Tonight is the kind of night that would have been largely ignored fifteen or so years ago, but the advent of 24-hour news has made it into an off-year election extravaganza with "mandates on Obama's presidency" and "the unlikely resurgence of the Republican Party". None of those things are actually true, but when the Media has a storyline, you've got thousands of jobs dependent on that storyline, not to mention indignant bloggers (comme moi, naturellement) who positively MUST have an opinion or else their genitalia fall off.
Definitely a bad night for progressives, if you're keeping score. As predicted, the Republican won the Virginia Governor's race, but the dangerously-fat douchebag Republican won the New Jersey race as well (and New Jersey, despite its reputation, ought to know better). Neither of those races worry me particularly - despite eye-rolling claims like they "shifted the political terrain against President Barack Obama only a year after his historic election". People elect governors from either party for all kinds of weird reasons. I mean, California elected Arnold Schwarzenpfeffer, for chrissake.
No, the most disgraceful event of the evening happened in Maine, where voters overturned a law granting same-sex partners the ability to marry. There is a special place in hell reserved for people who vilify another group of people strictly for political gain... and there is another special place in hell for closeted gay men who vilify other gay men to assuage their roiling inner conflict.
Both of these are the dominion of the Republicans, most of whom deserve to be strapped to a wall, their eyelids forced open Clockwork Orange-style, while two naked guys in leather torture masks fist each other over a Bible, WHILE I MARRY THEM IN THE NAME OF THE UNIVERSAL LIFE CHURCH OF MODESTO, CALIFORNIA.
According to Maine's official Election Site, fully 74% of the money raised to demonize homosexuals came from out of state - all the right-wing crazies, the Texas evangelical wingnutters, the Mormons, everybody. Yes, Mainers alone carry the shame of voting the way they did, but when you've got outright fuckin' LIES being funded by snot-eaters living thousands of miles away ("my kids will be taught to be a homo at school!"), why can't the forces of tolerance SAY something about it? Here... I'll make an ad in 45 seconds:
I swear, if they'd done this in California 18 months ago, a bunch of my friends would still be married.
In better news, the district just above ours in upstate New York - NY-23 - told the teabaggers, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, and the rest of the ghastly fringe elements of the Republican Party to show some manners and get the hell out of Plattsburgh. If this region can go for the Democrat - despite (in some cases) 160 years of Republican rule, an economy in the shitter and wall-to-wall coverage of Obama haters - I'm feeling okay about the national picture.
Still, the other gubernatorial losses speak volumes when broken into stats: Republicans voted and Democrats stayed home. Perhaps if our party stopped being such bipartisan-minded ninnies, perhaps if they NUKED EVERY REPUBLICAN LIE the MILLISECOND IT WAS SAID, and randomly kicked conservatives in the NUTZ every once in a while, the base would be fired up enough to vote, rather than wallow in vague despondency because the national dialogue is so putrescent.
WAKE UP, YOU FADING FLOWERS! KEY SOMEONE'S CAR! GET JOE WILSON DRUNK AND SHAVE HIS EYEBROWS! SUPERGLUE LIEBERMAN'S DROOPY ASSCHEEKS TO THE TERLET! GET MAD!