Well, the attack ads are over, the convention floors have long been empty, and the event we've all been anticipating/dreading for what feels like our entire lives is finally upon us: It's Election Day!
To get you ready for your big day at the polls, we've put together some links on elections past, resources for voting in the presence, and info for the not-so-distant future. Now get out there and vote already!
If you watched the second US presidential debate last night I've got four words for you: "binders full of women." (If you didn't watch the debate, here are a few more words for you: In response to a question about equal pay for women, Romney told moderator Candy Crowley that while he was governor of Massachusetts, he sought qualified women for his administration by going to "a number of women's groups asking, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women." Yeah.)
The bigger farce, though, is Mitt Romney—the richest candidate in a decade, and the richest plausible candidate in far longer—claiming the President's policies are class warfare. It's almost as laughable as Romney referring to Newt Gingrich as "a wealthy man… not a middle-class American" as a criticism. Sure, Newt isn't a middle-class American. None of the candidates are. But, you know what Mitt? You have $250 million dollars. You're not even the middle of the top one percent.
News of the early election season has been swamped by the stalled debt ceiling vote in Congress, but the proposals put forth by Speaker of the House Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid are sure to factor into stump speeches by the GOP candidates for president. And because this is my farewell in this series for Bitch Magazine's blog, I'd like to point out a few things regarding analyzing the rest of the early election campaigning. Like this: beware the false dichotomy.
I've avoided talking about the debt ceiling debates for as long as the people on the Hill have avoided doing anything about the debt ceiling itself. Also, it's hard to make financial ratings, credit defaults, and inadequate remedies sound like popular culture—unless, I guess, we're talking about how the mortgage crisis took over the news media for a solid two months in 2008. But hey, there are now signs of progress and more interestingly, those signs point to an impending doomsday for the Republicans, and not just in the 2012 election. So good for you debt ceiling! You made the cut for this series.
While the US Women's soccer team went to the World Cup finals against Japan and the last Harry Potter movie demolished the box office record for an opening weekend, three quiet news accounts about new candidates for the White House filtered through the press. Yes, World Cup soccer is more exciting (at least at the finals level--penalty kicks! accusations of faking injuries!), but there are interesting aspects to these three candidates, I swear. What were the political rumbles about? Read on!
Lots of people attempt to manage election laws; it happens all the time. We've seen it in vote-counting, with one side or the other suing their way into forced recounts after a close election. Of course there's "gerrymandering," named after a real Mr. Gerry, former Governor of Massachusetts, who passed the law that let legislators create serpentine voting districts in order to secure future victories for himself and his party. Then there are the donations, donors, special interests, and allied organizations who each attempt to influence election outcomes—and I'll take a look into those next week—but first, we have something of a creative response to playing with elections:
I expect that Vander Plaats, the founder of The Family Leader, will be glitterbombed soon. If Newt Gingrich got a dose of party supplies for his anti-gay stance and writings, surely some of the pink stuff is coming Plaats' way, for his having written that being gay leads to increased mortality. I don't think he's referring to hate crimes when he brings that up, either.
Who else is risking a date with decoration? Read my list after the jump!
Earlier this week, Rep. Tammy Baldwin said she was "likely" to run for the Senate to become Wisconsin's junior senator. After all of the strife in Wisconsin this spring, it was welcome news to progressives, who lost longtime Senator Russ Feingold in the 2010 midterm election and who have been in agony since Governor Scott Walker took union workers' collective bargaining rights away in support of some of his major donors, who include the Koch brothers. What would a run and win for Ms. Baldwin look like, and what could some of the sticking points be?