Many Happy Returns

Congratulations to the voters of Dover, Pennsylvania, for booting their entire anti-evolution school board yesterday! Laurie Goodstein writes in today’s New York Times:

All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.

Among the losing incumbents on the Dover, Pa., board were two members who testified in favor of the intelligent design policy at a recently concluded federal trial on the Dover policy: the chairwoman, Sheila Harkins, and Alan Bonsell.

The election results were a repudiation of the first school district in the nation to order the introduction of intelligent design in a science class curriculum. The policy was the subject of a trial in Federal District Court that ended last Friday. A verdict by Judge John E. Jones III is expected by early January. …

… The vote counts were close, but of the 16 candidates the one with the fewest votes was Mr. Bonsell, the driving force behind the intelligent design policy. Testimony at the trial revealed that Mr. Bonsell had initially insisted that creationism get equal time in the classroom with evolution.

(Singing) Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, GOOD BYE.

More good news: Yesterday California voters rejected all of Governor Schwarzenegger’s ballot proposals. Michael Finnegan and Robert Salladay write in the Los Angeles Times,

In a sharp repudiation of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Californians rejected all four of his ballot proposals Tuesday in an election that shattered his image as an agent of the popular will.

Voters turned down his plans to curb state spending, redraw California’s political map, restrain union politics and lengthen the time it takes teachers to get tenure.

I liked this part:

Dogging the governor, as it has for months, was the California Nurses Assn., which organized a luau at the Trader Vic’s in the same hotel. As Schwarzenegger’s defeats mounted, giddy nurses formed a conga line and danced around the room, singing, “We’re the mighty, mighty nurses.”

I love it. Don’t ever mess with nurses.

Also in the Los Angeles Times, Peter Nicholas and Mark Z. Barabak explain why the sequel failed at the ballot box:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday met the limits of his celebrity: Even a campaign built around his action-star persona could not persuade voters to embrace his “year of reform” agenda.

Worse for Schwarzenegger, the special election he called to cement his power may have diminished it instead. All four measures he brought to the ballot — Propositions 74, 75, 76 and 77 — were rejected.

Schwarzenegger staged a campaign intended to capitalize on his once-robust box-office appeal. He largely shunned unscripted encounters with voters and face-to-face debates with political opponents, sticking instead to friendly exchanges in venues packed with admiring supporters.

His campaign echoed the strategy he employed in the 2003 recall campaign, when the product he was selling was “Arnold,” the outsider determined to “clean up” Sacramento with the same wit and resolve he showed in his movies. …

… The problem, however, was that Schwarzenegger never seemed to make the transition from celebrity to chief executive. The obvious comparison is to another actor-turned-California governor, Ronald Reagan.

Ken Khachigian, a longtime Republican strategist who was a speechwriter in the Reagan White House, said of Schwarzenegger’s rhetorical habits: “It was like, ‘OK, we’ve heard that stuff.’ This is different now. This is policy and substance, and the speeches should have used a little different rhetoric.”

While Schwarzenegger’s approach “worked well in the recall,” Khachigian said, “The problem is that it didn’t wear very well over a period of time. After a while he was a governor, not an actor, and it’s quite a different role.”

A Republican strategist and occasional Schwarzenegger advisor put it more bluntly Tuesday, saying privately: “The act is getting stale.”

I guess the Republicans aren’t talking about amending the Constitution so that immigrants can be president any more.

Here’s the good news roundup:

Democrat Jon Corzine beat Republican Doug Forrester in the New Jersey governor’s race.

Democrat Tim Kaine beat Republican Jerry Kilgore in the Virginia governor’s race.

Schwarzenegger was clobbered; see links above.

“Intelligent design” gets the boot in Dover, Pennsylvania; see links above.

Maine voters defeated an attempt to repeal a law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. In other words, gay rights, yes; gay hate, no.

In Minnesota, an anti-Bush Democrat will replace a pro-Bush Democrat as mayor of St. Paul.

San Francisco Chronicle: “San Francisco voters took a stand Tuesday against military recruitment on public school campuses, voted to keep firehouses open and approved the nation’s toughest ban on handguns by making it illegal for city residents to possess them.”

Not all voters turned away from the Dark Side. Texas voters approved a ban on gay marriage, and Ohio voters rejected four constitutional amendments intended to reform their corrupt election processes.

The re-election of Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City is a wash; Bloomberg is a through-and-through RINO. A “real” Republican couldn’t get elected to squat in New York City.

Today the bobbleheads on the cable TV news shows will be explaining that yesterday’s elections don’t mean the 2006 elections will swing to Democrats. And they may be right. But they’re often wrong, aren’t they?

10 thoughts on “Many Happy Returns

  1. Thanks for that comprehensive summary, maha. Bummer about Texas, and especially, Ohio. But the California nurses rock!

    I wish all pols who try to screw our dedicated, hardworking service folk would get what’s coming to them. Several years ago, our former mayor did a number on our firefighters. Former mayor became governor, became current Ag Secretary (“Chinless Mike” Johanns), the mad cow’s best friend.

    Next year at this time is going to be fun, I think!

  2. I’m still very concerned about electronic voting, and I am cautiously optimistic about yesterday’s victories. This might be part of Rove’s plan to mix a little bit of truth with lies, and to allow a fair election in between rigged ones. Off-year, local elections are the perfect time to do that.

  3. “This might be part of Rove’s plan to mix a little bit of truth with lies,”

    Rove wouldn’t have given away Virginia.

  4. The SF handgun ban is more symbolic than anything else. It will probably not survive a court challenge; IANAL but it’s pretty clearly unconstitutional.

    Overall though, today is a very good day to be a Democrat!

  5. Election Night, 1992, my sister-in-law said those exact words to me: “This is a good day to be a Democrat!”

    Clinton may’ve had his glaring imperfections, but history is going to be a lot kinder to him than to the Smirking Chimp.

  6. All victories are good, in-themselves. But the victories also affirm the confrontational strategies of our party leaders–Dean and Reid. We beat a slew of Republicans, and we put the DLC on the defensive.

  7. What I’m curious about isn’t so much what the bobbleheads are going to say as what lessons current Republican incumbents are going to draw from this election. If enough of them start to worry that Bush is going to make it hard for them to hold onto Congress next year, things could get really interesting. One would also hope, as Raenelle mentions, that the Democrats would start to realize that if they’re actually willing to fight the Republicans, they can win.

    As a Californian, of course, I also just have to sit back for a minute and enjoy the victory. I can’t wait for next November, when we get to give Arnold the boot once and for all.

  8. i wonder if little ricky santorum is starting to get nervous about now? He should…..He’s probably goona get kick out the door too. Couldn’t happen to a loonier moonbat, I mean nicer moron.

  9. On tonight’s NBC Nightly news with Brian Williams they did a short piece on a statement made by Pat Robertson today. Apparently he’s declared a fatwa against the people of Dove Pa who voted against intelligent design.

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