Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell discusses the overwhelming progressive victories from yesterday's elections.

More from the Political Animal:

From coast to coast, Democrats and progressive goals not only won, but in most instances, won big. Some of the highlights: 


Despite the aggressive efforts of the Republican Party, Gov. John Kasich, and anti-labor forces, voters easily overturned restrictions on collective bargaining. With nearly every precinct reporting, Issue 2 got crushed, 61% to 39%, handing unions a major victory with national implications. 


In a terrific surprise, voters soundly rejected the proposed “Personhood” amendment that would have banned abortions, birth control, in-vitro fertilization, stem-cell research, and treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Opponents of the right-wing effort appear to have won about 57% of the vote. 


Republicans recently ended Election Day voter registration. Yesterday, voters brought it back, 61% to 39%.

Republicans did not end the day completely empty handed. Phil Bryant (R) was elected governor in Mississippi, and it looks like the GOP gained just enough seats to split Virginia’s state Senate, though Republicans came up short of their goal of reclaiming a majority. 

But the good news for the right was easily overwhelmed by good news for the left. In Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) cruised to an easy victory and Dems won nearly every statewide race; in Arizona, Democrats successfully recalled radical state Senate President Russell Pearce (R); Dems won a key state Senate special election in Iowa and will maintain control of the chamber; voters ignored Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) efforts in New Jersey and kept Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature; and voters in Michigan recalled a far-right Republican state representative, the first-ever successful recall in state history. 

In the words of our very wise Vice President, yesterday was "a big fucking deal."

Progressives should take a moment to pat themselves on the back and then recognize just how powerful and virtually unstoppable they can be when they put aside their petty differences and really  work together.

Now let's take this momentum and start planning for even LARGER victories in the 2012 election cycle.

Because, and I wish I could remember where I first heard this, when the naysayers suggest we cannot work together our response should be, "Yes we can!"


  1. Anonymous7:01 AM

    Take note that the two elections supported by Sarah Palin in her recent Facebook rant both went down in defeat.

    Ohio collective bargaining: wins 61% to 39%

    Kentucky Republican Todd P'Pool for Atty. Gen. : loses to Conway (D) 55% to 45%

    Sarah Palin's political influence is exactly where it belongs and where it will stay - nonexistent.

  2. Gasman7:03 AM

    The teabaggers crowed mightily that their victories in last year's elections were a clear sign that the nation was tipping in their direction ideologically. Of course that notion was absolute bullshit, but for the sake of discussion, if we grant them that concession, then it should be equally clear that last night the voters were giving a giant middle finger salute to the teabaggers nationally.

    Shit, the teabaggers didn't even prevail in MISSISSIPPI - that provincial backwater of moribund, cave dwelling cousin humpers. If the teabaggers can't win in Ole Miss, what chance to they have nearly anywhere else?

    Yesterday was a good day.

  3. Anonymous7:03 AM


  4. Marleycat7:06 AM

    This is absolutely great news - hopefully this momentum can be maintained!

  5. Anne In DC7:11 AM

    I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the good people in Maine, Ohio, Mississippi, and Michigan for their hardwon victories over some of the most reactionary proposals I have seen in years. I wonder if the Koch brothers and their puppets in these states are enjoying their meal of crow today.

  6. The Mississippi vote against the personhood law is the most encouraging of all. Here in NC, they recently passed a law requiring women to view ultrasounds of their pregnancies and then wait 72 hours before having an abortion. Similar laws have been struck down and I hope this one will be, too.

    The really ridiculous thing is that these attempts to chip away at abortion laws are coming during a time when fewer people can afford to care for their families. And the very conservatives who are using the economy as an excuse to cut "entitlements" that would pay to feed, educate and provide health care for poor children are the very same people trying to flood the population with more of them.

    These people are not pro-life. They are pro-birth.

  7. hedgewytch7:22 AM

    Maybe this will make Phil less grumpy today.

    And I also heard that the Pres had heard the concerns regarding the oil tar sands and is going to review the processes. Hope so.

  8. Anonymous7:26 AM

    I don't see progressives getting lazy and crowing about the "2011 mandate" as the GOP has spent the last year doing. If we truly want our nation back from the crazies, we will have to commit to working hard and getting out the vote next year. When we have a filibuster proof Senate and control again of the House (bye bye cry Boehner) THEN we can regain jobs, regulate sensibly our food, air, drugs, and land use, and take care of those who need our help. We can finally address the abysmal state of our roads and bridges, and put millions back to work. We can get rid of the Bush tax cuts once and for all, and get back some sense of equity in our wage system. YES WE CAN, and we MUST!

  9. In Kentucky, Democrats took 5 out 6 statewide offices.

  10. WOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SUCK it, BOEHNER!!!

  11. Anonymous7:34 AM

    "and it looks like the GOP gained just enough seats to split Virginia’s state Senate, though Republicans came up short of their goal of reclaiming a majority."

    Republicans in Virginia will likely flip control of the state Senate in an incredibly tight race that will give the GOP power over the entire legislature of the state’s Commonwealth.

    The race now hinges on an unknown number of provisional ballots in the 17th district, where Republican challenger Bryce Reeves edged out his opponent, Democratic Incumbent Ed Houck, by just 86 votes. The ballots will be counted on Wednesday.

    If Reeve holds onto his lead, then the GOP will have picked up two seats in the state Senate on Tuesday night, splitting the Senate’s composition evenly — 20 Republicans to 20 Democrats —

    with the state’s Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling serving as the tie-breaking vote when needed.

    The state Senate was the last hold out for Republicans in Virginia, who already controlled the state House and the Governorship.

  12. Anonymous7:42 AM

    In my SC town, where Repugs control everything, a redistricting plan which the GOTP opposed was approved by a clear majority. Good times!

  13. FEDUP!!!7:49 AM

    Great news! I just hope that Progressives will not sit on their laurels and pat themselves on their backs at nauseum and forget the bigger picture and the bigger battle: 2012

  14. Here in NJ hubby and I did our part to make sure Dems were elected.

    Good to wake up this morning and see the headlines.

    And also noticed I haven't though about Palin in several days! What a refreshing few is a trend I look forward to.

  15. Anonymous8:17 AM

    The replacement for Arizonas "supremacist Russell Pierce" is also a Republican, not a Democrat. Still it's great news everywhere. Now we have to push strong for 2012. The right have shown their true greedy colors. They overdid it and thankfully will pay. This is payback for giving insane extremists such a loud voice.

  16. Anonymous8:26 AM

    I honestly believe there are more moderate-minded people in this country, than fanatically-minded.

    Even moderate Republicans.

    All this hooplah about the Tea Party "movement" is hype. The MSM has tried to create a false equivalency between the Tea Party people and the 99%ers. The stats themselves belie this. The Tea Party is a fraction of this Occupy movement.

    Most people use basic common sense when voting. I even think those who voted Republican last time - those who were not motivated by discomfort with our President's heritage - might actually go WITH him this time, to give him 4 more years in a fragile era. They might be privately ok with much of what he is trying to do - never mind the crazies who cry "Socialist"! I believe these people are in the minority, in the end.

    Basically the strategy of using social/"moral" issues as wedges or other scare tactics (death panels) is probably no longer effective.

    Most of our country is not interested in extreme ideology. We want jobs, healthcare, a good reputation in the world, etc.

    I think the GOP is screwed, and this news really points in that direction. They have underestimated good, middle-of-the-road Americans. The Progressives have a part to play of course, but this election will be won down the middle. If some are unhappy about that and consider it unthinkable compromise, sincerely and honestly face the terrible alternative.

  17. Um, what's with video of middle-aged Twilight rejects?

    Seriously, vampires aside, that's awesome news. I have a good feeling about 2012. Hopefully the majority of Americans won't allow money/ads sway them from voting in their best interest.

  18. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Happy dancing today. Yes we did. Next up: Reverse Citizen United

    “We must put the American people back in charge of our democracy. If the Supreme Court refuses to allow Congress and individual states to regulate the role of money in our elections, we must amend the Constitution to change that -- and together, we are beginning the amendment process.”

    Petition by, Senators Durbin, Merkley, Schmer, Udall and Whitehouse

  19. I took a big breath of relief. Again we have stepped back from the precipice. A fast celebration, and back at it. We know the GOP will work all the harder on 2012.

  20. Virginia Voter9:19 AM

    7:34 am, don't know if you live here, but the situation in Virginia is not as black and white as it seems on the surface. The House and Senate districts were gerrymandered last year, and Republicans were expecting a net gain of 7-9 senate seats.I could bore you with local politics, but the outer Northern VA counties had many uncontested races.

    Bob McDonnell, our gov, poured a ton of money into these elections, and an evenly divided senate is not exactly the great return on his huge investment. McDonnell enjoys a 60 something percent approval rating mainly because our unemployment is relatively low, he has steered clear of divisive social issues, and basically coasted on the work of his predecessors. He has done nothing. Now, unemployment is ticking up, and a few new radicals have gotten elected to the legislature and I guarantee we will start seeing a plethora of anti-abortion , illegal immigrant, voter ID, and union busting bills in the next general session. To date the Dem state senate has voted those down.

    McDonnell , a closeted tea bagger, is one of the top Republicans being talked about for the VP nod, and he has touted his approval rating and bipartisanship as his main selling point. If he starts signing radical bills into law, he will follow in the footsteps of Walker, Kasich, and Christie, and his approval will plummet. Unemployment here will undoubtedly rise if drastic cuts are made in the federal
    workforce, a major employer in our area. So far we have been insulated from the recession because of the government and military presence. If McDonnell was smart he'd avoid the mistakes of his fellow republican governors, but we'll have to wait and see.

    Here in vote rich Fairfax County, Dems solidified their control, and no races were even close. That is the good news for 2012, because no Republican can win a statewide election without carrying Fairfax.

  21. Anonymous9:22 AM

    @7:34 AM

    Last I heard the republican was only leading the VA state senate race by a mere 86 votes. The republicans still failed because they didn't do as well as expected, and the democrats won most of the close races. The republican Lt. Governor may be the deciding vote in the state senate, but the republicans still failed to win an outright majority. The best they do was a tie. But just barely.

  22. Anonymous9:24 AM

    But but but, the firebaggers are whining Dems didn't win enough. They are NEVER happy unless they are UNhappy.

  23. A J Billings9:35 AM

    Hey $arah, are those people in Ohio and Mississippi not real 'Mericans cuz they voted against mandations that you wanted?

    Are you really for busting up the unions that have protected cops and firefighters from lawsuits?

    Are you really in favor of forcing women with ectopic pregnancies to carry that fetus so that it kills the mother by blood loss?

    I'd like to just have 5 minutes of your time in person to express my personal fountain of hatred for all the ignorance and stupidity that you have spewed forth on this once great nation.

    You and most Teatards are nothing but rabid wolverines of hatred, a veritable herd of slavering wild dogs lusting after the spiritual and physical enslavement of the 99%, while unknowningly falling into the thrall of the Kochs and Waltons.

    Your christian supremacy and religious dogma render you utterly unable to grasp anything outside the matrix of your syllogistic twitching brain stem.

  24. It was a good day. In Michigan we ousted Paul Scott, the first legislator to be recalled since 1983. This happened in spite of the fact that Scott outspent us by over 2 to 1, receiving loads of cash from the MI Chamber of Commerce, the Devos family, and an astounding $225,000 from Michelle Rhee's PAC. We didn't succeed in recalling our governor but I would even be willing to donate the KY that Snyder will need to get Scott's head out of his ass.

  25. Virginia Voter - Thanks for your local update! Your governor and AG scare me and I'm glad there were some positives this election.

  26. Anonymous3:47 PM

    This gives me a little hope. The left leaners are still out there, they just need to get scared enough to get off their asses. (Thanks to everyone who spited Obama by not voting in 2010! It is your fault we have to defeat this crap!)

  27. Anonymous4:49 PM

    I loved how Romney's campaign guy was on MSNBC was saying that these results did not reflect the true state of affairs. Losers.
    M from MD

  28. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Yes We WILL!
    It's good news, but as others have said, lets keep the momentum going.
    But it's never good enough for radical progressives, expecially if their "pet peeve" doesn't get addressed ASAP, as in yesterday.
    This election has given President Obama some idea of what strategy to use to tap into the middle class's clear message.

  29. Anonymous5:08 PM

    I love Wasserman-Shultz.


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