Thursday, November 6, 2014

So There Was An Election This Week...

(Originally written on 11/05/14): Anyway, this now is my new Senator Elect:

It's been one of those weeks. I have things to say about the 2014 Election, but not a lot of time to say it. Maybe later tonight. Maybe tomorrow.


Updated on 11/06/14: I'm back.

Iowa became redder yesterday. Referencing Joni Ernst. It's easy to feel upset. Senator Harkin could have waited another election cycle before retiring. Representative Braley could have fought a different battle. The Democratic Party in general could have run a "less safe/less Obama-adverse" campaign. But this is what we've got. So...

1. Primaries Matter: The fact is that Jone Ernst's more extreme statements, policies, and positions were well-known to anyone in Iowa before and during this campaign. But many people vote straight-ticket and more Republicans voted in this election.

The primary elections have gotten more extreme in this state and elsewhere. If people want more moderate candidates, then more people need to get involved with the primary elections. Not just those of us (myself included) who fall on the most conservative and most liberal sides of the equations. (Though, let's be honest. Democrats tend to seek safe candidates who then tend to run center-right campaigns and who stumble over their positions in order to avoid possibly offending anyone. But I digress...)

If you want more palatable candidates, then show up to the primaries.

2. Elections Matter: Democrats and liberals stayed home more than Republicans and conservatives. Democrats have a bad habit of only showing up for presidential elections. That doesn't work. We need to break that habit. Republicans won big in this state this year. There's one way to fix that...

3. Iowa Dems Still Control the Senate: That's good. From my selfish POV, that gives Iowa yet another two-year buffer against a constitutional gay marriage ban. But it also means that our state has to compromise -- which has mostly worked for the past few years.

4. Johnson County Is Bluer: A couple years ago, we had a fluke election where a Republican was elected to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. That's actually pretty rare for this county. John Etheredge always seemed like a nice guy, even if he did go to great lengths to avoid making symbolic gestures towards the county's gay and lesbian families (not once, but twice). But I'm happy with our newest supervisor, Mike Carberry. Environmentally and politically, I believe he's on the right page.

5. Some People Should Retire from Campaigning: I'm talking to you, Martha Coakley. You too, Scott Brown. I'd say something to Marianette Miller-Meeks also, but she keeps losing and that has been helpful for Iowa Democrats.

6. It Is What It Is: Beyond that, the election results are what they are. Hopefully, things will turn around again in 2016. But people need to vote in every election. (And start working now to get your new state election ID card!!)

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