Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Interesting Results in the New York City Primary Races – And a Terrible Result in Colorado Recall Elections

One Message From Tuesday – Gun Nuts Will Not Tolerate Restrictions on Their Rights to Possess Weapons of Murder

In New York City the Democratic primary provided some pretty interesting results.  Both the race for Mayor and the race for Comptroller involved candidates who had a history of moral/sexual transgressions.  Both lost badly.

Former Representative Anthony Weiner, at one point a front runner for the nomination for Mayor will apparently end up with less than 5% of the vote.  Mr. Weiner is a very flawed man, and his overwhelming defeat is very welcome.  The other flawed candidate, former Governor Eliot Spitzer, once a front runner for the nomination for Comptroller, lost also, and here the reaction is more ambivalent. Mr. Spitzer seems to be genuinely dedicated to financial reform, and he could have made a huge difference in that area if his personality (he is not a nice, likeable person even though that is somewhat irrelevant) had not been his main enemy. 

Hopefully the message to other politicians is clear, that voters will not tolerate outrageous behavior and they will not overlook that behavior in assessing the candidates.  Of course, given the venality of most politicians it is not likely this message will be received or even heard.

In Colorado voters recalled two Democratic legislators who led the fight for modest gun control legislation.  These votes put the final nail in the coffin of any kind of reasonable regulation of firearms and ammunition.  Of course, that regulation was on life support anyway, and not expected to live.  Americans who want unlimited access to weapons place the freedom to own assault weapons and the freedom to maim and kill above almost anything else.  Although they will never recognize it, they share the blood on the hands of those who perpetrate awful gun violence.

The defeated candidates were eloquent in defeat, and these remarks by one of them puts his opponents to shame.

The recall elections ousted two Democratic state senators, John Morse and Angela Giron, and replaced them with Republicans. Both defeats were painful for Democrats – Mr. Morse’s because he had been Senate president, and Ms. Giron’s because she represented a heavily Democratic, working-class slice of southern Colorado.

In an emotional concession speech, Mr. Morse called the loss of his seat “purely symbolic” and defended the record of the last legislative session as “phenomenal.”

“We made Colorado safer from gun violence,” he said afterward, as his supporters trickled away from a hotel ballroom here in his district. “If it cost me my political career, that’s a small price to pay.” 

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