Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What Happened Yesterday

Deep down inside, I am a political wonk. I love politics and seeing how things play out, and trying to figure out why it happened. Just my thing at times of the year like this. So here's how I think the Senate race here in Tennessee played out.

Much to the contradiction of the national media who always mentioned Harold Ford Jr's race, I do not think that him being an African American played into his loss. I don't pretend to be naive enough to think that there weren't people who didn't vote for him because of his race, but I don't think that percentage was big enough to cause his loss. There are two things that I think that did play into his loss.

1) His family. I think that there were enough people concerned about his family that they didn't vote for him, either wondering if they would influence him when he got into power or he would end up like them. I think that's why Shelby County (Memphis) didn't go stronger for him. They know his family and there were enough people there and in parts of the rest of the state that decided for that reason.

2) He's a Democrat. I think that as conservative as Tennessee has swung, there were a lot of independent voters who couldn't bring themselves to vote for a Democrat. They fear them in power. They fear the Pelosi factor. I also think there were a lot of Republicans in the same boat. They're dissatisfied with the war and the President and the party and don't agree with them, but just couldn't push the button to vote for a Democrat. I almost fell into that category myself, but for the first time in a Senatorial election, I voted for a Democrat. I fell into all of those categories and decided that the time was right for some change in DC after 12 years. I liked how he presented himself and how he campaigned (for the most part). I think that he'll be a great candidate in the future as well.

Same Sex Marriage
This wasn't very interesting in Tennessee: 80% to 20% for the amendment defining Marriage as being between a man and woman. I wasn't surprised by that at all.

What I didn't know was how it broke down in the other 7 states where there were similar ballot initiatives:
So in what seems like a pretty clear referendum on the subject, gay marriage lost. What does that mean? It seems like while there is a split, the majority supports the ban. Now interestingly, Colorado also had a domestic partnership measure on their ballot which was voted down 53 to 47. I think something like that would be something I would support more than gay marriage (which I do feel is between a man and woman). That measure getting voted down made me wonder about the politicking of Dobson and Haggard and the rest of the crew out there.

Democrats in the House (and maybe the Senate)
The country has indicated that it wants some change. The Dems won many more seats in the House than they needed for a majority and there's still an outside chance that the two undecideds in Virginia and Montana will swing their way. The question now is what really will change? The president is the Commander in Chief, so the Dems won't get us out of Iraq. They don't have a chance to override vetoes, so the laws they pass will have to be compromises on some level (not even including those signing statements Bush has been writing on laws passed by his own party). What we're probably looking at is gridlock, but in my mind, while gridlock isn't great, I find it preferable to the blank check the President has had for the last 6 years.

What's really going to get interesting is the next two years with the Presidential race (which should be interesting). Will the Democrats get someone who can capture the public's imagination? Or will we be stuck again voting for the lesser of two idiots?


Sam Davidson said...

Unfortunatley, I get the sick feeling that we'll have two idiots. You ever thought about running?

Phil said...

Running away as fast as I can? Yep.

Jennifer Thompson said...

Interesting point about Harold Ford and Shelby County. What I found interesting was that Ophelia Ford got a larger share of the local vote than he did. (Ophelia, for non-Tennesseans, is Harold Ford's aunt; she replaced her brother John in the state Senate after he resigned amid corruption charges, only to be removed from the Senate herself when it was discovered that there were a few dead people who voted in the special election.)

But looking at the senate district maps, Ophelia's district (29) doesn't cover all of Shelby County - it's mostly downtown up north to Millington. Which leads me to guess that Harold lost support in the surburbs - not that surprising.

Of course, I could be wrong. This stuff geeks me out too.

G. Brandon Hoyt said...

Remember the good ole days when Paul wrote for us to
Romans 13:1-7 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (2) Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (3) For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, (4) for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. (5) Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. (6) For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. (7) Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

even when he lived under a cruel, repressive, idolitrous, gluttonous society?
Man wouldn't it be great if we could vote, and settle with the results for two years?

I did vote republican down here in FL BTW. First time I ever voted for one particular party. Usually I have the conscience to vote for at least one democrat, but not this time...
Maybe I need to look at my heart more often.
Time to start building community.
To start, I've dug up some interesting articles about homeless people on my blog!

Justin said...

If I had voted, I wouldn't have voted for HFJ because of his family. His dad and he are fairly close, and though I was young, I remember the tense feeling in the city when his dad said the black community would riot if a black guy wasn't elected mayor. He had a habit of calling white people in the city and county "east memphis devils". I just wouldn't be able to pull the lever for someone whose dad was one of the biggest race baiters in TN (not to mention the rampant corruption in the rest of his family).

I don't think that Corker is going to behave like the rest of the Republicans. He is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He's not a "we need to make any abortion illegal regardless of the health of the mother or rape" kinda republican. I imagine he's more liberal on other social issues as well. But I like fiscal conservatism. The republicans all used to be that way. Things have changed.

Hopefully the gridlock will occur. I think its the best thing for the country. The republicans realize that they've completely f-ed up things and the democrats don't quite have the power to make anything worse. Hopefully, Republicans will return to true conservatism, Barry Goldwater conservatism that brought them power originally.

And I think Harold Ford Jr is done. He can probably win the 9th back in two years from Steve Cohen... but I don't think he can win a Senate seat here and he definitely can't win a governorship after supporting Bob Rochelle this year. Tennesseeans aren't going to vote for someone who might support an income tax. I think his presidential aspirations are definitely up. He wasgoing to use the senate to get into national spotlight and make a run for the white house. I think that his ascent to stardom is done.

Phil said...

Brandon, I'm not sure of the point you're making... Are you saying don't complain because God put them in power?

G. Brandon Hoyt said...

In a way, yes, God allows them power. I'm saying that nobody respects government, regardless of who is in control everyone has it figgered out.

My main point is,
we have a lot of say in our government, early Christians did not, and they lived under a cruel, repressive system that worked against them.
Yet God for some reason inspires Paul to write to submit and pay taxes anyway.
I'm saying that it's time to start building community nationally. THe biggest thing our elections do is divide us.
I was really thinking about this from Satan's perspective today; how do you prevent the wealthiest, free-est, most capable nation from doing any real good in the world? Let them have an election! Every two years they'll squabble over nothing, so they can vote people in office who will make us all fatter. Eventually people will stop caring about others, and look out only for their own "needs" and politicians need power.
So on a lot of blogs I read sneers about how bad things were and they are going to be oh so better and we have no perspective because:

In the meantime, Darfur still happens.

Satan wins!
Maybe we all need to start voting for candidates who have a positive impact on their community, not the sappy kissing babies kind of impact, but the "Our campaign raised $500,000 to elect me to this office and $100,000 is going to buy books in schools, so the kids really win" kind of impact, ideally without headlines or anything.
Maybe that happens and I just don't know.
I wish it didn't matter what the letter was beside the name of the person.
Am I makin' sense here???

Kenneth & Victoria said...

I must say it's interesting to read the view from Red America on this election. Here in the Blunited States (I'm in Maryland) the perspective's a bit different. Just having Bush accountable to Congress for a change will represent a major difference. And with Democrats controlling both houses after a major turnaround, it won't behoove the Republican party for Bush to veto every populist bill that comes across his desk. In 2008 he won't be much use as a national campaigner if all he can say is that he kept the Democrats from raising the minimum wage and kept doing the same thing in Iraq.

The Democrats definitely have the clout and the mandate to deliver on some promises, and I hope that all the moderates they brought into the party help them accomplish things that the majority of the country really want. It should be an interesting couple of years.

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