Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Make Of It What You Will

Yesterday’s election results brought good news and bad news for Democrats and Republicans, LGBT’s and their opponents, and the winners will try to make as much of their wins while the losers will try to shrug them off.

The wins by the Republicans in the governors races in Virginia and New Jersey were not unexpected; Virginia switches back and forth between the Democrats and Republicans without regard to national trends or pundit pronouncement; this is the state that gave us Douglas Wilder, the first elected black governor, and it also gave us George “Macaca” Allen. Jon Corzine was behind in New Jersey almost from the moment he announced for re-election, and his campaign ads against Chris Christie, making fun of his weight, didn’t do anything to help. And the closely-watched election to fill the vacant House seat in New York ended up handing the seat to Democrat Bill Owens after the Republicans and the Conservatives beat each other up. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being very disappointed with the outcome of the same-sex marriage bill in Maine, but that’s counterbalanced with the result in Washington state where the civil unions bill survived.

The news analysts are all saying that this election was a warning to the Democrats: it’s not 2008 any more. No kidding; I don’t really think anyone in either party ever thought it really still was 2008. Off-year elections are lousy predictors, and I remember a lot of people on the left trying to make what they could out of similar elections after they got their asses handed to them in 1972 and 1980. I don’t think it’s going to mean a whole lot to the 2010 election where all of the House and one-third of the Senate will be up for election, but that won’t stop the wise, the sage, and the Villagers inside the Beltway from picking up that meme and going to lunch on it for the next year.

If there is a message for anyone, it’s that the people, regardless of their party, are expecting results, not stump speeches, so now that you’ve had your fun, get back to work.