Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election round-up

Bush says “Across the country, citizens voted in large numbers. They showed a watching world the vitality of America’s democracy, and the strides we have made toward a more perfect union. They chose a President whose journey represents a triumph of the American story -- a testament to hard work, optimism, and faith in the enduring promise of our nation.” As opposed to your slackerism and fear-mongering, George?

Note his choice of pronoun: they chose a president.

UR DOING IT WRONG: The US bombed yet another Afghan wedding party, killing maybe 40 and wounding the bride. Said army spokesmodel Col. Greg Julian, “It is the worst possible outcome if civilians are harmed as a result of our trying to defend them.”

Arkansas voters passed a ban on adoption and fostering by anyone who is living with someone to whom they are not married. This was intended to get around a state supreme court decision that a specific ban on gays adopting was discriminatory by banning not just gay couples, but also relatives of the child or people designated as guardians by the child’s parents if they happen not to be (or are not legally allowed to be) married. Given that the number of children needing foster or adoptive families was already several times the number of such families, getting out of orphanages will now be even more of a lottery.

Arkansas voters also passed a measure creating a state lottery.

Washington state passed physician-assisted suicide for terminal patients.

California voted to give chickens more wing space.

Arizona and Florida and California banned gay marriage. Now that little girl will never be able to marry a princess. The Florida measure also banned domestic partnership benefits for all unmarried couples. The California proposition, uniquely, reversed an actually existing right to marriage (and is badly enough drafted that we don’t know if it invalidates gay marriages already enacted). But (with 96.6% of the vote counted), it only did so by 52.2%. The issue is rapidly reaching a tipping point in California if not elsewhere in the country. I say supporters of gay marriage should take a leaf from the people who push props for parental notification for abortion on us every single damn election (this year’s lost, just like in 2006 and 2005), and not take no for an answer. Don’t wait for demographics to create a pro-gay majority in 10 or 20 years, but bring it back in 2 years and 4 years and 6 years, because it forces the anti-gay side to enunciate their prejudices. Half of the function of the abolitionists, the women’s suffrage movement, and now the gay marriage supporters, is to force the other side into revealing the emptiness and mean-spiritedness of their bigotries. Arguably, gay marriage didn’t even lose on its merits, but on the false claim that school children would be taught all about the joys of gay marriage, and their parents couldn’t do anything to stop it , oh won’t someone think of the children. You heard very little from the pro-Prop 8 side about what’s so wrong with the idea gay marriage, except that it’s not “traditional marriage.” The anti-8 side didn’t go after them to demand they be more explicit: “Really, ‘God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,’ that’s the best you’ve got?” Rather, it mostly talked about equality, which is a good argument and a high-minded one, but which (sigh) doesn’t seem to have worked on black voters, who were the one solidly anti-gay-marriage demographic (much more so than Latinos, which I can’t say I understand).

WaPo headline: “McCain Asks His Backers to Get Behind Obama.” Graciousness, or an ominous threat? You be the judge. If I were Obama, I wouldn’t want those people behind me.

Tom Tomorrow: “We’ve regarded our leaders with dread and anxiety for so long, it has come to seem like the normal state of things.” More.

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