A depressing day in the life of modern American politics
In West Virginia Tuesday night, 41 percent of Democratic primary voters chose a rather nondescript Texas prison inmate over President Obama. Never mind that these people had just voted for a man who himself cannot vote. Never mind that voters like these have fueled felon disenfranchisement initiatives all across the country. Out-of-state prison inmates, evidently, make for great symbols of political protest. And West Virginia clearly doesn't like the president. Anger and contradiction.
In North Carolina, a state which already precluded same-sex marriage, voters Tuesday overwhelming endorsed a constitutional amendment that bans such marriages, partnerships or civil unions. "We are not anti-gay," said an advocate who had just fought to block gay and lesbian North Carolinians from marrying one another, "we are pro marriage." Anger and contradiction; 30 states now have passed such measures since judges and legislators in other states began recognizing a right to same-sex marriage.
In Colorado, a purple state if there ever were one these days, state lawmakers Tuesday night couldn't agree upon the language of a measure that would have recognized the right of same-sex couples to lawfully form "civil unions." But the deadlock didn't just impact that piece of legislation -- it threatens to wreck an entire legislation session. Here's how the great Lynn Bartels wrote the lede for The Denver Post:
A bill to allow same-sex couples to form civil unions died on the calendar late Tuesday, taking down with it more than 30 other measures in a dramatic game of political chicken in which no one would blink. When Republican Speaker Frank McNulty acknowledged there was an impasse and abruptly ended his news conference on the House floor, Coloradans watching in the gallery started chanting: "Shame on you! Shame on you!"
In Indiana, Republican primary voters Tuesday night tossed out Richard Lugar, the six-term senator, in favor of a man, Richard Mourdock, who plans to come to the United States Senate next January with the following perceptions of what productive legislative leadership means. "This is a historic time," Mourdock told The New York Times, "and the most powerful people in both parties are so opposed to one another that one side simply has to win out over the other." Anger and contradiction, Tea Party style.