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Women's Birthing Rights, Women's Bodies

Elections 2006: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

 Power to the People

The Good News:

  • South Dakota overturned the abortion ban;
  • There is a possibility that Cecilia Fire Thunder will be re-elected president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe;
  • Attorney General Phil Kline of Kansas who sought and obtained private medical records of girls who had had abortions got the boot and a decent-seeming Democrat replaced him;
  • Democrats took the House;
  • Democrats almost took the Senate;
  • Rumsfeld resigned.

 The Bad News

  • Michigan became the third state in the U.S. to outlaw affirmative action offering preferences to groups or individuals based on  race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education, or contracting purposes.
  • Anti-Lesbian/Gay Marriage and Domestic Partner legislation passed in seven out of eight states:  Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Colorado, South Dakota and Idaho, by an average vote of 61 percent.
  • Arizona passed three harsh anti-immigrant measures. One of the measures established English as the state’s official language, even though a similar proposition passed in 1988 was overruled by the Arizona and U.S. Supreme Courts.
  • Only 40 percent of registered voters showed up to vote.
  • Bush is still president.
  • Republicans still control the Senate.
  • Corporate America has nothing to fear; the rich get richer, the poor stay poor.

Although I’d like to be happy about the election results, and I am in the sense that Americans at least tried to vote for change, when you get right down to it, there is precious little for women to be happy about.    Misery loving company only goes so far. The Democrats are, in some ways, better than the Republicans,  but that doesn’t make their platform, their policies or their candidates or winners something good for women, something we can celebrate.  I’m glad Republicans got thumped, but I’m not all that happy it was Democrats who thumped them, especially when a lot of them seem to have been anti-choice, pro-war fiscal conservatives.

Note:  I originally posted a quote here which I didn’t read carefully enough.  My apologies– it was racist, xenophobic and sexist.  Argh.  Thanks to Y. Carrington for pointing it out to me.




27 thoughts on “Elections 2006: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

  1. Spot on.

    I’ve not been able to share in the merrymaking going on around me because I just can’t work myself into a shiny, smilie tizzy over the election results. I want

    Posted by Sam | November 8, 2006, 10:22 pm
  2. Dang! I think wordpress chopped your post off, Sam. Hope you can finish it again and sorry!


    Posted by womensspace | November 8, 2006, 10:56 pm
  3. What does THIS passage mean?

    “Globalization, pushed by sycophants like Tom Friedman (who lives in a $9 million house), will keep sucking the lifeblood out of our nation, as will hoards of illegal immigrants. Americans have no nearby richer country to flee to, so we must numb our pain.”

    And the repeated use of the phrase “our democracy?” Whose democracy? This shit ain’t even politically accurate, much less women-friendly. Heart, you could have said it waaaaay better than this. In fact, you did.

    Posted by Y. Carrington | November 9, 2006, 1:29 am
  4. Ugh. That’s what I get for not reading carefully.

    NEVER MIND! He’s an asshole too!


    Posted by womensspace | November 9, 2006, 4:18 am
  5. And thanks, Y Carrington. I deleted it.
    You know, what grabbed me was what he said about our group denial in this country, the way people pretend a vote for a Democrat is a vote for real change, the way people pretend choosing between the two parties we have available is any kind of real choice. I liked what he said about frustrated Greens going Blue and frustrated Libertarians going Red. I felt frustrated reading all the jubilation and with all my friends at the office thinking I’d be all happy about the election results, like they were. So I seized on what that guy said thinking he thought like I did. Sheesh.

    Posted by womensspace | November 9, 2006, 4:28 am
  6. And you know, another thing I have to admit that caught my eye was the line about Friedman’s 9 million dollar house. I can’t stand rich white centrist liberal men spouting off about “globalization” from their fricking mansions. UGH.
    Which is still no excuse for my not reading what followed that particular denunciation.

    Posted by womensspace | November 9, 2006, 4:50 am
  7. Yeah, Republicans got thumped fairly badly, and it looks like they lost the Senate as well. Democrats may be congratulating themselves on their winning strategy, but I think Republicans dug themselves too deep a hole, and it finally caught up to them. The voter turnout was nothing spectacular. I think this is less a vote for Democrats than a repudiation of Republicans. According to exit polls, Republican corruption was a bigger issue than even the Iraq war. I heard one talk show host say Republicans are no more corrupt than Democrats, but since Republicans were in power, they took the hit. I rarely agree with Michael Medved, but in this case, I think his point is well taken. Our political system is corrupt to the core, and I doubt Democrats have any real interest in doing anything substantial to change that.

    This election does make the predictions of those who were so convinced Republicans stole the last three elections and would steal this one as well look kind of silly. This is not to deny that all kinds of sleazy tactics went down, but apparently rigging the vote count was not one of them.

    Posted by Aletha | November 9, 2006, 5:16 am
  8. in other good news, “[Arizona] Voters bucked a nationwide trend by rejecting a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage” as reported on the washington post. and i helped 🙂

    Posted by nexyjo | November 9, 2006, 6:44 am
  9. dang

    I want to be happier about elections but having experience with poll watching and knowing for a fact at least one vote I cast was never counted means I pretty much only vote anymore because it’s what Susan B. Anthony would do. Citizenship duties are more fulfilled though sweat equity than the easy, infrequent task of voting.

    Posted by Sam | November 9, 2006, 4:28 pm
  10. someone in my office this morning pointed out that this switch from reps to dems during a 2nd term war president is a pattern that we’ve done before! and is Nancy Pelosi a friend of mine? I don’t see it. hate to throw cold water on the party but. . . . .same old, same old.

    Posted by stacy | November 9, 2006, 4:45 pm
  11. Hey, nexyjo, go you and maybe you can clarify– I read that the Arizona bill failing had something to do with a domestic partnership bill that homophobes didn’t want passed? Can you shed light?

    Yeah, sam, that’s where I come down, too, pretty much. It bothers me that some people think fulfilling their civic duty is a matter of voting. :/

    stacy, what are your issues with Nancy Pelosi? From what I’ve seen of her, I’ve been pretty impressed, but I admit I haven’t followed her that closely.


    Posted by womensspace | November 9, 2006, 5:18 pm
  12. No, no – Dems won the Senate too…

    Posted by Raven's Star | November 9, 2006, 7:46 pm
  13. re: Pelosi
    well, she’s a politician which means her number one job is to get re-elected and she’s a democrat which means. . . .nothing. I recommend not hoping for too much of anything from her — no more than you would from any other politician. Believing that any woman politician will make a difference for women — that is, do good things for women — is as naive and dangerous as believing that any politician will do good things for women. it’s a trap, set by the patriarchy. another example of vulcan mind control!

    Posted by stacy | November 9, 2006, 9:03 pm
  14. Yay, Dems got the Senate. It’s something!

    Yeah, I hear you, Stacy. You know who I thought might actually be able to make a difference for women? Cynthia McKinney. And we know what happened to her. Any woman who really IS a threat to the status quo is going to get the same treatment McKinney got.

    I don’t know. It’s weird. When I get to thinking about party politics, mainstream politics, I automatically, without thinking about it — dangerously, I feel — readjust my parameters. Something like, I already know that good people, good women, especially, are not going to be permitted to make real change via mainstream politics, so I look for women who might survive the attacks and targeting they will get long enough to make SOME change. IOW I don’t even hope for real change when it comes to mainstream politics. It’s tempting to, because wouldn’t it be nice if somehow it would happen? But it’s also denial to think that it will.


    Posted by womensspace | November 9, 2006, 9:47 pm
  15. Goddess, Heart, that last paragraph in your 9:47 post sums up EXACTLY how I feel about party politics, elections, and our bullshit democracy. I’ve been having quite a long, ongoing argument about all this with a much-beloved female relative who’s a true-blue Dem and thinks neocons and only neocons are the problem. It’s gotten to the point where we can’t even talk about this stuff anymore. I just don’t get these people who think the Dems being in power is going to make a damn bit of real, concrete difference in the everyday lives of women here or anywhere else.

    Posted by Melissa | November 10, 2006, 12:51 am
  16. Yeah, Melissa. I mean, we HOPE. We have to hope. Hopelessness is too hard. If I can ever figure out how to move to Norway, then I won’t have to hope anymore. Argh.

    The Dems will make some difference. In my long-ass commute home tonight, argh, we’ve got flooding rains out here in the Northwest, it is a mess here, I read every single article and essay and letter to the editor about the election. We have some decent democratic legislators in Washington– Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Norm Dicks, Jim McDermott in particular — who will chair important committees, who will have significant influence. I almost cried reading that now our north country here in Washington, Mt. Baker, the northern Cascades and the forests surrounding them, will finally be protected after legislation protecting them has failed every single year since Bush was first elected. I think protection of the earth is a feminist issue, a women’s issue, and so I think the Dems will do some good. I read, and agree, that the Dems will be all about small businesses and unions. That’s a women’s issue.

    Of course, this could all be part of my being hopeful.


    Posted by womensspace | November 10, 2006, 6:03 am
  17. Democrats will be all about small businesses and unions? Yeah, that is what they say. Hillary Clinton used to be on the board of Wal-Mart. Bill Clinton was a big supporter of NAFTA and GATT. His record on the environment was nothing to write home about either. Old-growth logging was at a standstill when he took office, due to court actions, but he cut a deal with the timber companies that removed that roadblock.

    I could go on and on, but I do agree, the Democrats will make some difference. They might slow down Bush in his headlong rush to destroy the Constitution and the planet. I would not count on any more than that.

    Posted by Aletha | November 10, 2006, 6:34 am
  18. Aletha, I can’t tolerate either of the Clintons. We are so agreed.

    I can only hope the Dems make some difference. I can only hope.


    Posted by womensspace | November 10, 2006, 6:46 am
  19. in other good news, “[Arizona] Voters bucked a nationwide trend by rejecting a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage” as reported on the washington post. and i helped

    Yep, Arizona became the first state in the country to defeat a gay marriage ban. Proposition 107 wanted to ban gay marriage and the people said, “Nope, AZ is not going to ban gay marriage.”

    And yay, Governor Janet Napolitano was re-elected again! I really like this woman. She personally answers my emails and seems to be pro-feminist all the way.

    I’ve been doing a happy dance all week. Apparently some have missed the point here. It’s not that I’m thrilled to see the Democrats in office. As far as I’m concerned, they’re nothing more than republican-lite. The whole point is that a clear message was sent to our politicians, that we, the people, will not tolerate their crap any longer and will throw them right out of office if they get too big for their britches and forget that it is we, the people, that they serve. THAT’s the whole point. That we have put the politicians on notice that they’d better shape up or they’ll be shipped out.

    Three cheers for we, the people!

    Posted by Luckynkl | November 10, 2006, 8:30 am
  20. Heart, it’s not “hopeful” to believe that the dems will do some good stuff, it’s delusional! A wolf in sheep’s clothing is. . . . . . . . . a wolf.

    I wish feminists’ collective response the the recent election had been loud, raucous laughter and finger pointing and more laughter. Do we think that Audre Lourde’s words are somehow no longer valid? Because there’s been a major paradigm shift that I missed?

    Nancy Pelosi is not trying to subvert the system, she IS the system. She does not want the patriarchy overthrown, she IS the patriarchy. Let us not go blindly and willingly into this dark night. the dems will sell out women at their first and every opportunity. To wit, B&H clinton. Open your eyes, gyns! Nothing here is new.

    Posted by stacy | November 10, 2006, 5:23 pm
  21. Perhaps I’m being myopic, focusing too much on PA, where I live, and the people who “represent” me, I don’t know. Sure we got rid of Santorum, who makes my skin crawl more than anyone I can think of, but who do we get? Casey. And why do we get Casey? Because the PA Dem machine pushed a good woman, Barbara Hafer, aside, before the primary even, and annointed Casey. How many more of these newly elected Dems are as conservative as Casey, I have to wonder. My new congressMAN is a Dem, who’s supposedly pro-choice and anti-war, but supports the Patriot Act and is an anti-immigrant xenophobe. Our reelected Dem governor thinks the sun shines out of (union-busting, monopoly-holding) Comcast’s ass… Hard to hope, here.

    Posted by Melissa | November 10, 2006, 6:56 pm
  22. Open your eyes, gyns!

    I’m glad you’re here, Stacy. 🙂

    You too, Melissa. 🙂 Well, all you women.


    Posted by womensspace | November 10, 2006, 7:01 pm
  23. I’m glad I’m here, too. Well not here, where I really am, but here on your blog. 🙂

    Posted by Melissa | November 10, 2006, 8:13 pm
  24. Yeah, I think the democrats will sell out women the first chance they get as they have in the past. The best people out there aren’t even running for office.

    Here, four more years of the groper, but parental notification went down for the second straight time.

    As for scandals, the democrats have their own skeletons. They’ll come out and the cycle will continue again.

    Posted by fivebeforemidnight | November 10, 2006, 8:34 pm
  25. Nancy Pelosi saw to it when Cynthia McKinney recaptured her House seat that she got no credit for all the years she had been in Congress. No seniority at all; McKinney was shoved to the back of the line as if she were a newbie. That seems fitting, since it was allegedly due to the Democratic Party leadership backing Denise Majette, a former Republican and supporter of Alan Keyes, that McKinney lost in an open primary in 2002.

    The story about the Democratic machine annointing Bob Casey was so blatantly sticking it to women, it even enraged NOW. Their alert about that is still up on the NOW PAC web site.

    Posted by Aletha | November 11, 2006, 5:45 am
  26. To quote Bush: “Why all the glum faces??”

    Hey, chicka’s, what’s up? Long time no chat with. So I come over here to enjoy a little post election bubbly with y’all and but so many of you are singing the blues.

    I’m with Luckynkl–yeah to the people for sending a clear message. We have so few ways to communicate with them that actually get through–this time, the side of the angels won.

    It was a major course correction that was badly needed -an incremental steps. When a boat is speeding a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction, if you slammed it into reverse you would rip the engine out. And no, I dont’ just mean Iraq–I mean turning the country more left. It didn’t lurch right in one jump–it took years and we have to be patient–and vigilant.

    Big win this season was for the average Jane who got a chance to be heard–by vote, by blog, etc. A *message* was sent–that is repeated loud and clear and we need to follow it up with more action, more activism, more letters, letters, letters. I plan to use my newfound realization of my own political power to make my voice heard–letters to everyone and everything is the first order of business.

    Disclaimer: I am also full of myself because I wrote a letter for a community letter-writing campaign to convince Congressman Rob Simmons to support legislation to reverse Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. 50 people sent copies of my letter to Simmons and 6 weeks later he reversed his position. (I hope we had something to do with it)

    And then last Tuesday, we threw his rubberstamping ass out of Congress anyhow! (Moderate, shmoderate. The Military Commissions Act? I don’t freaking think so…) Can I get an amen? Sister’s found her voice and she’s on a tear!

    There is a powerful wind blowing to the left and we can seriously make so headway if we seize the day (mixing metaphors like we’re in a Cuisinart here but I don’t care–I’m giddy tonight.)

    Last week, we won a major battle. But not the war. Let’s lift our glasses to a major win, the first good news in a long time from an embattled left wing.

    Can I pour you one?

    Posted by Gaia's Muse | November 14, 2006, 12:00 am
  27. AMEN!!
    Hee hee. I hear you, Gaia’s Muse. GO YOU being so instrumental in getting Simmons to change his mind! You ROCK!
    I was just thinking about you yesterday and was going to e-mail you. I hope you don’t go away until spring like you did last year. I miss you when you’re gone! I keep thinking about waving to you in your village womon tent as I passed by in the shuttle at Fest and thinking, “dang, I’ve got to get over to talk to Gaia’s Muse.”:/ I’m not facilitating ANY workshops at Fest this year. I facilitated several years’ worth last year, I’d say, AND the year before. This year, I am going to simply hang. Do whatever I want. Make a Crone’s Counsel and sit and blab with crones all day if I want. Go adventuring and spying and raising a sand. 😛 Go to Singing in Sacred Circle, the bb meet-ups. Drink good wine. Drum EVERY night at Triangle.
    This year it is going to be all about hedonistic me. 😛 🙂
    HA, re glum faces.:-) The truth is, I’ve been seriously considering creating a blog post entitled, “Having a CRANKY, Neocons?” 😀 Because six years ago when Bush was devastatingly elected, some troll started a thread with the title, “Having a Cranky, Libs?”, on the old now-defunct Ms boards. ARGH that pissed me off. But nah. Their bad karma will kick their butts, all in good time.
    Here’s what I think. I think I am ECSTATIC that the Republicans got thumped and thumped hard. The rest we can argue about a bit. 🙂
    And yeah, Aletha re Cynthia McKinney. That is one brave woman, which is why she got the left and right foot of fellowship.
    Hey, Gaia’s Muse, I will have a glass of bubbly. Matter of fact I’m about to uncork a bottle of very good cabernet sauvignon in honor of finishing at last an article for OOB that has kicked my butt around the block for WEEKS. I finally got in the zone in writing it Saturday night and stayed up all night, just like I used to do all the time in my old publishing days. My article is SO DAMN GOOD. Ohmygod, I am so proud of it! And if you know me, well, I am almost never really, really proud of something I write. I like most of what I write, some things I think are really good,but this article? I am SO PROUD of it! I connected the dots re the influence of the Religious Right in the U.S. in ways I have not so far seen ANYBODY do. I condensed THOUSANDS of pages of my writings into 5,000 imo pretty powerful words. Dang. I’m just proud of myself and have been flying high since I sent it on its way. And am getting the BEST feedback on it, including from people who are not that easy to impress.
    There is no experience in life like the experience of doing what you know you were born for, and doing it well– for me, that’s writing. It’s better than chocolate, it’s better than good wine, it’s better than sex, it’s better than romance. Nothing satisfies and thrills me the way writing well does. Nuttin.
    So yeah. I’ll have some bubbly. I earned it. 🙂

    Posted by womensspace | November 14, 2006, 12:31 am

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