The Day After

Remember that made-for-TV movie from the early '80s that chronicled the aftermath of a full-on nuclear battle between Russia and Lawrence, Kansas?

OK, so today isn't as bad as all that, although reading some online coverage of yesterday's Republican smackdown in the midterm elections has that post-apocalyptic feel. Those of us loud and proud liberal, hippie, commie, pro-reproductive rights, LGBT-leaning, marriage-equality supporting, feminist bastards (shout out to antigoneawakens.com for "borrowing" a bit of that language) wept into our Wheaties this morning over the Democratic losses in gubernatorial, congressional, state, and local races across the country.

As an Iowan, I now have a new senator -- a pig-castrating, Hobby Lobby-loving, bible-thumping, vitriol-spewing woman named Joni Ernst. I've likened her to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, with shorter hair and soon-to-be more power than the other two (who are not currently in office amen, hallelujah). I'm hoping it will only take one term for the good folks of Iowa to realize the error of their ways. Unfortunately, six years holds a whole lot of possibility of mucking things up in the meantime.

Until now, Iowa had never elected a woman to office in Washington. I should be celebrating a win for womankind. Instead, I'm hanging my head and muttering, "Really? We couldn't do any better than that?"

My poor mother has it worse, I'm afraid. She lives in Kansas, where voters were THAT CLOSE to ousting two rather miserable politicians from positions of power. Instead, they get many more years of Governor Sam Brownback and Senator Pat Roberts cheering on their creationism and good ol' boyism and right-wing wackery.

On the bright side, and I'll admit it's not blindingly bright by any stretch of the imagination, 9:01 p.m. last night (as the polls closed here) marked the beginning of caucus season for the 2016 presidential race. We don't get much of a break from political ads, hand-shaking, baby-kissing, and robo-poll-calling here. At least we have renewed impetus to work as hard as we can to get a non-nutjob elected to lead our land.

Not that this will surprise anyone, but I'm pinning my hopes on Hillary. I caucused for her the first time around, and I was damn proud of her service as secretary of state. I also long for the days when there was a Clinton in the White House (cigars and blue Gap dresses notwithstanding).

We've come a long way, baby, as a nation of human beings who have begun to recognize and celebrate each other and our basic rights. For example, as of Nov. 4, 2014, same-sex couples can marry in 32 states plus the District of Columbia. I hope the elections of Nov. 4, 2014, didn't send us tumbling too far backwards.

Blogger's note: Thanks to some encouragement from Donn and Marlys and a few dear others on Facebook, I logged in and typed away for the first time in too long. It does feel good to be back. I had a rant that needed to be unleashed, and I didn't even realize it.

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