Election wraps, sucka

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By G.W. Schulz

Ahhhhh, yes. Another energy draining election night for the Bay Guardian, as many of our former reporters can fondly remember. Run across the city to three or more parties, squeeze through the crowds, pray no one spills wine down your back, bug the candidate for a comment, watch supporters anxiously stand around and wonder if the night’s going to end in a drunken disappointment, track down a payphone in the bathroom (as I did at Momo’s for Rob Black’s party – I gave up my cell phone months ago), and hope a few friends will be at the bar when you finish things up.

Then, after all of that, beg the gods not to let some dipshit who hates the 1st Amendment bring down the Guardian’s Web site as our staffers are trying to post new material on the blog. We were attacked, but it didn’t work, so whoever you are, you’ll just have to start your own newspaper. Poor baby.

First things first. THE INFAMOUSLY CONSERVATIVE SEN. RICK SANTORUM LOST HIS REELCTION BID! And you have the beloved Dan Savage of The Stranger to thank, at least in part. Thank you, blessed Dan. Of course, Savage has posted what is frankly a very fucking funny caption contest on The Stranger’s staff blog. But Wonkette gets credit for catching another very hilarious photo. Not enough? Go here. Many of you likely remember Dan inviting readers awhile back to identify a sexual substance that deserves the title “Santorum.”

So, who on the viciously right wing should get it next? How ‘bout Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas or Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma? (Oh now, you remember Inhofe. He’s the bozo who said Abu Ghraib wasn’t horrifying after all.)

An avowed socialist has been sent to the Senate, and the nation elected its second black governor. Pombo is out in a stunner. AND DONALD FUCKING RUMSFELD HAS RESIGNED. My only question here: When White House reporters ask the president why he's changed his mind on Rumsfeld in a matter of days, and he clearly dodges the question and we all know he's bullshitting, why won't those same reporters follow-up with some insistence? It could go something like this: "With all due respect, Mr. President, you didn't answer my question."

Schwarzenegger has won in a landslide due largely to a well-orchestrated campaign that Democrats should have seen coming from a mile away considering it was executed by Karl Rove-protégé Steve Schmidt. Think about it: The Democrats won handily in several states because voters were pissed off at Bush and tired of burying their kids returning from Iraq. But a Republican won reelection to the Governor’s Office in a profoundly blue state. After years – decades, really, because Rove worked with Bush in Texas – of bitching about Rove, the Democrats haven’t learned to keep an eye on where he or his hacks are operating at all times.

The Chron quoted Schmidt this morning, and he said something that should probably be tattooed on the forehead of every future leader of the DNC:

“Something unique happened here. And it’s an important road map for people who want to run for president in 2008.”

That’s right, Steve. It’s not about conviction anymore, sadly, it’s about strategy. Rove figured that out a long time ago.

Schwarzenegger has promised to give the Democrats one big bipartisan bear hug, shaking them back and forth until they begin bleeding just a little bit from their noses.

The Chron is reporting that the governor is already talking with union leaders and insurance industry lobbyists about health care reform. The gov rejected universal health care earlier this year, so what grand plan could he possibly be cooking up? Rumor has it, the goobernator has promised to throw fistfuls of free Band-Aids from his motorcycle to poor children as he traverses the state in a victory parade dodging the highway patrol and hoping his outdated tags don’t land him in an overcrowded jail. Okay, that’s not even a rumor.

The Dems won’t give him more prisons, so he could perhaps keep trying to send inmates out of California to reside in privately managed facilities. (Are there publicly managed jails in other states that accept inmates from elsewhere merely to raise cash?) Of course, there’s criminal justice reform to consider – getting nonviolent drug offenders out of the prisons might be a good start, but that would take an outsider renegade who’s not beholden to special interests, such as, say, the prison guards. Wait, that’s how the big man described himself a few years ago. Shit.

Every Democrat in the nation should be enormously proud that during their lifetime, they’re going to see a woman become Speaker of the House. But it really is too bad Pelosi is an almost entirely uninspiring public speaker and the Democratic strategy for the future mostly consists of out-fearing the Republicans.

From Pelosi’s speech:

“Nowhere did the American people make it more clear that we need a new direction than in Iraq … We say to the president, ‘Mr. President, we need a new direction.’”

Gosh, Nancy, that one sent chills through my spine.

Daly looks to be the winner in District 6, but instant-runoff voting could still stretch the final tally out for a few days. When I visited Rob Black’s election party last night, it looked like a Heineken commercial. Fresh-faced young white people were drinking expensive beer from the chi-chi bar at Momo’s near the ball park portraying themselves as martyrs in the fight to get rid of dirty people, save BMW dealerships, and preserve good hair. How can Chris Daly dare focus on low-income housing when so many people in this God-forsaken city have bad hair?

Shockingly, both Propositions 86 and 87 lost, perhaps because the deep-pocketed tobacco and oil lobbies managed to repeat the word “BUREAUCRACY” on TV several times a night for the last few weeks and scare the living daylights out of Californians. (“Prop. 86 won’t stop people from smoking. It will stab your children in the neck repeatedly!”) If you spent too much time watching TV recently, you might have become convinced that tobacco taxes were also child touchers and bureaucrats were baby killers. Turns out government kind of does a lot of important stuff, like build roads.

Just two counties voted to support both public financing for campaigns and big state spending on education when nearly half the precincts statewide had reported. Mostly large coastal cities shut down Prop. 90 in a close race where rural conservatives were clearly annoyed about eminent domain.

Marie Harrison, the failed candidate for District 10, redefined the election party last night opening up her beautiful home in Bayview-Hunter’s Point and personally cooking spaghetti and garlic bread for visitors. She even invited opponent Sophie Maxwell to the table, but the incumbent was celebrating up the street at Fanatics Sports Bar.

So what was the big underreported story from last night? More than half of the city’s registered voters didn’t bother to vote.

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