Hudson's Post-Election Wrap-Up

Ever since I purchased my first Ipod almost two years ago, I’ve been outspoken in my beliefs that this little piece of equipment actually contained a mind of its own. Not only that, but it somehow is able to read the mind of it’s owner. You won’t believe how often the shuffle function always seems to pick the perfect song for any moment.
Yesterday was a perfect example. With my heroes Opie and Anthony on vacation, I had Ipod #2, aka Teagan, providing my entertainment as I was running work errands. As I was thinking about the votes I was planning to make in just a few hours, suddenly a song by Billy Bragg called “Ideology” began playing through Ginger the Jeep’s stereo system. Here’s the opening verses, which are sung to the tune of Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom”:

“When one voice rules the nationJust because they're top of the pileDoesn't mean their vision is the clearestThe voices of the peopleAre falling on deaf earsOur politicians all become careeristsThey must declare their interestsBut not their company carsIs there more to a seat in parliamentThan sitting on your arseAnd the best of all this bad bunchIs shouting to be heardAbove the sound of ideologies clashingOutside the patient millionsWho put them into powerExpect a little more back for their taxesLike school books, beds in hospitalsAnd peace in our bloody timeAll they get is old men grinding axes”While certainly a British song, I think it captures the current mood of this country. A ton of incumbent candidates, mainly Republican but also Democrat, found themselves without a job by the end of the evening. Most people don’t know how rare that is, particularly during mid-term elections.
We’re not talking about minor politicians, either. George Allen, once considered a prime candidate for the White House in 2008, lost an extremely close race that will undoubtedly end up in the courts. Rick Santorum, another of the Republican stars, was trounced, as was the person most responsible for handing George Bush the Presidency in 2000, Katherine Harris. On the other side of the spectrum, a controversial ad campaign helped defeat much-lauded Democrat Harold Ford.
But it’s the local issues that mean the most to me, and hopefully the majority of the people reading this blog. I was frankly amazed by the results. The most conservative state in the country said “no” to banning abortions, and trounced the “Jail 4 Judges” bill. Medical marijuana was much closer than anybody who doesn’t smoke could possibly predict. And the so-called “straightest” state almost rejected the anti-gay marriage amendment.
While the smoke has not yet cleared as I sit here writing this wrap-up, I feel that it’s my duty as your “Get Out of Town” host to highlight some of the big losers of the day. By losers I’m not necessarily talking about candidates that ran and lost by wide margins. Many of them, particularly Jack Billion and Ron Volesky, knew weeks before that it was unlikely that they would overthrow a popular incumbent, and one must give them some accolades for throwing their names into the hat.
As you may expect, I’m talking about the boneheads who acted irresponsibly and/or arrogantly. It’s a list that could be extremely lengthy, but I’ll highlight just a few that deserve a few well-placed kicks to the head:
1. Leslee Unruh, Roger Hunt, and (probably) Steve Kirby. Arrogant bastards, these three. Despite the fact that we already had the toughest abortion laws in the country, this unholy trio felt they could become national stars with an abortion bill that left no room for extreme circumstances or traumatic experiences. The truth never mattered to these morons, and it’s a great day to see these clowns getting their asses handed to them like the Minnesota Vikings. Will our legislature have the balls to actually investigate the questionable contributions by (probably) Kirby funneled through Hunt’s fake corporation? I hope so.
2. The Amendment E crowd. Speaking of liars, these paranoid hypocrites would never debate the issue at hand. They method of politicking was to just attack their critics, which not surprisingly came from both sides of the political spectrum, and threaten lawsuits…which is just a little bit ironic coming from a group that doesn’t trust the court system.
3. Everybody involved in the Dan Sutton controversy. Despite the witch hunt, including a letter pressing Sutton to withdraw from the race just two weeks before the election, Sutton easily won another term in the legislature. I know I feel a little dirty after these Karl Rove-ish proceedings.
4. Bruce Whalen. While the majority of losers were gracious, Whalen decided to blame the media for his 30-some point loss. After months of (sort of) campaigning, and some mud-slinging that went beyond most people’s definition of good taste, all we knew of Whalen was that he was pro-family (uh, who isn’t?) and pro-life. His failure to get any other message out there wasn’t his fault, though. It was the so-called liberal media who failed him. As Borat would say, wha? Considering that the overwhelming majority of state political winners are Republican, it seems a bit strange to say that the media aren’t getting the Republican message to the voters.
5. Speaking of the so-called liberal media, the biggest loser has to be the Argus Leader. I had found it extremely strange that while the daily paper made endorsements of every ballot issue and race, they declined to do so for or against the abortion ban. Yet they had no problems running multiple pages of letters from seemingly every abortion ban supporter. Topping things off, subscribers found their election-day paper wrapped in a “Yes for 6” anti-abortion plastic bag. I had earlier brushed off accusations that editor Randall Beck was actually a hardcore evangelical, but that plastic bag has me pledging to never subscribe to that awful paper. There are plenty of other news outlets to keep me updated, and I can always find one lying around Black Sheep Coffee Shop if I need to look at those wonderful reader-provided photos of children and pets, or those 1,000 word soul-mate wedding stories. I won’t even go into that awful tabloid-sized Life section that’s obviously designed for soccer moms…and nobody else.


Anonymous said…
Interesting that the Vote Yes On 6 Crowd would use a "newspaper condom" for their advertising medium.
Anonymous said…
Randall Beck is a hardcore right-wing evangelical. You see him in church.

For all the crying the right-wing does over the Argus, they don't realize their best friend in their fight is Randall Beck.
Anonymous said…
Perhaps because I so long ago left the state, I'm disappointed by the results, rather than amazed that wasn't worse. In most other states, the abortion ban would not have made it on the ballot, and if there, would have lost by much more.

Instead, most of the legislators who supported the bill won re-election, while the Republicans who opposed the bill lost and yet, did not all rise up to repudiate the "christian" conservatives.
Oh, a few changed parties, but the "christians" won on most of the issues; the SD Legislature is still 20-15 R, and 50-20 R (is this number right? the SD media hasn't bothered to report on it, at least on the internet). Mike Rounds is still Governor, and Jack Billion, who ought to have been a creditable candidate got couldn't get 25,000 more votes than Bruce Whalen.

It seems to me, when I was a boy, the libertarian ethic prevailed in South Dakota, especially in west river, but clearly, that instinct is either long gone, or subsumed by the "christians" who aim their prayer rugs at Jackson, Mississippi, rather than appreciate the wide open spaces of the west where you live and let live.

I know that all of this sounds hopelessly bitter, and for that I apologize. I still love driving across the wide open plains, I still have family and friends to visit. But like so many other expats, I know I can't go back. The state is too poor, the jobs are too poor, and too many in the state have such a stifling view of the rest of the world. Abortion bans and gay marriage are on the ballot, but not increasing the minimum wage. The voters can eliminate the inheritance tax for the wealthy, but not the sales tax on food for the poor. It's just so damn sad to see the poverty and lack of opportunity in South Dakota, and to see that so many there are determined to ignore it, rather than change it.

I sometimes have breakfast with a group of older Republicans at a little diner down the street from my office. They whine about how they pay too much in taxes. I imagine that every day in South Dakota could be like that, except with old men with less money and lower taxes.
Anonymous said…
FYI even non-subscribers like me got the condom-wrapped paper yesterday, and we promptly threw it away and voted against the unholy trio.
Anonymous said…
So the Republican's ousted Bob Sahr, who would've most likely been re-elected, and then got beat by a Demorcrat who's nickname in high school was Sudsy, cuz he liked the beer. As far as the Sutton thing goes, let's just say that he probably voted against the gay marriage ban.
Anonymous said…
This is what I heard: The subscribers DID NOT get the newspaper in the VOTE YES bag. That was done seperately. Jim Fisher, who owns Little Caesars bought a bunch of Argus himself, and had a group of volunteers stuff them in the bags and leave them on non-subscribers steps. But here's the kicker, he had the nerve to put Little Caesar coupons in the bags too, I suppose to cover his tracks. I assume he told the Argus he wanted to buy the papers and bag them w/coupons, and they probably said 'sure'.

The whole thing is funny.

"Vote Yes on 6, and get to large Pepperoni's for $4 each!"

Seems like a logical marketing ploy to me.

Detroit Lewis
Anonymous said…
Jim Fisher is a douche.
Anonymous said…
Followed a link from the prairie progessive. Thank you for a well-done bit of rant.
Anonymous said…
Good rant. I found it through reading another rant similar in nature.

I have to disagree with the post that claimed subscribers did not get a "vote yes on 6" bag. I received one on my paper that morning, and was mad because it reminded me of another election day not too long ago in which my morning paper arrived in a "vote for John Thune" bag.

I found out that the Rapid City Journal hired a security guard for the day because of angry readers coming in to cancel their subscriptions in protest.
Anonymous said…
You're a liar and a pussy potty hudson, I JAKE HANES of amendment E challenged YOU to a debate after you ran me out of town the first never responded cuz you didn't have your facts straight and cuz of the ass whoopin I'd have given you. You don't have to lie to kick it...until now I was a fan, but you are a puppet and a liar.
Scott said…
Uh, ok, Jake. What debate, what lies, and who am I a puppet for? I belong to no political party or organization. You just don't agree with my opinion. So what? 90% of our state didn't agree with your bill.
Anonymous said…
Jake Jackass vs. Pussy Potty Hudson.

I think you should do it.
Anonymous said…
Ironic that Jim "hot-n-ready" Fisher uses sex to sell pizza.
Anonymous said…
You guys are are acting like little kids.Grow up we do not need those naster comments like that!

Thanks and good bye

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