Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More on the Elections

Here's some more analysis of the races that I was following.

In Colorado, Bill Ritter (D) is the new governor. In my Congressional district, Ed Perlmutter (D) is the new Congressman. These are both Dem pickups. Unfortunately, nut-case Marilyn Musgrave retained her Congressional seat in the 5th district, as did even bigger nut-case Tom Tancredo in the 6th. Still, Colorado's Congressional delegation is now majority Democratic.

I was disappointed in the ballot measures. The anti-gay marriage amendment passed, while the domestic partnership referendum failed. They were relatively close, and with the long-term trend in public opinion moving against anti-gay bigotry, this issue just isn't going to work for Republicans much longer. I predict we'll be revisiting this issue again within the next decade, and results will be different. There was also a ballot measure to legalize possession of marijuana. I voted in favor of that, not because I smoke pot (I once did, but I didn't inhale), but because I think the drug laws are stupid. Unfortunately, it failed. There was also a measure to increase the minimum wage, which passed, and an amendment to institute term limits for Supreme court and Appellate court judges, which failed. I viewed that last one as another part of the Right's War On The Judiciary, their on-going attempt to make our 3rd branch of government irrelevant, so I'm glad it failed. There's a reason why our founding fathers preferred lifetime appointments for high court judges -- it isolates them from the whims of politics. And that's exactly why right-wing extremists hate the judiciary, because when judges uphold the Constitution, the Right can't do anything about it. Here's another prediction: With the Dems controlling both the House and Senate, and no small number of state legislatures, the Right will suddenly forget that they are at war with judges and start running to the courts to try to block as much legislation as they can. And as usual they will be completely oblivious to their hypocrisy.

In South Carolina, the anti-gay marriage amendment passed by a huge margin. No surprise I guess. Mark Sanford, who is such a genius that he forgot his registration card and was turned away at the polls, won reelection easily. Andre Bauer narrowly won reelection for Lt. Governor. I saw Bauer speak once at MUSC, where among other things he tried to convince a crowd of bio/med professionals that our health insurance system was fine and right-wing's War on Contraception was a good thing. I don't think he won too many friends that day.

In the race for State Superintendent of Education, The Republican (and proponent of teaching creationism) Karen Floyd was heavily favored to win, but it appears that Democrat Jim Rex has eked out a narrow victory. As of right now, the margin is 217 votes out of over 1 million cast. Rex has claimed he's won, although we'll be seeing a recount for sure. None of the news articles I've seen have mentioned anything about the possibility of a run-off, so I may have been wrong about that. If so, fine. I'd rather not have to go through with that.

All in all, it was a very bad night for the proponents of "intelligent design". Aside from Floyd's upset loss (assuming it sticks), we had the joy of seeing Rick Santorum, author of the infamous "Santorum Amendment", go down in a flames. The Discovery Institutes's biggest supporter in Congress is thus finished. In Ohio, the creationist members of the Board of Education got slaughtered, (update: Dick Hoppe has a post about the Ohio school board at the 'Thumb) as did the religious right kook running for governor. In Kansas, sadly, the two pro-science candidates challenging the creationist Board of Education incumbents lost. But fortunately, thanks to a huge win in last summer's primary, the creationists will once again be a minority.