Has America shifted to the left?

The recent elections herald a political shift in America to the left.  So says liberal columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., citing the overall defeat of Tea Party candidates, the victory of the pro-gun control, pro-abortion Terry McAuliffe in once-conservative Virginia, the “new progressivism” of New York’s newly-elected mayor Bill Blasio, and the victory of Republican Chris Christie who repudiated his party’s right wing. [Read more…]

78% of uninsured say they won’t sign up for Obamacare

The most serious aspect of the Obamacare trainwreck, if it holds up:  According to a Gallup poll, 78% of Americans who do not have health insurance say that they will NOT sign up for Obamacare.  [Read more…]

More on the Obamacare trainwreck

Columnist Dana Milbank is a liberal supporter of Obamacare.  But he gives more details about the current roll-out debacle.  He goes so far as to make comparisons between Obama’s handling of his health care program and his predecessor’s handling of the Iraq war. [Read more…]

Election Day post-mortem

Virginians elected Democratic operative Terry McAuliffe, even though he had never held elective office, supports gun control, champions same-sex marriage, and is militantly pro-abortion.  The once-reliably Republican state picked him over the socially-conservative attorney general Ken Cuccinelli.  My prediction:  Terry McAuliffe, whose career has been defined by his friendship with Bill Clinton, will eventually run for president (but won’t against Hillary Clinton).

Meanwhile, fiery Republican moderate Chris Christie was overwhelmingly re-elected governor in New Jersey, which usually votes Democratic.  My prediction:  This positions him as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

In other election results, New Yorkers elected avowed leftist Bill Blasio to be their mayor, the first non-Republican in 20 years.  Colorado, having legalized recreational marijuana use, now decided to tax the heck out of it, levying a 25% tax.  Washington state rejected a measure that would require genetically-modified food to be labeled.  Houston rejected a plan to fix up the Astrodome, meaning the first domed baseball stadium will face demolition.  And Takoma Park, Maryland, became the first city to give the right to vote to 16-year-olds.

What does all of this mean?  Some observers are saying that this election marks the end of the Tea Party movement as an effective political force.  Are they right?  Any interesting or significant election results from where you are? [Read more…]

The Civic Sacrament

Today is election day.  Mostly up for grabs are local and state races.  Voting has been called a “civic sacrament.”  The analogy is an imperfect one, and it applies only to democratic systems.  Some say that voting “doesn’t do any good,” which even if it were true is not the point.  We have a vocation of citizenship.  For those of us blessed enough to have been called to citizenship in a country in which we govern ourselves by choosing our own leaders, voting is one of the duties of our vocation.

What to do about gerrymandered elections?

An issue for election day:  One of the problems in our political system today is that Congressional districts have been drawn up to ensure that each one is a “safe seat” for the incumbent and a particular political party.  That means that voters almost never have competitive elections with genuine choices–unless, that is, the incumbent has a primary rival from the same party.  This makes for ideological polarization, say many observers, as well as thwarting the basic processes of democracy. [Read more…]


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