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The Obligatory Post-Election Post

Nov 8, 2006 • Karen

Given the time zone difference between Denmark and the US, I would have had to stay up to an unreasonable hour just to see the *first* polls close, let alone see any results. Thus, I didn't hear anything until I got up this dark, rainy morning. As I waited for my news bookmarks to open, I was slightly apprehensive.

Well, the election was rather ugly, wasn't it? I escaped most of the campaign bullshit by fleeing the country, but I heard about it plenty anyway. Numerous incidents of voting difficulties and tech glitches, and a few of suppression (especially of Latino voters). TPMmuckraker has been keeping track of a whole bunch; BoingBoing links to more. Not exactly unexpected, but good that people are keeping track of these incidents. It's the only way to be sure it isn't a trend...

...Or to discover that it is. Like the whole robocalling thing. Automated phone calls that smear a candidate--by starting out naming the opposition candidate (so if you hang up right away, you think it's *from* them), then attack the candidate in true "Jane Doe eats puppies" fashion, only naming the source of the attacks (the NRCC) at the very end of the call. (The law requires the source to be named at the *beginning*.) And then, if you don't listen to the whole thing, they call you back as many as ten times. Sometimes late at night. This took place in precincts all over the country.

This isn't just unethical. It's harassment and it's illegal. Quite literally, I want the heads of whoever decided to do this. When it's this close to Election Day and there's no way to fight back before it "counts", the only way to avoid it is meting out enough punishment to serve as an overwhelming deterrent.

But I'm happy. I really am. I was very pessimistic going into this election; I figured the Dems would probably take back one chamber of Congress, but I doubted two. Well, at this point in time, the Senate is still unsettled...but in the two close-as-heck races Democratic candidates both have the majority. Whether they will hold on to them, I don't know. But they have the advantage of being able to point at the scoreboard, while their opponents will come off as sore (and hypocritical) losers. Furthermore, the Democrats didn't just get the House--they f'in WON the House! Not all the seats are settled there, either, but right now CNN has them with a 32-seat majority--more than I think *anyone* expected!

Meanwhile, in Minnesota politics... Pawlenty kept the governorship by one percentage point, alas. I don't regret my vote for Independence candidate Hutchinson, though; I feel I voted for the best candidate for governor, and I'm happy with that choice. Besides, Pawlenty's gonna be plenty lonely next year. Attorney General? Democrat. Secretary of State? Democrat. (Actually voted Independence for that seat, too, but whatever.) That incompetent, partisan excuse for a State Auditor--gone. Now *both* the state House and Senate are blue as heck. So let Pawlenty fight it out with all of them. :)

Disappointed that Michelle "God wants me to run for Congress; good lord am I ditzy!" Bachmann won. Unpleased (but unsurprised) that Jim "Moderates For Torture" Ramstad kept his seat. Sorry that Borene had to drop out with his name still on the ballot, thus keeping Geoff Michel in power. But you can't win them all.

I don't call myself a Democrat. The Democratic party hasn't shown enough spine or advocated enough actual progress for me to do that. I'm proud to have split my ballot across a few parties. BUT... I am definitely a fan of checks and balances. And I hate neoconservatism. So I'll drink to this election.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go dance around the room to some ridiculously catchy Democratic YouTube propaganda. Whee!

EDIT:

Jesus Christ, Rumsfeld is stepping down! Lemme put on my Republican hat for a second and say WHY the HELL didn't he do this TWO DAYS AGO? After every military paper called for his resignation, it might've lent the Republican Party a modicum of credibility that they were willing to reform themselves and thus helped them not lose the Senate. Normally the Bush administration has shown itself an expert handler of spin and timing (if not of actual governance)...I don't know how to explain this lapse.

(Image from BoingBoing)