The weather today was great (and much warmer than when I came here to interview a year ago), so I went to Central Park and took some photos of the autumn colors. It’s not like we didn’t have deciduous trees in Berkeley, but it was nothing like this. (And this pales in comparison to what you get in the more wooded areas of New England, but those aren’t half a mile from my apartment.)
If I were Governor of California, and had a cooperative legislature, and didn’t mind being recalled, I would make the following declarations:
- That, with the passage of Prop 8, all same-sex marriage are null and void.
- That, due to the California Constitution’s declaration of equality among all citizens, I have no choice but to render all marriages in California null and void.
- That the State of California henceforth considers marriage to be a religious matter. In order to respect religious freedom it will no longer issue marriage licenses to anyone, and the definition of marriage will therefore be up to individual churches.
- That the State of California is establishing a civil union status, available to any two consenting adults, to encapsulate certain legal benefits formerly associated with marriage.
- That all couples whose marriages were recently nullified by Prop 8 or government decree will automatically receive civil unions.
Needless to say, this would never actually happen, and it would do nothing to placate the anti-gay bigots who voted for Prop 8 (although it sure would be fun to take away their marriages too). But I do think getting government out of the marriage business entirely is the right move. Supporters of small government should be all for it!
When I was a kid I always heard that “in America, anyone can be President”. But after seeing Americans pick a total incompetent just because his dad was president, I figured that was just a myth. Something we tell children to try to convey values like equality and social mobility. A black guy with a foreign-sounding name doesn’t have the slightest chance at becoming President, right?
Turns out some myths are true after all. We really do live in an amazing country.
[My election reactions are a little late in posting… I’ve been busy.]
I’m at an election night party tomorrow, so I’m posting the election thread tonight. I might check in on the comments via iPhone, however.
Endorsements: My support of Barack Obama is well-known to any reader of this blog so a formal endorsement at this point is unnecessary. And in the downballot races I’m generally endorsing the Democratic candidates as well. After years of failed governance, it’s time to send the Republican Party into the wilderness.
I’m no longer registered in California, but I will still endorse Yes on 1, No on 4 and 8. (I haven’t looked at the others.)
Predictions: Obama wins the Kerry states plus CO, FL, IA, NM, NV, OH, VA for a total of 338 electoral votes.
The Democrats pick up 7 Senate seats: AK, CO, MN, NC, NH, NM, and VA. Convicted felon Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens loses in AK by a small margin; Norm Coleman barely holds off Al Franken in MN. In the House, the Dems pick up 30ish seats.
Races of interest:
Obviously, the presidential race, but I think the outcome is pretty certain at this point.
Of the Senate races, the aforementioned AK and MN races will be the most exciting. I’d love to see Minority Leader McConnell lose in Kentucky but it doesn’t seem likely.
In the House, my own representative is Jerrold Nadler (D). I don’t think he’ll have much trouble getting re-elected in solidly blue Manhattan. I don’t know much about him yet, though. Anyway, it was pretty funny to hear McCain say that New York City isn’t “real America”; my district alone (NY-8) contains such un-American landmarks as the Statue of Liberty, the New York Stock Exchange, and the World Trade Center site.
Likewise, my previous representative, Barbara Lee of CA-9, is in a pretty safe seat. I’ve moved from one of the bluest counties in America to another. But one of my past residences is the location of an interesting race:
CT-4: My old district in Connecticut, home of the last House Republican in New England. As Republicans go, Chris Shays is not that bad, but we’re still talking about a member of a party that enthusiastically supports torture. I’ll be rooting for his opponent, the awesomely-named Jim Himes.
Meanwhile, if I can stay up late enough, there are some ballot initiatives to watch in California. Prop 8 is the big one, which would actually revoke marriage from thousands of couples. It’s been close in the polls so this will give you Californians a reason to go out and vote even though the state’s electoral votes aren’t in question.
Tomorrow morning I’ll go find out just how long the lines are to vote in Hell’s Kitchen. I never had to wait very long in North Berkeley, but the population density is just slightly higher here…
Go out and vote! Then come back here and comment.