Despite the endless prognosticating about what the defeat of an unpopular governor in New Jersey means for the media goal of electing a Republican president iin 2012, I can't say I was all that disappointed in the election result here in New Jersey. I don't think Jon Corzine has been the disaster that far too many people think he is, but he, like Barack Obama before him, has never been effective in communicating the mess he faced, years after Christine Todd Whitman emptied the state pension fund to provide tax cuts. Chris Christie is an odious pantload of crap, Karl Rove's hand-anointed toady, who tried to besmirch Bob Menendez right before the 2008 elections. That said, it doesn't help that many, if not all, of the Democratic hacks he prosecuted this year turned out to be as crooked as sin. And I'll give him a few bonus points for bringing down that equally odious pantload of crap, Joe Ferriero.
So we'll see just how much damage this dim bulb can do in the next few years. After all, can it get any worse?
The worst part of a Republican governor is that any chance we might have had at helping lead disappointing states like Maine by leading the way in granting equal rights to all of our citizens in the form of legalizing the right of our gay fellow citizens to marry has pretty much fallen by the wayside. Perhaps it's that there are so many people there now from out of state, because Mainers are traditionally a pretty crusty, iconoclastic lot, who don't like to take marching orders from anyone, least of all a bunch of religious nuts from Utah and elsewhere. And yet that's what they did. I don't understand it. I have been married for over 23 years and my gay friends not only haven't turned me gay, but their relationships haven't threatened mine one bit. I still believe that if you scratch the surface of a homophobe, you will find one seriously fucked-up closet case. (And on a related note, if you haven't seen Outrage
on HBO yet, do catch it.)
If anyone was repudiated on Tuesday, it wasn't Barack Obama, but rather, Sarah Palin and her minions of mouth-breathing, drooling, willfully-ignorant flesh-eating zombies. Even in a district like NY-23, which is accustomed to voting against its own interests, the mouth-breathing, drooling, willfully-ignorant Doug Hoffman was too much. The teabaggers' loss in that district, however, wasn't for lack of trying
It isn't that electioneering done outside a 100-foot perimeter of a polling place is a bad thing. I've done it myself when I was volunteering for a candidate that was running off the party line. However, my electioneering consisted of smiling, saying "Good Morning" to everyone who showed up to vote, and handing out cards showing where my candidate's name could be found to those interested in taking them. And I never once strayed inside that 100-foot line. Apparently the teabaggers decided that screaming at people and testing that limit was the way to get their point across. I can hardly blame them, given that this was the card they handed out
. I did it differently, but then I have background in marketing and am a reasonably fair Photoshopper. I simply took the actual ballot, scanned it in, made a larger version of my candidate's box, popped it on top of the image of the full ballot inside an image of a magnifying glass, and then simply had my candidate's name and "Look OFF the line". What I found out that day is that people appreciate receiving voting information -- they just don't like feeling intimidated. That's what the teabaggers in NY-23 obviously didn't realize.
Perhaps the reason Doug Hoffman lost is that upstate New Yorkers are like Mainers used to be -- they don't like being told what to do, and that voting for a particular candidate is voting "correctly". If they really believe that right makes right, then why not just say "Vote the RIGHT way." Sheesh. This isn't rocket science, people!