As much as I didn’t want to write about the election, I found this question scratching at the corner of my mind. In two of the previous states where I made my home, Republicans rejected the candidates of their own party in favor of Democrats. Missouri put Claire McCaskill back in the senate while Indiana elected Joe Donnelly instead of Tea Party candidate (and owner of serial killer eyes) Richard Mourdock.
In both cases, these guys said something horrifically stupid involving rape during the campaign and in both cases, women turned out in droves against these guys.
However, that can’t be the only reason we don’t have Dumb and Dumber in the U.S. Senate this morning.
Despite it’s status as a “swing state,” Missouri’s history has it swinging mostly right in recent years. In the 10 presidential elections prior to this one, Missouri has backed only two Democrats: Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Indiana on the other hand is pretty much a Dead Red stronghold. Prior to Obama’s first term, the state backed only one Democrat since FDR: LBJ in 1964.
In both cases, party politics have been a main culprit.
When I lived in Indiana, I got a lot of “We ALWAYS vote GOP” comments from people around the state. It felt like the place where you would get a “good talkin’ to” if you had a bumper sticker on your car for a liberal candidate. They voted straight ticket, or bust. It was like that scene from “Band of Brothers” where David Schwimmer’s character is told, “We salute the rank, not the man.”
That led to a virtually life-long term for Dick Lugar. He wasn’t the most anti-abortion or most pro-gun guy out there, but he was a Red guy. People punched tickets based on that.
A lot of that could be said about Missouri as well. If you ever wanted to see a city mouse/country mouse divide, look at the way in which most controversial statewide ballot initiatives fall there. In the 1990s, attempts to pass concealed carry laws tended to fail, despite overwhelming support throughout the state. The main “metro” areas of St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia had the bodies to carry the vote and with colleges and cities, they tended to vote more Leftist. The outlying farm areas tended to go the other way.
In either case, if the stereotype of Republicans voting in a gelatinous block of pickup trucks and belt buckles were true, we’d be talking about how to better define a “legitimate” rape today. Instead, the Moron Twins are headed back to their caves and sanity has prevailed.
Voters in Indiana noted in exit polls that if Dick Lugar had been on the ballot, the election would have turned out differently. In short, they voted for the Democrat because they knew Mourdock was a whack job. They liked Lugar and despite what you might think about him or Mourdock, it’s at least a ray of hope that simply strapping a GOP sign to the ass of an ass isn’t enough to get someone elected in a traditionally Red state.
For months, people have been telling news reporters around here that the divide in Washington isn’t really representative of the rest of the country.
Yes, we don’t always agree, but not everyone who punched a ballot for Romney got up on Wednesday and bought all the guns they could carry as they awaited Armageddon.
No, I’m not happy that Wisconsin is now once again completely run by the Republican Party and I hope that GOPers learned something from the last time they were able to exercise carte blanche in this state. Watching guys like Dale Schultz think before voting gives me hope that maybe we have people who think beyond the colors on a map.
It will be a wait-and-see game, for sure, but I’d like to think it’s worth the wait.