The red tide that hit the rest of the country merely lapped at Connecticut’s shore Tuesday night, as “the land of steady habits” bucked national trends by retaining its entire Democratic Congressional delegation. I think we also elected our first Democratic Governor in twenty years, but I’m not sure. Every time I type a sentence I get a Breaking News Alert about some new development in that increasingly sordid tale.
It was only on the state level that the CT Republicans made some gains. The Democrats lost their supermajority in the State House with the GOP gaining 14 seats, and another one seat in the State Senate. The loss of the supermajority will not be such an issue for the Dems if Dan Malloy is, indeed, the Governor. Lord knows when we’ll actually know that for sure. Judging from the last news alert I received, which said that Republican Tom Foley is refusing to concede, citing “irregularities” and “improper procedures” that “require further research”, it still might not be by the time you read this on Sunday morning.
From high profile races on both coasts, we learned that even though it can buy you pricey consultants, staffers with iPads and airtime in costly urban markets, money, even lots of it, doesn’t necessarily buy you voter love. Especially the votes of women, who, despite the attempt to brush off the matter of how you made your fortune with a two obviously fake Chatty Cathys in a car chirping “Oh yeah!”, weren’t stupid enough to buy it.
It’s both sad and ironic that although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been major contributors to the federal deficit and are costing American lives daily, the most talked about war in this election the one that ended forty years ago.
But the multiple fiascos on voting night and the depressing spectacle ever since, have me wondering if I’m living in the Early Bird Special State instead of the Nutmeg State. Or perhaps we should call it the Nutjob State at this point.
One has to wonder what possessed Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz to declare Democrat Dan Malloy the “unofficial” winner on Wednesday, given an already inflamed situation in Bridgeport. Even though she attempted to cover herself by using words like “apparent” and “unofficial”, it showed a lack of judgment and political tone deafness that must surely cast doubt on her clear ambitions for the Senate race in 2012.
While the buck for the fiasco is being passed faster than a hot potato, one thing is without question: Bridgeport Registrar of Voters Sandi Ayala and Joseph Borges must go. That only 21,000 printed ballots were ordered for 69,000 registered voters is an unforgivable act of negligence, if negligence really is the ultimate explanation. But coming on the heels of a history of voting issues in that city, it’s clear that these heads must roll. Confidence in the integrity of voting process is an essential ingredient for our democracy and that’s something Ayala and Borges can no longer deliver.
If and when the election dust ever settles, here’s my plea to our officials, new and old, on both the state and federal level: Please stop with the partisan posturing and make every effort to work together to find the necessary compromises to solve the very real problems facing our state and our country.
(Note to GOP: I suspect that electing Michele Bachmann, with her McCarthyite views on investigating fellow Congressmen as being pro or anti American, as GOP Conference Chair is probably not the best way to go about this.)
The tone of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the post election days hasn’t exactly filled me with hope. It appears McConnell would rather cause legislative gridlock for the next two years than actually work towards solutions.
I believe he does so at his peril. One thing I took away from attending the Rally for Sanity is that while there are a lot of angry Tea PartyPatriots, there’s an equal or bigger number of us who are sick of the partisan rancor on both sides and want solutions. Let’s hope we start seeing them.
Sarah Darer Littman is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers and an award-winning novelist of books for teens. Long before the financial meltdown, she worked as a securities analyst and earned her MBA in Finance from the Stern School at NYU.