I am grinning from ear to ear this morning. This is the best day politically speaking in a very very long time. We did it, folks. We took back the House of Representatives. We are two incredibly close elections away from taking back the Senate. And the best thing about all of this is Nancy Pelosi, the first ever female speaker of the house. This is a big deal. This is wonderful.
This is a little scary.
I mean, the democrats have a lot of promises to keep. They have a lot to prove and only two years to prove it. That's kind of a tall order. Not to mention they still have a conservative, right wing, constitution stomping, pro-life zealot in the White House. Ugh. Stay the course indeed.
Still, I think this might be the beginning of the end of a long nightmare that started in Florida back in 2000. Maybe we're starting to recover from the fear mongering of the post 9/11 agenda and the backlash that rose up after the Clinton administration. Damn people, can't we all just get along?
In other terrific, amazing, wonderful news, the South Dakota abortion ban was voted down yesterday! I 'whoooped' out loud when I heard that last night and then I honestly felt this amazing sense of relief kind of wash over me. I just sat on my couch and pondered the implications of it. This means that they won't be able to push the issue in front of our new, highly conservative Supreme Court any time in the very near future. The nine highest judges will be hearing another case, I believe this week, about abortion rights, but at least they won't have the power to overturn Roe v. Wade anytime soon. That is the kind of scary, Orwellian crap that keeps me up nights. And I can't even get pregnant anymore.
So, to re-cap:
1. Democrats take the House!
2. Nancy Pelosi is our new Speaker!!
3. South Dakota voted down the abortion ban!!!
And now for the not-so-great stuff.
There were two ballot initiatives here in California that got voted down due mostly to the amazing amounts of money that the big tobacco and oil companies were willing to spend to defeat them. Ah, democracy in action. Come to find out that California is the largest domestic market for Phillip Morris. That company spent about $100 million to defeat proposition 86. Prop. 86 would have added another tax to cigarettes and put the money towards health care and other public service programs. Then, Chevron et al. spent another $102 million to defeat prop. 87 which would have taxed oil production in CA and provided incentives for cleaner, alternative fuels. The fact is they could afford more tv and radio commercials. I probably saw five of the negative commercials to every one of the positive ones in the last month. TV ad time is expensive stuff. How can we compete with the vast coffers of Chevron and Phillip Morris?
By being persistent, loud, and relentless, that's how. This was just one setback and it wasn't wasted effort. These issues are out there now and in the public conscience. The cool, progressive people in this state and others just have to keep bringing these ballot initiatives to the voters. Eventually they will get it. I honestly believe that enough concerned people can overthrow the wealthy minority in big business. It just takes a little time and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
UPDATE - It looks like Democrat, Jon Tester just took Montana. The Senate is now tied!