Senate changes hands and GOP wins governor’s office in three blue states

Republican candidates won enough U.S. Senate seats Tuesday night to take over the majority in both chambers of Congress, but in an even more stunning victory, Republicans took over the governor’s offices in three strongly Democratic states –Illinois, Maryland, and, Massachusetts.

The results in the U.S. Senate stall any chance for advancing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for at least two years, maybe more.

The Senate’s new Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell who won re-election from Kentucky, has scored a consistent zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecards. There is almost no likelihood that McConnell would allow a vote on ENDA.

While ENDA co-sponsor Jeff Merkely (D-Ore.) was re-elected, as was pro-gay Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and several other Democrats, at least three pro-ENDA Democratic senators lost: Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Udall of Colorado.

Three other pro-gay Democrats’ seats are still up in the air this morning. Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner made a victory speech but Republican opponent Ed Gillespie has not conceded and Warner holds less than a one point, meaning Gillespie can ask for a recount.Warner, who just a month ago appeared to be an easy win, was hit late in the campaign with an accusation that he promised a judgeship for the daughter of a Democratic state senator who had threatened to switch to Republican.

Democratic Senators Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana are both forced into run-off elections because no candidate in their race won the necessary 50 percent plus one vote. Begich, with 45.3 percent, ran behind his opponent’s 49 percent, with only 5.7 percent of the vote split over two other candidates. Landrieu took 42.1 percent of the vote in Louisiana, just 1.1 percent ahead of the Republican. A second Republican candidate in the race took 13.8 percent of the vote, suggesting Landrieu’s December 6 run-off is heavily weighted against her.

The make-up of the Senate going into Tuesday was 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and 2 independents. As of this morning, Republicans have secured 52 seats, Democrats 43, and independents two. The two independents have been caucusing with the Democrats but have hinted they might switch to the GOP if the Republicans took over the majority.

In the U.S. House, where Republicans held 233 seats to the Democrats’ 199, Tuesday’s elections increased the Republicans seats by nine, at deadline.

Clearly the tides were running high for Republicans Tuesday. Democratic governors’ seats were lost in the blue states of Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois, although incumbent Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has not conceded. The Chicago Tribune reported early this morning that Republican challenger Bruce Rauner had 51 percent of the vote against Quinn, a strong supporter of LGBT equality who pushed hard for marriage equality in that state. Rauner wouldn’t discuss his personal position on same-sex marriage but said the issue should have been put on the ballot for voters to decide.

In Massachusetts, Republican victor Charles Baker supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry and made political hay out of the fact that one of his brother’s is gay and married. Democratic candidate Martha Coakley had a gay running mate, Steve Kerrigan, and her office, as attorney general, filed a complementary lawsuit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act in the early challenge against that law.

And in Maryland, where retiring Governor Mike O’Malley strongly supported marriage equality, Republican victor Larry Hogan said in August he “fully” supports the decision of voters to approve allowing same-sex couples to marry and that he would “support their decision and will uphold the law.” Hogan, a white businessman, defeated a very popular African American Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown in a state with a politically dominant Democratic party and 30 percent African American voters.

2 Responses to Senate changes hands and GOP wins governor’s office in three blue states

  1. Francois says:

    No big surprise here. Aside from identity (gender) politics the DNC does not seem to stand for anything anymore. Despicable though it is at least the GOP stands for something.

  2. Francois says:

    Shellacked again. How clever of the GOP and how easily people are to lead by a ring in their nose. Aside from marriage equality the Democrats have not stood up for much and as soon as the Republican candidates wised up and began to support the inevitable (if you can’t beat them then join them) they took the thunder from Democratic candidates — whatever little thunder the Dems had left that is.

    And still our so-called ‘hard left” president does not have the guts to say SCOTUS should strike down all gay Jim Crow anti-marraige laws! He approves of the state by state process and we know exactly where that would have left people like his parents had the high court in Loving not struck down all anti-miscegenation laws but allowed it to proceed exactly as Obama approves now.

    Those of us who actually *read* the much chattered about White House Prop 8 amicus brief saw and were revolted by a lack of courage when the Obama Administration miserably failed to even make the argument for a federal standard in the spirit of Loving v. Virginia. It was telling how the Obama true believers and the LGBT ‘activists’ let him get away with it. And it got worse! The LGBT propagandists, spin-doctors, Obama true believers, and LGBT ‘activists’, remained silent when, during oral arguments, certain Supreme Court justices evoked open laughter in the courtroom when they gently ridiculed the White House position. Funny how not even one pundit spoke on that but just pulled the wool over their own eyes. When it did not fit their propaganda picture they just chattered about an amicus brief they never read (or understood) and then pontificated on an oral arguments they never even listened to.

    In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, (1943) dissenting Justice Robert H. Jackson elegantly stated the now well-accepted rule of law Obama has never had the guts to affirm, “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to *withdraw* certain subjects *from* the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them *beyond the reach of majorities and officials* and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

    Instead Obama condones and advises the very course Coretta Scott King warned against by holding his finger to the wind to see which way it blows and then proposing to dole out civil rights piecemeal.

    While he has certainly done much for LGBT rights and marriage equality the constant equivocation by this so-called civil rights lawyer, his constant kowtowing to religion, his horrific expansion of Bush’s “faith-based” initiatives (which, in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, just about every SCOTUS justice agreed even Congress could not get away with), and by this failure to openly stand on solid legal bedrock to educated and assert principals he surely knows apply, Obama has revealed a quivering lip.

    So here we are! By their failure to stand up for much the Dems have earned one more well-deserved shellacking! Once again they lick their self-inflected wounds.

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