2012-NOV: Accelerating steps toward
marriage (SSM) etc.
Part 4: Other election-related matters: Senators
elected. A justice retained. Universal suffrage.
We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
President Obama (D) won his second term with 303 electoral college votes compared with Governor Romney's 206. 271 out of 540 votes were needed to win. President Obama also won the popular vote 50.4% to 48.0%. As one political commentator said, the Republican Party is simply running out of angry, white, males. With Protestants having recently become a minority across the U.S.; older teens and young adults abandoning evangelical Christianity in droves; women, African Americans, and persons of Hispanic, and Asian origin solidly supporting the Democratic Party, the Republican Party is going to have to drastically reorganize itself in order to survive.
Some developments affecting individuals:
Missouri State Senator Claire McCaskill (D) is projected to be re-elected, defeating Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin.
Tammy Baldwin (D) of Missouri became the first openly gay Senator in Congress. Actually, there have been many LGB senators in the past. However, they were deeply in the closet.
Justice David Wiggins of the Iowa Supreme Court won his judicial retention vote. He had been targeted by conservative groups because he had participated in the unanimous decision of the court during 2009 to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. The justices had studied the marriage law in Iowa which discriminated against same-sex couples in marriage. They compared it to the equal protection clause in the state Constitution that require all persons to be treated equally. The justices all concluded that a conflict occurred between the law and Constitution. Under such circumstances, the constitution takes precedence. They had no choice but to declare the state marriage law unconstitutional, and to rule that same-sex marriage was legal. Three of the justices had came up for a retention vote on election day in 2010-NOV. Conservative groups had targeted all three and were successful in motivating voters to terminate all of the justices' careers. They repeated their actions by targeting Justice Wiggins who came up for a retention vote on election day in 2012. Some commentators have suggested that their goal has been to frighten judges and justices across the country into biasing their future decisions against SSM. Justice Wiggins survived the retention vote and will retain his position on the court. He said on NOV-07:
"I want to thank the people of Iowa who preserved the fairness and impartiality of Iowa's courts and agree that equal means equal."
Molly Tafoya is spokesperson for One Iowa, the main gay rights group in the state. She said:
"There is no doubt in my mind that we have turned a corner on this issue. ... Our opponents are well-funded, likely very, very mad today and I imagine that they are going to dust themselves off and take a look at where they can try to influence this issue."11,12
Democrats appear to be picking up two or three Senate seats in Congress at the expense of the Republicans.
Republicans appear to be initially forming circular firing squads. However, they will probably be engaging shortly in some serious conversations on how to reorganize their party. Unlike the Democrats, they have stuck with motivating their white male base, and tended to ignore the needs and wishes of women, the LGBT community, Blacks, and persons of Hispanic and Asian origin. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia are becoming a defective and fragile foundation on which to build a political career in the U.S.
Two interesting ways to wrap up the election campaign:
President Obama thanked his campaign staff in his Chicago headquarters on the day after the election. He became emotional and had to wipe away tears as he said that he was very proud of the work that they had accomplished, and that he was certain that each of them would go on in their careers to have many great accomplishments. 8
During Governor Romney's concession speech late on election day, he also thanked his campaign staff. According to Garrett Haake of NBC News:
"From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.
Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked." 9
The importance of whom is allowed to vote:
A sobering thought: What the 2012 election would have looked like without universal suffrage as guaranteed by the 15th Amendment. In 1850, only white males could vote:
I wonder how many people long for "the good old days."
Webmaster's comments about the future:
I also wonder if, when the smoke clears, the U.S. will have three main political parties; the Tea Party, the Republican Party reorganized as a somewhat right of center party, and a more liberal-leaning Democratic Party. That would produce three reasonably homogeneous political parties. It would really shake things up and provide the voters with real choices.
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