Shipping Up to Toronto?
8:39 AM EDT on November 3, 2010
Mrs. Matthews insisted on watching the election coverage last night. Personally, I would have preferred to watch Tosh.0 re-runs on Comedy Central because the elections played out so closely to what I (and the rest of the country) had been predicting for months. It was basically like watching a sporting event on TiVo after your iPhone already alerted you to the final score.
The inevitability of how things happened did not stop the pundits from droning on about how shocking these results were after weeks of warning that the Democrats were in for a bloodbath. Or, as The Colbert Report pointed out, they were being hammered by some variant of a surfing metaphor.
Yes, liberals took it on the chin last night, and the fake-baked jack wagon from Ohio can now shout "Hell no you can't" from the Speaker's pulpit. Contrary to media reports--and the bragging by your conservative Facebook friends--there has not been a sea change.
For the past year and a half, the Democrats have held the Executive Branch and a majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives. That was the recipe for incredible progress--and for the most part only a few small (but hyperbolized) achievements have occurred. They couldn't even end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" despite having a couple of Republican senators speaking about the abject moral failing of the policy. So now, with one half of the legislative branch now loaded with historians who have never leafed through a history book, the liberals of the country are all ready to pack up and move to Canada?
Really? The House of Representatives is suddenly the most powerful governing body? I guess I forgot how much they got done with a Democratic majority just as large that shipped their bills off to a Senate with a Democratic supermajority. Unless they expedite a Constitutional amendment that both disbands the Senate and revokes the executive branch's veto power, nothing but hot air is coming out of their building.
In the end, it could actually work out well for liberals. The economy is already stabilizing--despite the lag in perception--so by 2012 the environment that launched the Tea Party will likely be entirely different. Of course, with Tea Partiers now having a bigger megaphone to dispatch their brand of crazy, they should supply the Democratic electing committees plenty of soundbites for fund raising and campaigning. Then, the success of 2010 will convince Republicans to target the vocal minority and pegging someone like Sarah Palin to be their standard bearer. At least, people like me can hope.
Anyway, the Republican sweep hit even harder here in Oklahoma and will have even less of an impact.
We now have a GOP governor, Lt. Governor, (fill in statewide office), and the state legislature became even redder. If anyone is surprised by this, you have not been paying attention. This state is conservative and has only become more conservative with each passing day. As the old people who were Yellow Dog Democrats because FDR saved their ass during the Dust Bowl have died off, and the Republican Party has seized increasingly on the lame wedge issues that this state values, the GOP has taken this state over.
So, now we can expect a ton of anti-choice legislation that will now get signed. Guess what, that was going to happen regardless of the outcome yesterday. Certainly, there will be a lot of highly publicized but effectively benign tax cuts. The thing is, now these guys have to govern, and cutting stuff hurts, so they still have to collect money to pay for things. So, they'll shift around the tax burden. They might even end the income tax which means property taxes and business taxes will increase--that'll help attract employers, right? In the end the sausages still come out the same, the only difference is that the recipe inside the wrapping changes.
One change that will make a major difference to us all is the passing of SQ750 by the narrowest of margins. For those of you who have no idea what SQ750 is, you are very much in the majority. However, thanks to the passing of SQ750, your ignorant ass will enjoy all the reading you will be doing at the voting booth in every state election from here on out.
Before now, it was very hard to get one of those special question thingies on the ballot. SQ750 significantly reduces the effort it takes. Which means the effort it takes to vote will go up exponentially. Even people who research dilligently before showing up at their precinct take a bunch of time to re-read all the ballot questions to make sure they actually correctly select yes or no. With our reading comprehension in this state, that still means we get it wrong most of the time. In an election like yesterday, with eleven SQ's to skim through, it takes a crap ton of time to read them all. SQ750's repercussions mean that amount could increase by multiples.
Making matters worse is that the voting machines we use require that everything fit on one ballot, which means that the text will either have to be reduced or the amount of text will have to decreased. That will lead to old people spending about four hours filling out their ballot--and Gary England knows they aren't going to stop voting--so waiting in line to vote will take days. Even when you do vote, you won't know what you're voting on, since as we established earlier you didn't research, and the synopsis on the ballot will have no information. But, since you skipped work to stand in line to vote all day, you sure as hell aren't going to leave something unchecked. As a result, you will do just like you did on the PSATs and just make a selection at random. In that way, it won't be entirely unlike what you're doing on the judge portions now.
There you go, that's the one thing that happened yesterday that will have a measurable impact on your life. Still want to move to Canada? Personally, I'm just going to apply for an absentee ballot.
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