aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Stick with Dean
Despite all the complaints and demands directed at him over the past 18 months, Dean stuck to his principles. He and his supporters in the netroots movement believed that their party needed to rebuild from the ground up in every state, including many where the party existed in name only. These Democrats prefer to think of their party as one of inclusion and unity. They openly disdain the divisive strategies of the Republicans who have so often used racial, regional and cultural differences to polarize voters.
And they believe that relying on opportunistic attempts to grab a few selected states or districts as usual—rather than establishing a real presence across the country—conceded a permanent structural advantage to the Republicans that would only grow more durable with each election cycle.
Breaking that advantage would be costly and difficult, as Dean well realized, but it had to be done someday, or the Democrats would fulfill Karl Rove’s dream of becoming a permanent minority party—or fading away altogether. Against the counsel of party professionals, whose long losing streak has done little to diminish their influence, the new chairman began the process of re-creating the Democratic Party in 2005. And contrary to the gossip and subsequent press reports, he succeeded in raising $51 million last year, about 20 percent more than in 2003 and a party record for an off year. [...]
For now, Dean has reached a peaceful accommodation with his internal critics and enemies, many of whom were motivated by his outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq and his support from the unruly netroots. Debate will continue over the wisest national strategy for 2008. Should Democrats continue to pursue the 50-state strategy, even in the difficult terrain of the deep South? Or should they seek to consolidate and expand the gains made this year in the mountain states and the Midwest?
You won’t be surprised to hear that I say stick with the 50-state strategy. When I read those unruly netizons discussing Tom Schaller’s argument for how Democrats can win without the South, Whistling Past Dixie, I see the kind of biases and negative stereotyping we complain about in conservatives.
”The country likes southerners just fine; it’s southern conservatism we don’t care for” is a perfect echo of Christian “love the sinner hate the sin.” I’m hoping the Rovian appeal to the rabid base has been discredited as a winning strategy and that the netizens of the netroots will stick with their principles and force the party to stick with Dean.
Proposition 107 states:
To preserve and protect marriage in this state, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or its political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or its political subvisisions that is similar to that of marriage.
And it’s that part-about “no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created” -that doomed Proposition 107 here. The three largest population centers in the state also happen to be home to its universities, which offer domestic-partner benefits. So do some of the cities in the state, as well as some of the more progressive employers. And-believe it or not-domestic partnerships are a big deal in the retirement communities that surround the cities. Passing a law that could be interpreted to deprive those groups of such rights virtually guaranteed that the measure would be strongly opposed.
That’s the good part; what does he foresee? There are 258,000 ballots still to be counted so he suggests the celebration may be premature:
And even if the proposition does ultimately fail, you can bet a version of it will appear next election, when the anti-gay marriage folks decide they don’t want to take on the unmarried couples living in Arizona again.
The next proposition will be shorter and leave no room for interpretation. And it will pass easily. When that happens, all around the country everyone will nod and say, “Oh, now Arizona’s back to normal.”
The election drags on in Middle Georgia
MACON, Ga. (AP) - Two days after the election, former Republican Congressmen Mac Collins and Max Burns have refused to concede close races to two Democratic representatives.
Jim Marshall barely beat Collins, while John Barrow claimed victory yesterday in the state’s two tight U.S. House races where some ballots remain uncounted.
With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Marshall led by only 16-hundred and 82 votes in middle Georgia’s Eighth District. Collins holds out hope that provisional or absentee ballots might erase his deficit.
In east Georgia’s 12th District, Barrow says he has enough of a margin to withstand the tally of outstanding ballots and a possible recount. In unofficial returns, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Barrow had 50-point-three percent of the vote, leading Burns by just 884 votes.
Georgia Republicans don’t concede. They gerrymandered this election; they expect to win.
Recounts in Georgia
Barrow claimed victory in part because:
since Georgia switched to electronic voting in 2002, no recount has changed the outcome, said Ashley Holt, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office.
I’m on the winning side, but still I’m discomforted by those machines.
As the rest of the nation made a statement by putting more Democrats in Washington, Georgia came close to making its own by darn near ousting two. Jim Marshall and John Barrow barely led as the final precincts were counted, and the margins were so tight that automatic recounts would be triggered. If Marshall or Barrow end up losing, they would have the distinction of being the only Georgia Democrats bounced from Congress.
As I understand it if one of them looses he will become the only incumbent Democrat House member to lose anywhere in the nation.
Do none of the national Dems or high-profile liberal bloggers give a hoot? I read a lot of blogs, a lot of news sources, I don’t understand that I’m seeing nothing about these races.
Someone clue me in please if I’m missing something but it looks to me to be a measure of just how thoroughly written off Georgia is by party strategists; and that doesn’t speak well for a party that wants to represent all 50 states.
Best I can tell Marshall’s won but Collins won’t concede; and it looks like Barrow’s 1,000 vote lead triggers an automatic recount.
Let’s please remember that BOTH of these districts were redistricted for Republican advantage and had repeated visits by the popular governor and unpopular president.
Proposition 83 easily passed in California. danah explains why it is flawed and shouldn’t have passed but, not surprisingly, it did. More surprisingly, it was immediately challenged in court and enforcement blocked. It’s likely to be found unconstitutional.
The law requires GPS tracking. Wired looks at the state of that art:
The ankle bracelets—usually accompanied by digital-pager-size transmitters—are hardly criminal-proof. Convicts can easily cut the bracelets off and run away as their probation officer gets an alarm and tries to contact the local police. For health reasons, the bracelets aren’t designed to be permanent.
“GPS will not prevent a crime,” said Steve Chapin, CEO of Pro Tech Monitoring, a manufacturer of GPS tracking devices. “It’s a crime deterrent. It has proven to be a good tool, but you can’t oversell it—there’s no physical barrier that it creates that can prevent a crime.”
Pro Tech Monitoring? So policing is outsourced?
Chapin said his Florida-based company tracks about 10,000 people, and he thinks other companies track a few thousand more… There are an estimated 63,000 to 90,000 sex offenders convicted of felonies and misdemeanors in California. According to Chapin, it’s possible that about 20,000 of them will need GPS monitoring under the new law. [...]
Currently, Pro Tech charges $6 to $8 a day for active monitoring, and $4 to $5 a day for passive monitoring, equipment included. At that rate, California can expect to fork out between $80,000 and $160,000 per day to watch its sex offenders, although the ballot measure allows increases in court fees and other costs that offenders are billed.
Among the weaknesses in the system not addressed here is how that “active monitoring” is done. People? Low paid? How qualified? Like TSA screeners at airports? Dont get me wrong, I do not object to technology solutions; I object to technological illusions:
Donald Smith, an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University in Virginia, said it’s wrong to rely on technology instead of teaching children to be cautious. “People would like alarms to go off when pedophiles go near their children,” he said. “The real problem is that the pedophile is likely to be their brother, their uncle, their cousin.”
I also object to lifetime monitoring; either they get a l life sentence or they don’t.