Voters throw bums out, elect new bums

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Some first impressions from yesterday’s elections:

The GOP takeover of the N.C. General Assembly could be a genuine disaster for our state, given the stated positions of the party’s leaders, their complete subservience to corporate interests at everything else’s expense, and their embrace of bigotry. Having the GOP take control of the state house for the first time since the 1890s is bitterly ironic, considering that in those days, the Republicans were the more liberal of the two major parties.

Mecklenburg County residents dodged a bullet of sorts, as Democrats retained their majority on the Board of Commissioners. We haven’t been exactly thrilled with the way the County Commission has been run the past two years, but the last things the county needs are the even deeper, harsher cuts in essential services we would see from a GOP-dominated board.

What’s all the talk about the election being a victory for Tea Partiers? Some of their most prominent candidates took a beating yesterday: Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska, Carly Fiorina in California, Tom Tancredo in Colorado, and Carl Paladino in New York. I could be overlooking someone, but the only major Tea Party victor seems to be Rand Paul in Kentucky.

The GOP takeover of the House in Washington practically guarantees two years of gridlock in Congress, just at a time when bold, creative government action is needed. Republicans in the House are likely to spend most of their time launching investigations of the Obama administration and fighting among themselves. They certainly won’t be repealing the health care reform law — presidential veto power and Democratic Senate, anyone? — and they clearly have no idea how to get the economy back in gear. For the country, this means things will, at best, not get much better in the next two years — which will, of course, inevitably lead to this year’s victors becoming the victims of voter anger two years from now.

You gotta give Carl Paladino credit: Throughout his campaign for governor of New York, he made it clear what a wacked-out asshole he is, and he carried that character trait all the way through to his concession speech. Paladino, who lost to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, showed up for the speech with a baseball bat. The rough-and-tumble bigot warned Cuomo that if he didn’t do things Paladino’s way, “you run the risk of having it [the baseball bat] wielded against you. Because make no mistake, you have not heard the last of Carl Paladino." What a guy.

Some results from yesterday’s elections are pretty scary, and we’ll be detailing those the rest of the week, including looks at GOP plans for North Carolina. Today’s scary pick, though, is Renee “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer” Ellmers, who, as we have reported, was named by Salon.com as one of the “most terrifying” candidates for Congress. Ellmers narrowly defeated longtime congressman Bob Etheridge in the 2nd District, although a recount is expected. She’s the candidate who led off her campaign with an outrageous commercial equating all Muslims with terrorists, and slamming Etheridge for not strongly opposing the "Ground Zero victory mosque."  North Carolina’s other “most terrifying candidate,” Ilario Pantano, lost his bid to unseat Democratic congressman Mike McIntyre in the 7th District.

Meet the new boss: NC GOP chair Tom "I'm not gay, dammit" Fetzer
  • Meet the new boss: NC GOP chair Tom "I'm not gay, dammit" Fetzer

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