05 November 2014

Oregon wins, America loses -- for now

Even in an election as lousy as this one, my state of Oregon remains an oasis of sanity.  We re-elected our Democratic Senator, Jeff Merkley, by a massive margin, and our Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber as well.  Democrats even made slight gains in both houses of the state legislature.

Measure 92, requiring labeling of foods with GMO ingredients, remains too close to call; it may yet squeak by, despite the big money spent to defeat it.

Best of all, we passed Measure 91; we will join Colorado and Washington in legalizing marijuana to be taxed and regulated, like any other commercial product.

I don't have much to say about the national election results.  Others will be providing mountains of analysis (and throwing blame around, which I'm especially uninterested in doing).  I do want to call your attention to the big picture:

1) Like 2010, this was just another case of Republicans winning because turnout was low.  When not enough people vote, this is what happens.

2) The polls were right.  They generally are.  People who sit around thinking up reasons why the polls are wrong are just setting themselves up for disappointment.

3) This is a setback, not a disaster.  Obama still has the veto pen.  Nothing good will happen in the next two years, but probably not much bad will happen either.

4) In 2016 the fundamentals will favor us as much as they favored the enemy this year.  We will keep the Presidency, take back the Senate, and probably win much more besides.

5) Above all, the inexorable demographic changes in our country make long-term victory inevitable.  Democratic-leaning groups -- Hispanics, single women, and above all the non-religious -- grow year by year, while Republican-leaning groups shrink.  Yes, things feel terrible right now, but in a few years we'll all look back on this as little more than a speed bump.

Let the bad guys gloat for now.  Our time will come.


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Congratulations to Oregon. And for the rest of the country. Good luck with the gooney loonies you elected. The party that embraces people like Ted Nugent now has the Congress and most of the state houses.

We can all shit our pants now.

05 November, 2014 16:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

We can all shit our pants now.

Not only us. I've seen some pretty worried posts on foreign blogs. Just think how people in other countries feel about this bunch of wingnuts gaining more control over America's global power.

05 November, 2014 16:57  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was sad to see that the GMO labeling bill failed narrowly. We went through this in the primary here in California. I've been using it as my go to example of the pernicious effect of money on politics. The proposition was hugely popular. But after millions of dollars spent on deceptive advertising, it went down big. All the ads where something like, "These laws will destroy our family farms!" It was disgraceful.

This election, we saw two good consumer-empowering propositions come through (45 and 46) that went down in flames. (For the record: I hated the drug testing in 46, but the meat of the bill was great.) About $40 million was spent defeating each of them.

This is the stuff that really depresses me. I've been telling people for the while the Senate was going to the Republicans, so I was prepared. Sadly, many of my readers were not. I understand it; it still sucked. But the local stuff is what is killing people (Literally!) in Mississippi, George, Florida...

But as you say, we carry on.

05 November, 2014 23:22  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't share your optimism that Obama will veto republican legislation he doesn't like.He has shown an open willingness to be lead by whatever political breeze is blowing from the right.

Given the opportunity I'm afraid he will look toward his legacy and bargain grandly especially with what remains of the social safety net.

Only time will tell, but I'm not holding my breath that he will stand up to the republican majorities.

06 November, 2014 13:56  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Frank: Yes, I was sorry to see Measure 92 lose. The big money does have its effects. Living in Portland, I was bombarded with anti-92 mailers. Never saw a supportive one.

Thomas: Well, we'll see. So far he's sounding pretty firm on Obamacare and illegal aliens. And the Republicans have a history of not even being able to agree among themselves on what their demands should be.

06 November, 2014 17:53  

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