Midterm Results

Well, there is good news and there is bad news. Let's start with the good news.

The good news is that many ballot measures favoring social and/or economic justice passed and many that didn't failed.

Minimum wage hikes passed in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota—every state in which a proposed minimum wage increase was on the ballot.

Anti-abortion personhood amendments failed in Colorado and North Dakota.

Marijuana (small amounts for recreational use) was legalized in Alaska, D.C., and Oregon. This is important because the war on drugs has ruined an awful lot of lives, especially the lives of young, poor people of color, because small amounts of marijuana for recreational use is not legal.

Prop 47 passed in California, which "reduces the classification of most nonviolent crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor," and makes eligible for reduced sentences thousands of inmates who are currently serving time for "drug possession and the following offenses when less than $950 is involved: shoplifting, check and credit fraud, forgery, theft a,nd possession of stolen goods." Basically, California voters voted no on the continued criminalization of need.

Illinois voters voted yes to the state legislature requiring prescription birth control to be covered in prescription drug coverage health insurance plans, yes to raising income tax on income of $1m or more to provide additional revenue to schools, and voted yes to prohibiting voter suppression in the state.

Oregon voters voted yes to an equal rights measure that "guarantees equal rights regardless of sex."

So, lots of good stuff. As Angus Johnston noted on Twitter, "It's really hard to gerrymander a referendum is one of yesterday's lessons."

Now for the bad news:

The extremely restrictive anti-abortion amendment proposed in Tennessee passed. I expect it will challenged in court.

And for the really bad news:

The Republicans now control a majority of both Houses of Congress, a majority of state governorships, and a majority of state legislatures.

I wonder what they'll do first with all this power: Repeal the Affordable Care Act, or criminalize puppies?

Senator Rand Paul's speech last night provides some insight into what their agenda will probably be: "Paul spoke of a sharply conservative agenda for the new Senate: tax cuts, balancing the budget, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and 'repealing every last vestige of Obamacare.'" Terrific!

So, that's where we are. The Republicans have said that they're the ones who can "save this country," so let's see some saving, assholes.

Finally: As always, there will be an abundance of think pieces about how the Democrats need to respond to losing by running even further right. THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. Even the most cursory glance at the results of ballot initiatives across the country, even in very conservative states, exposes the grave faultiness of this reasoning. We don't need another version of conservatives, "only less so!" We need progressives.

And we literally needed them yesterday.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus