About Last Night

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There were some elections, which you may have read about.

1. As a Virginian, I'm sorely disappointed by the substantial victory of knee-jerk social conservative Bob McDonnell who, as of 2003, either had not violated my home state's rather inclusive "crimes against nature" law (about which the only positive thing that can be said is that it does not technically discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or relationship status) or could not recall if he had. Which is - come on - kind of weird.

Fortunately, he did come around somewhat late in life on the issue of whether or not women should work. Dare to dream: maybe he'll even legalize oral sex.

This, along with the Republican victory in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, is being cast as a repudiation of Obama. Which is somewhat silly - I don't know from Jersey, but in Virginia it's likely more a repudiation of uninspiring moderate Creigh Deeds and unpopular incumbent Dem Tim Kaine. McDonnell also smartly ran on an economic platform (and since most of my family lives in Virginia I honestly wish him better luck than his predecessor on that) and so far as I'm aware, kept his regressive thoughts about sex and gender to himself.

2. The only election with tangential local relevance was NY-23, in which Democrat Bill Owens won an upstate New York district that hadn't been Democratic since the Civil War, beating out Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. It has some local relevance since the forces that led Hoffman against the very moderate Republican candidate (who dropped out the week before the election and then encouraged her supporters to vote for Owens), led by the aptly named Dick Armey, are considering a challenge against Mark Kirk, whom you may know as probably the most viable Republican candidate for any major office in Illinois.

Hoffman might have done better had Armey not dismissed upstate political issues as "parochial," and if Hoffman had seemed to have a clue about those issues; something to keep in mind when following national sources (be they pols or reporters) on local and state races is that they obviously have some bias, conscious or not, towards spinning national political stories out of local races. They're not entirely wrong, but at least some politics are local, so take them with a grain of salt.

3. The second-most powerful mayor in America narrowly (5 points) beat his opponent to run NYC for another term. Clearly, this is a repudiation of Mayor Daley and too-powerful big-city mayors.*

*See 2.

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