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Was Last Week Great For Liberals?

Submitted by on November 16, 2011 – 11:00 amNo Comment

Believe it or not, there were elections last week. Voters went to the polls (often in very small numbers) to choose local and even some statewide officials. And many cases showed a progressive backlash against 2010′s conservative backlash…which I guess was a backlash against eight years of Bush, which was a backlash…well you get the point.

Internet aggregator BuzzFeed compiled some highlights of last week’s Election Day:

  • Mississippi voters rejected an ill-defined “Personhood” amendment, that would have changed the state constitution to define life as beginning at conception. While intended to outlaw all abortions (regardless of rape, incest, or threats to the mother’s health), the amendment also would have outlawed some forms of birth control; and it could have complicated (or eventually outlawed) fertility treatments, and even treating a woman with an ectopic pregnancy. Miscarriages could have been investigated by the police. Even many anti-abortion voters found the measure too extreme.
  • Arizona voters recalled State Sen. Russel Pearce, making him “the first sitting Senate president in the nation and the first Arizona legislator ever” to face such a defeat, according to AZCentral.com. Pearce was a immensely powerful state politician, and campaigned almost solely on immigration. He authored the state’s controversial, hard-line anti-immigration law. In fact, he was defeated by a fellow Republican who agrees with him on almost every issue except his handling of immigration.
  • Ohio voters defeated another attempt to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights. (That’s right—when bullying politicians complain about unions being selfish, what they’re really complaining about is unions insisting that they can, you know, exist). Gov. John Kasich, a strong opponent of organized labor, said that the move forced him to “take a deep breath” and “reflect.”
  • Gay and lesbian politicians got elected all over the place, often for the first time: Charlotte, NC; the Virginia State Senate; Houston, TX; Indianapolis; Holyoke, MA elected a 22-year-old gay mayor; and Chatham Borough, NJ elected a gay, black, Republican mayor. Which is actually kinda a mixed bag for liberals.
  • Democrats took five of six statewide offices in Kentucky, including re-electing Gov. Steve Beshear in a landslide.
  • Georgia voters rang out in a loud, unified voice: We want booze on Sunday! As the state had been unable to advance any legislation striking down the centuries-old “blue laws” preventing alcohol sales on the Sabbath, Gov. Nathan Deal allowed it to go directly to the cities. Those that actually voted on it last week overwhelming repealed the law, as many even in the Christian right did not prioritize defending the law. Many voters said that they were not so much opposed to the inconvenience or reduced business opportunities, but to the intrusion of religion into government. And I think being able to have a tall cold one on Sunday is a victory for us all.

What do you think? Are tides turning for liberals and progressives?

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