UPDATE via Think Progress: “A federal judge in Atlanta has blocked the state’s controversial anti-immigrant law from taking effect “until the broader legal issues are resolved.” The radical immigration bill targets undocumented immigrants and is modeled on Arizona’s notorious SB 1070. Among other things, it could force taxi drivers to check the immigration status of their passengers. The bill is reportedly already hurting Georgia’s farmers and costing the state money.”
All the time, like night follows day, I write about the right-wingers and how they’re trying to destroy America to benefit a very small handful of very rich people – something I firmly believe. Particularly since the mid-terms – and all the crackpot teabaggers who were elected – the progressive news hasn’t been good.
But maybe the pendulum is starting to swing back our way – I’ve been seeing some fairly good news lately – at least, better news – for progressives. I’ve seen some evidence of sanity, have seen some progressive causes being pushed through despite right-wing opposition, have seen some court decisions that countermand Republican overreach.
The most recent news is that New York, thanks in large part to the lobbying by Governor Andrew Cuomo, now allows gay marriage – and conservatives are mad. In fact, anti-gay marriage groups are, par usual, threatening to unseat Republicans who helped pass the legislation, particularly the four Republicans who voted for the measure. Of course, gay marriage, as every right-wingnut knows, destroys that most holiest of institutions, heterosexual marriage (you know, the one where half of all marriages end in divorce . . . yeah, that one). Gay marriage scares the bejeesus out of conservatives. See, when gays are allowed to get married, the strength of hetero marriages are obviously weakened – how that is, nobody can say, but they read it in the tea leaves so it must be true. To conservatives, anxious to crawl into our love lives and bedrooms, it’s a zero sum game: Everyone can’t be happy all at the same time. Every stride for gay couples means, in their twisted minds, less, somehow, for heteros.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing civil unions in the state that took effect on June 1. Although it’s not quite marriage, at least it grants gay couples all the state-granted rights of a married couple. I went to a rally in Chicago where so-called “christian” homophobes gathered to protest this legislation – with the hopes of amending it to once again read “one man/one woman.” Quinn, though, doesn’t seem to have a lot of use for nonsense – he’s not going there.
To god-fearing and gun-toting conservatives, carrying concealed weapons into bars and other public places seems to be a very friendly thing to do – and up until recently, only two states, Wisconsin and Illinois, had no concealed carry laws on the books. That changed recently, however, with Wisconsin passing a concealed carry measure – so now Illinois is standing alone as the only state in the country that doesn’t subscribe to the “concealed carry as a right” agenda. Governor Quinn has made it pretty clear that he’ll veto any such legislation – and I’m happy to live in a state where I don’t have to worry about some redneck yanking out a pistol in the midst of a bar fight.
In Indiana, Governor Mitch Daniels passed legislation effectively defunding Planned Parenthood: The legislation stated that no Medicaid funds could be used to fund any organization that provided abortion services. Despite the fact that federal Medicaid officials notified Daniels that state legislation couldn’t deny funds to Medicaid providers simply because they offer abortion services, Daniels and Indiana Republicans forged ahead with the law. But a female federal court judge granted Planned Parenthood an injunction against the law, siding with the Medicaid officials. It remains to be seen how, in the end, it’ll play out, but for the moment womens’ rights have been salvaged in Indiana.
In Wisconsin, six Republicans (along with three Democrats) face recall elections – the Republicans were targeted due to their alliance with Scott Walker’s anti-union legislation; the Democrats are facing recalls because Republicans like to get even. To date, 16 candidates have filed their papers to run in the recall elections. Despite quite a few Republican shenanigans – including the Republicans running “fake” Democrats – I’m optimistic that Wisconsin Democrats will pick up at least three seats, the number needed to derail Governor Scott Walker’s Koched-up anti-union – and anti-American – agenda.
Also in Wisconsin, Republican David Prosser narrowly beat Democratic candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg for the position of Supreme Court Justice. But Prosser’s on increasingly thinning ice – on the heels of his misogynistic slur against Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson last year, when he called her a “bitch” and threatened to destroy her, Prosser has now been accused of physically assaulting his colleague, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley – he allegedly grabbed her by the neck in an argument. Of course, Prosser’s defense is that the she-bitches goaded him into it and it really wasn’t his fault at all. Yeah yeah yeah – the mantra of every abusive dude on earth . . . “she made me do it.” Nevertheless, this latest Prosser scandal could result in Wisconsin dumping him. If so, in the wake of anti-Republican sentiment in the state, a Democrat could be elected to fill the position.
Rick Scott, I believe, is crazy – you can see it in his eyes, frankly, that manic, wide-eyed stare shared by Michele Bachmann. But his brand of crazy is tanking his approval ratings in Florida and, in even better news, not endearing Floridians to Republican presidential candidates in 2012. A recent poll indicates that Scott’s lack of popularity in his home state may actually be responsible for the bad taste in voters’ mouths about 2012 Republican presidential candidates – 40% of Florida voters say Scott’s actions have made them less likely to vote Republican in 2012. Keep this dude talking.
We lost Weiner in the House, but we still have Congressman Dennis Kucinich – and he made a fool out of conservative healthcare expert, Dr. David Gratzer of the Manhattan Institute, on Capitol Hill recently. Kucinich so pummeled this “expert” with facts and challenges about right-wing-driven misinformation about Canadian healthcare – which the right loves to point to as a failure of universal healthcare – that eventually the expert just gave up and quit answering.
So, you see, there’s some good news – a piece at a time. True, anti-abortion legislation is running wild across the country, and true, too, that anti-union legislation is being pushed by Republican Governors everything, but if the recalls of Republicans are successful in Wisconsin, if progressives are successful in framing a message of truth and honesty instead of the campaign of lies driven by Republicans, if Republicans continue to stand behind the Ryan budget and freshmen teabagger Representatives elected in the mid-terms continue to be viewed as intractable and unyielding when they don’t get their way, then American voters are going to carry that disapproval to the polls in 2012.
We have a long way to go to completely destroy the radical Republican ideology in this country – we have a lot of right-wing elected officials to oust before we can breathe comfortably again. But Republicans, as is their wont, have once again courted disaster by promoting agendas that are universally unpalatable. They forget, they always forget, that some Republican voters are also in unions, that some Republican voters utilize Medicare, that some Republican voters don’t like assaults on education. These newly-elected Republican Governors and Congressmen thought they had a courtship going with the American right; in fact, the American right may be going to the prom with someone else.
“Dance with the one who brought you” – but it looks like Republicans, in 2012, may be going stag.