?

          THOMAS FRANK: Yes, and this is an idea that when I first started writing about it was something that you only saw from the Jamie Dimons of the world.

          I called it market populism. It was something that you saw on CNBC in the early days, in the stock market boom of the ’90s. You would see it in, like, personal investment books and I made fun of it. Today it is everywhere. It is epidemic, and it’s not just the high and the mighty that believe this stuff now, that believe that markets are both a natural phenomenon and a democratic phenomenon. This is average people all across America that believe this.

          BILL MOYERS: But you’re a historian. Why has this happened?

          THOMAS FRANK: Our anger turned from Wall Street to Washington, and it happened in a very short period of time. If you remember back to 2009 when the bailouts were going on the sort of high point of public anger came when AIG, remember these guys? This is a company that should not exist any longer.

          These are the people that invented, they didn’t invent the credit default swap, but they sort of took it to its logical extreme. And these guys were not only bailed out, they were handing out bonuses to the executives in the division that had invented the credit default swap and had done all these crazy things. And the public was so angry. This is in March of ’09. I remember the feeling.

    • parrot

      there’s a wilderness awaiting your bell curve …

  • Warren Terra

    This was a telling quip, via Dan Savage’s stream:

    “The Rape guy lost” “Which one?” Your party has serious issues if people have to ask “Which one?”

    • UserGoogol

      Fortunately, the answer to that question was “both of them.”

      • Anonymous

        All four of them, actually.

  • Jameson Quinn

    If I had to choose between gay marriage and control in the house, it would be tough. But throw in Tammy Baldwin, legalized pot, Elizabeth Warren, no Allen West, and a supermajority in the CA state senate, and I’d happily take the result we got.

    • Davis X. Machina

      The House originates money bills. And has no Rule 22.

      Control of the House is a very big deal, indeed.

      • JohnR

        Plus the GOP continues to control the Senate (“51 votes? We don’t need no stinkin’ 51 votes!”)

    • JKTHs

      There’s plenty the Dems could pass through reconciliation if they really wanted to, had they had the House. Of course, history says that they’re much less willing than Republicans to do that

  • MAJeff

    Quite simply, the best election in the history of LGBT America. The ballot initiatives, Tammy Baldwin, retention of Justice Wiggins in Iowa, it appears there will be an open bisexual Congresswoman from Arizona the first gay Congressperson of color from California.

    Kind of mindblowing how big it was.

    • I would guess that 2016 is going to be even greater for the LGBT community.

      Not sure about 2014. I imagine there are going to be a lot of states (5-7) with ballot measures, but with midterm elections, will progressives show up? Really an open question. On the other hand, those ballot measures might be precisely what it takes to get those progressives to show up.

  • David W.

    In Minnesota the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment was put on the ballot by the Republican-controlled legislature with the intent (stated behind closed doors, but it was quite clear) to motivate their base to turn out. It turned out that enough motivated Democratic voters not only defeated the proposed amendment, they flipped control of both houses of the state legislature to the Democrats. The proposed voter ID amendment also was defeated and the GOP lost a seat in the U.S. House, so it was a very good night for Democrats in Minnesota.

    • bradP

      so it was a very good night for Democrats in Minnesota.

      Popular rejection of anti-gay marriage and voter ID amendments means you don’t need the part I crossed out.

      • Malaclypse

        And the moment you find a prominent Minnesota Republican who praises these developments, your bullshit false equivalence won’t be bullshit false equivalence. In the meantime, your delusion that both sides are equally bad remains delusional.

        • bradP

          That’s not what I meant at all.

          I mean that you don’t have to be a democrat to appreciate that those are good for the state (regardless of what republicans say).

          No false equivalence on this one.

          • Malaclypse

            Perhaps, but actual Republicans are gnashing their teeth, so I don’t think you can say that they find these to be positive developments.

            • bradP

              I’m sure. But overall a very good night for several states.

      • David W.

        Agreed, but I won’t forget how it was the Republican Party that wasn’t appealing to the better angles of our nature either.

        • JohnR

          the better angles of our nature

          My nature’s better angles are the less obtuse, but more acute ones. Sorry; can’t help myself.

    • Lee

      Hooray for the good people of Minnesota. Its nice to see one of the most liberal states in the United States returning to good form.

  • rea

    I don’t understand Michgian, though. Clearly democratic in presidential and senatorial elections–Republican on everything else (well, except for the emergency manager bs).

    • Davis X. Machina

      The spectre of Detroit, and what They did to that city, is constantly before the eyes of the rest of the state.

    • BobS

      To understand Michigan, take a drive up north.
      In addition to defeating the emergency manager proposal, Michigan also deserves credit for rejecting proposals 5 & 6 (Maroun is a member of the Evil Billionaires Club, along with the Kochs, Adelson, Singer, et al). However, one of my few big disappointments last night was the defeat of proposal 2.

      • Joseph Slater

        Co-sign BobS.

      • wengler

        Canada can finally build the free bridge.

  • Still remember how distraught I was post 2004… to lose the election and have 11 states enshrine discrimination in their constitutions was pretty numbing.

    I knew we’d eventually come back but I had no idea we’d make this much progress in 8 short years.

  • david mizner

    I’m feeling good about my home state of Maine. The pro-equality people ran a good campaign, with excellent ads, like this one.


    • Davis X. Machina

      Both Houses flipped R > D.

      Two years of angry, red-faced vetoes from the Salvage King….

      • david mizner

        Lepage used to be mayor of my hometown — just horrible. (Him, not Waterville.)

  • Lee

    I’d just like to thank the good people of Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington for their good, common sense in moving LBGT rights foward. We are close to having marriage equality in a fifth of the Union. Within the coming years, more states are going to get marriage equality, hopefully leading to a country wide victory.

    If this is combined with a repeal of DOMA than it would also a great immigrant victory because thousands or tens of thousands of LBGT immigrants could now gain status through petitions filed by their citizen spouses.

  • Rarely Posts

    Wonderful news. Given the close margins, President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage may actually have made a difference in these ballot initiatives. Particularly in Maryland, with it’s huge African-American and Democratic bases. I’ll be curious to see whether that intuition holds up when we grind into the exit polls. I know bully-pulpit arguments are generally wrong, but I wonder if they made a difference here in these two democratic states (by solidifying support among the President’s supporters, something some data suggests the Bully Pulpit can achieve). Certainly the supporters of Proposition 6 thought they might (a huge number of ads in favor of marriage equality played the clip from his endorsement of gay marriage).

    I’d also note that, if so, it’s a testament to the constant political pressure the LGBT movement brought on the President. A pressure that consists of both support by organizations (HRC), funders, and activists, and constant demands for more by some of those same people and other, more radical groups. Whenever I worry that the Left has failed to politically organize, I take comfort in the LGBT movement’s success here.

  • parrot

    the wrath of chik-fil-a … monumental fail

  • Reilly

    Some good outcomes in California: Prop 36, which revises the three strikes law, passed easily with 69% of the vote. And the odious prop 32, a corporate-backed deception intended to cripple labor unions, didn’t fool 56% of the voters, despite the big money propaganda push.
    Unfortunately the prop to repeal the death penalty lost, but only by 6% of the vote. The entire night gives me hope of measurable social evolution.

  • PhoenixRising

    Who’s the smartypants that wants to crank out 1000 words om how this outcome affects next week’s conferences at SCOTUS about the Prop 8 and DOMA appeals?

    I have a lot of back logged work at my day job, so I was hoping that one of you academics who gets paid for that kind of thing might oblige. Kthxbai.

  • Joe

    Same sex marriage, a lesbian senator, a pro-SSM and gay equality President … Gay USA will have some celebrating to do. http://www.gayusatv.org/Site/Welcome.html

  • mds

    I wouldn’t trade Washington’s vote for marriage equality for anything. I might have traded the marijuana vote for the government-wrecking success of Initiative 1185, requiring a two-thirds legislative supermajority or a popular vote majority to raise taxes or repeal existing tax exemptions. Then again, perhaps taxing marijuana sales will be a sufficient source of additional revenue.

  • Joseph Slater

    Lots of good points on this thread about lots of stuff, but I want to underscore/repeat what the main post says: marriage equality passing is /Biden voice on/ a big fucking deal. It really is.

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