Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last Nights Election Fallout

Well, all our votes are cast and  the election is over. Now its just a matter of where the pieces will fall. California seemed to have faired better than much of the nation....not that it went that badly. I was going to to a point by point rundown of the gains and losses of last nights election...but lets be frank...that information is readily available on every news outlet with an IP address. I think what most of us want to know is, "What now"? None of us can help speculating on how this shake up could affect the passage of important legislation and the balance of power....if any balance there is.

Predicting anything at this point in time is impossible...some races aren't even fully decided yet. What we "know" is that the Democratic party just got a major smackdown. Or, as the President refers to it...a "shellacking". Sounds nice...kind of like they were just refinishing furniture and not losing a national election. However, first reactions to last nights results have been fairly panic stricken. Losing a majority in the House to a large number of Tea Party candidates and Iowa losing three of of its Supreme Court justices to the fear mongering of NOM and the Family Research Council, makes us wonder whats likely to come down the pike in the next few months.

But is it all bad? Even though so many Democrats lost their house seats, could their possible be a silver lining to yesterdays election hi jinx?

Probably one of the worst things that came out  of yesterdays elections was the ousting of three of Iowa's Supreme Court justices.This is arguably the only victory that NOM achieved in all of the elections it attempted to influence. All other candidates they backed failed miserably. The fact that a group like NOM could  create such an atmosphere of fear around "activist judges" does not bode well for the impartiality of any future cases brought before the court. Judges are meant to weigh an issue on the merits of law...not whether it's going to tick off the public and cost him his job. Any future Justice hearing a case regarding marriage equality or gay rights must now weigh in the likely hood of keeping his seat on the bench into his decision. To me...that's just baldfaced intimidation. Iowa conservatives lost their case against gay marriage in court and failing to secure a constitution ban in the legistlature, not once but twice...they decided that revenge was their only recourse...stay classy Iowans For Freedom.

The upside of the situation is that marriage equality foes have already failed in the legislature twice...that route is not an easy one to tread since it apparently takes a vote in two consecutive legislatures to pass a constitutional amendment. As for the court...the current Governor can now appoint three new justices of his choosing...potentially more liberal judges....thanks again Iowans for Freedom.

Moving on to the the House of Representatives, the common expectation is absolute gridlock. Nothings coming out of there for another two years. In terms of the passage of things like ENDA or DADT, this works against us. But.... a very interesting point has been made about the power shift in the house. People are pointing out a sharp, class based distinction between the old money "country club Republicans" and their more common man and idealistic tea party counterparts. Will they play nice together, even when the tea partiers don't walk lock step with the rest of the party? In addition, the tea party has been making a very loud ruckus about health care and the economy and to day...has been content to sit back and snipe. Now that they are in the drivers seat, the onus is on them to deliver results. failing to do so could mean their ouster from power under the same circumstances under which they were ushered in. Wouldn't that be irony for you?

Finally comes some very heartening news via The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund announces that 106 of its 164 endorsed, openly gay candidates won their elections...meaning we have elected a record number of openly gay men and women to political offices across the nation. From Mayor turned Congressman David Cicilline to Lexington, Kentucky's new openly gay mayor Jim Gray, we elected a record number of openly gay candidates.

Right: Jim Gray   Left: David Cicilline 

 To me this is probably the most positive omen and a sign of slowly changing attitudes to LGBT people. Perhaps the stigma of being gay in office is slowly eroding. It used to be that any whiff of homosexuality was a liability for a hopeful candidate...not so much any more. Perhaps we have seen the day when people like Charlie Crist don't have to craft a persona and hide behind fake relationships in order to hold office...a day when our merits are counted, not who we love. That would be nice.

Every block helps create the strength of the foundation and even if we aren't electing a President or a handful of openly gay Senators...we are at least a growing presence in politics. The more of us in office, the better our chances will be to see the passage of the important bills that now we have to beg for support for....Well I can dream can't I?

So can we still expect good things to happen in the next two years...that remains to be seen. The President still declares that he can pull off a legislative repeal of the point of referring to the Log Cabin Republican challenge as..."destructive to unit cohesion". The man must have a plan then...lets see him make a move...

Until next time dear readers.


  1. Here's the funny part, it's looking like it's possible for the outgoing governor of Iowa to appoint the replacement judges. Even more amusing, if he wanted to be really spiteful, he might be able to reappoint the exact same three judges who just got removed.

    In the meantime, I think the gay community needs to up our support for Iowa.

  2. As always your blog is right on the moment. Just want to bring to your attention some of the ads on your page, "google ads" for Governor Elect Deal in GA are a big turn off, these are not ads we should be seeing on a GLBT blog page; it sends a negative message at least to me.

  3. Education and Unity should be our focus at this point. We must continue to inform people about LGBT issues. The opposition is certainly informing people to fear and hate us. Only when people see our cause as Human rights and not gay rights will they be inclined to act.

    Unity is something our community needs to work on. Competing groups, flagrant chiding of anyone who does not measure up, and apathy will get us only stagnation.

    When we set aside our difference to work for the greater good we can achieve. For goodness sake be humble. A victory is a victory. If we must walk a path where we have to prove every point by example then so be it. In the end we will have equality. It may not be fast but it will be just.

    Don't bite the hand of the Ally that does not live up to your expectations. Extend understanding and redouble your efforts. By all means let them know where they have failed you but don't abuse them. Educate!

    In patience and grace all things can be achieved. For we are all worthy of dignity and equality.

  4. What excited me this election term was that there were openly transgender people running for office. Only one did win, a judge in California, but still it is a win. Which tells me, transgender persons are getting closer to some level of acceptance. After all of the violence that one hears about on a day to day basis against trans people, this was a breath of fresh air.

    Lovely post, as usual. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  5. I know that the record number of openly gay canadits elected is suposed to be be exctiting, but for me it dose not make up for the uncertantiy that the Teaparty republican takeover of government brings. Unfortanitly those republicans elected into state and fedural office tend to be anything but Working Class frendly. As in if your weathly your fine but if you actualy work for a living you better grab your ass and pray that it dose not get blown away. They are not at all Labor friendly or Union frendly no matter how you shine the light on them. Not only that they want to undo the health care bill,and wallstreet reform.

    It makes me nurvose that they might just drivus right back into the ditch and on out the otherside over the cliff into a depresion before they are finaly told to get the heck out of the car!

    As someone that was just getting confident enough to be trying to get into the houseing market and buy a place of my own. (should know by thrus afternoon if I'm pre aproved for a home loan) It scares me half to death the extensive amount of damgame they are being given the power to cause again.



  7. The election results are certainly disappointing, and even when people tell us it's OK, this is what everybody expected, every midterm elections the leading party (President's party) loses seats, and we still retained the majority in Senate — this is still bad news. Not because the simple majority is just not enough, but because politics these days is majorly based on fears...

    It doesn't matter that we still have the majority, it doesn't matter that we didn't loose all that much... what matters is that we lost, didn't gain, and we lost a lot in the House of Representatives, we lost our majority there. Even when Democrats had the supermajority in Senate and a good majority in the House, they didn't do much for us and still played games with Republicans and couldn't get rid of that filibuster rule or couldn't gain enough votes in their own party even. Now things are different: now we have nothing really to hope for... gays are not that important anymore, and we will be sacrificed even more. They're not gonna do anything important for us, or something important for me personally — immigration reform.

    (to be continued)

  8. (continued)

    But that was just ranting. It's not important. What's important is Brian's birthday (sorry for a delay)! I'm so sorry it always gets spoiled by some elections where something bad is happening, but that's life. You have a wonderful husband and two wonderful kids, they all adore you, and you adore them! I can't think of anything more important than that! On that note I wish you to always have those wonderful people in your life, maybe even more of them — more of friends and family who finally come to a realization that you're a great guy with a great family to love and adore!

    And a little update about my life: my boyfriend's adoptive father, Thom, is visiting me in Russia right now. I moved out of my parents' house, and we live in a rental apartment, preparing for Felyx's visit. He's supposed to come to Russia for 3 months this mid December. I'm very excited! Thom is a wonderful person, a wonderful father to my Felyx, and a wonderful future father-in-law for me! We're very hopeful to have a good life together and dedicated to doing everything possible in order to be reunited. We really need people and legislators to support UAFA (Uniting American Families Act) and marriage equality for federal purposes of immigration... We cannot be gay in Russia and live openly like that, we have to fight for that life in the US. Help Kevyn & Felyx to be happy together — support marital immigration for binational gay couples!

    -- ♂K♥F