Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Post-election hangover

It's heartbreaking to wake up after a major election with the feeling that a large percentage of your fellow citizens have just kicked you--and themselves, really--square in the teeth. Yesterday's midterms are a prime example of wave elections based on doubling down on self-fuckery, voting out of spite and prioritizing winning over actual good governance and fairness.
To make matters worse, only about 55% of the eligible voters in this state actually voted. That's seen as quite high for a midterm--which is, frankly, depressing as hell. Local elections have a far, far greater impact on our day-to-day lives than do presidential picks. I'd argue that elections matter more the more local they are--city/county up to state.
So what happened? Half of us stayed home. Was it because of all the voter ID nonsense, people being disenfranchised, turned off entirely by the process (maybe just assuming their vote doesn't matter, especially if they live in one of the now several gerrymandered-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives districts)? I don't have the answers, obviously, but something is terribly, terribly wrong when just half of half of the voting population has the power to make these big decisions on behalf of us all.
Something has got to give.

According to Ezra Klein, anyway, we have 2016 to look forward to as a far better year for Democrats/progressives, but it doesn't make today any less depressing.

Full breakdown of vote by county here.

In the meantime, I'm going to sit here and wait for the gushing thank-you notes from all the political comedians for sending troglodytic buffoon Glenn Grothman to the U.S. Congress. I'm looking at you, the Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, the Onion, and Wonkette.

Meanwhile, the apparently rather powerful transportation / highway builders lobby in Wisconsin won big yesterday as well. They managed to sneak a cleverly worded referendum onto the ballot that passed with overwhelming numbers, despite the fact that what it actually does is enshrine corporate patronage into our state constitution.

A silver lining among all the depressing news, though, was how the referendum to support raising the minimum wage did: it won big.

Douglas 70%
Dane 74%
Eau Claire 61%
La Crosse 61%
Kenosha 63%
Milwaukee 66%
Portage 58%
Rock 64%
Wood 55%
Appleton 59%
Menasha 60%
Neenah 60%
Racine 72%
Now to see if our government pays any heed to the voice of the people on this one.

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The Lost Albatross