Tag Archives: Nebraska

Still Bernie or bust for me (also: Live-blogging the 7th Dem debate tomorrow)

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is hugged as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Warren, Michigan

Reuters photo

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a progressive U.S. senator for Vermont, is hugged before a rally today in Warren, Michigan. Today Bernie handily won the caucuses in Kansas and Nebraska, while Billary Clinton picked up yet another state of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging denizens in the South (Louisiana). Tomorrow night Bernie debates Billary Clinton in Flint, Michigan. Michigan holds its primary election on Tuesday; if Bernie takes the state, gone (at least until Billary’s next win) should be the bullshit talk of Billary’s “inevitability.”

Today Bernie Sanders won the Democratic Party presidential caucuses in Kansas and Nebraska, and Billary Clinton, in keeping with her popularity in the South, won the backasswards red state of Louisiana.

Thus far the map of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary race (this one from Wikipedia) looks like this, with Bernie’s wins in green and Billary’s in gold:

Note that Iowa was a tie, with Billary “beating” Bernie by a whopping 0.3 percent. Also close was Massachusetts, which Billary won by 1.4 percent. (It apparently helped her to at least to some degree that Bill Clinton apparently was electioneering for Billary at polling places in Massachusetts on “Super Tuesday.” [His mere presence at a polling place, even if he didn’t speak a word, was electioneering, in my book, given how well he is known as a former president and since his wife appeared on the ballot at the polling places that he visited (only to “thank the poll workers,” he claimed). Of course, the Clintons are royalty, and members of royalty are above the law.])

Nevada wasn’t a blowout win for Billary, either; she won that state’s caucuses by 5.3 percent.

Billary’s wins in the Southern states have been in the double digits, which speaks volumes to me. The South is another fucking country, as far as I’m concerned.

Bernie’s double-digit wins in states like Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Vermont (and his almost-wins in Iowa and Massachusetts) indicate to me that he represents the real Americayou know, the portion of the United States that didn’t practice slavery and wasn’t part of the Confederacy.

Queen Billary says that she’s the real Democrat in the race, yet why is her power base in the South — which is not exactly a bastion of the values and beliefs of the modern Democratic Party?

At any rate, although Billary once again stupidly was declared “inevitable” after “Super Tuesday” this past week (she won seven states [all of them, except for Massachusetts, in the South] to Bernie’s four), this remains a race.

(As many have noted, if a clear majority of the voters and caucus-goers pick Bernie over Billary, the so-called “super-delegates” will be pressured not to subvert democracy, but to go with the popular will and to therefore go with Bernie — if the Democratic Party is to survive.*)

Next up is Maine, which caucuses tomorrow, and then on Tuesday, Michigan and Mississippi hold their primary elections.

I expect Bernie to win Maine, and of course Billary will take the backasswards red state of Mississippi. I’m hoping that Bernie takes Michigan; that would be a real coup for him.

In any event, tomorrow night is the seventh Democratic Party presidential debate. It will be held in Flint, Michigan, and is to be carried by CNN at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific.

I plan to live-blog it, but I might do it differently this time; truth be told, after having live-blogged the first six Democratic debates, I can tell you that these debates get repetitive. Tomorrow night I might decide to live-blog only new material and the more interesting exchanges, and let the repetitive crap go.

Finally, if you are a regular reader of mine you will know this already, but I’ll say it again: For me it’s still Bernie or bust.

I will not support Billary Clinton, Queen of the South, in any way. Not a penny and certainly not my vote, not in California’s primary election in June or in the general presidential election in November.

Billary Clinton does not represent the United States of America or the Democratic Party to me.

My world is a progressive one, and she is from another planet.

P.S. Speaking of other planets, as far as Donald Trump is concerned: I’m sorry that he has gotten this far. It’s a sad statement on the sorry state of sociopolitical affairs in the nation that he has.

Donald Trump does not represent all white male Americans. Let me say that. He represents some of them. (White males are around 31 percent of all Americans, and Trump has the support of about 36 percent of Repugnicans, men and women, and around 39 percent of Americans identify as Repugnican or leaning Repugnican, while around 43 percent of Americans identify as Democratic or leaning Democratic. So Trump has the support of around 36 percent of around 39 percent of Americans, including women, so let’s please not say that he’s representative of most white American men. He is not. He is representative of a loud and obnoxious minority of them who share perhaps three brain cells among themselves.)

Donald Trump to me is evil not so much in that he has all of these definite evil plans for the groups of people whom he definitely would persecute, like his forebears the Nazi Germans did, but in that because he has no moral compass and no apparent conscience, but is pure ego, he would go in whatever direction he would perceive to be politically beneficial to himself, regardless of its harm to many others. He sociopathically lacks all empathy, very apparently.

Sure, that also pretty much describes corporate-ass-licker Billary Clinton’s entire political career, but would another Nazi Germany arise under Billary Clinton? Probably not. Under Donald Trump? It certainly could.

That said, I still think that I prefer the overt fascism of Donald Trump to the “friendly” fascism of Billary Clinton; I still think that I’d rather deal with the obvious wolf than with the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

On that note, both the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Party establishments — the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — need to go.

Yes, the thought that the establishment parties’ demise could be replaced by something akin to Germany’s Nazism (that is, nationalism, far-right-wing ideology/fascism, white supremacism, etc.) is a frightening thought, but there is an alternative to that: the progressive, inclusive, democratic socialism that real Democrat Bernie Sanders promotes.

*While I don’t share Salon.com writer Andrew O’Hehir’s assessment of Billary’s chances of emerging as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee — I think that he overstates her chances (for one thing, she remains underwater in her favorability polling of all voters by double digits — while Bernie’s favorability polling of all voters still has him liked more than disliked by double digits) — I do agree with O’Hehir’s assessment that there is a civil war within the Democratic Party just as there is within the Repugnican Tea Party.

It’s just that the Democrats are “nicer” about it, and it hasn’t blown up (yet).

Whether Billary emerges as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee or not, the fact remains that her center-right brand of Democrat is sorely out of date, is unsustainable and needs to go, and it will go; it’s only a question of for how much longer the Clintonistas can keep the Democrat-in-name-only game going.

If we Berners — progressives — can’t take back our party this year, we will take it back in the near future.

Billary Clinton is not in a good place politically, not in the long term.

Why?

Well, if Bernie beats her, it will be seen as a victory for progressives. (Of course, if Bernie beats her but then goes on to lose in November, he’ll be lumped in with the likes of George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, which probably would be damaging for the progressive brand and seen as vindicating the Clintonistas’ brand of the Democratic Party, of course. [This wouldn’t last forever, but would last for some time, I surmise.])

But if Billary wins the nomination but then loses in November, it most definitely will be the final stake in the cold, stupid hearts of the Clintonistas. The members of the party will look for a new direction, and we progressives are quite ready to supply that direction.

But even if Billary wins both the party’s presidential nomination and the White House, she’ll have a very rough go of it.

She will be attacked relentlessly by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, and if you look at who her supporters are now, it appears as though as president she’ll have the support of the Democrats in the South — Democrats who are fairly powerless within their own states.

The rest of us — us Northerners, mostly — aren’t at all thrilled about Billary Clinton now, so she probably can’t count on much political support from us should she actually become president.

And that’s her fault, not ours.

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Notes on the Oscars that I didn’t watch

Cate Blanchett holds her Oscar for Best Actress for the film "Blue Jasmine" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California

Cate Blanchett is not just a pretty face, but a talented actress whose work should have been recognized with a Best Actress award more than a decade ago. Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto, on the other hand, unfortunately is just a pretty face…

Jared Leto, holds his Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California

Reuters photos

I don’t have cable television and don’t desire ever to have cable TV, and so I didn’t watch the Oscars last night (this year, for the first time ever, ABC made live streaming available — but only to those in certain markets who already have cable!), but I still have plenty of opinions about this year’s.

First off, it was about time that Cate Blanchett won a Best-Actress Oscar. She was robbed in 1998, when she was nominated for the award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in “Elizabeth” but lost to Gwyneth Paltrow. I don’t hate Paltrow as so many others apparently do, but she didn’t turn in the best performance that year.

Blanchett was nominated for Best Actress again in 2007 for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” but the academy passed on her again, so last night was the third time and the charm for Blanchett, and she deserved it, as she turned in the best performance of the year, hands down.*

Indeed, Blanchett’s performance is what saves “Blue Jasmine,” which is not one of Woody Allen’s best scripts, even though it earned him yet another nomination for Best Original Screenplay (he did not win, and deservedly so, since the screenplay is a fairly trite rehash).

I’m glad that the members of the academy didn’t snub Blanchett again, this time because they didn’t want to appear to be supporters of child molestation, because to the hysterical members of the pro-Mia-Farrow camp, you see, anyone remotely associated with Woody Allen is for child molestation. (Under this “logic,” not only does Blanchett support child molestation for having worked with Allen, but if you even cast your Oscar ballot for Blanchett, then you, too, support child molestation, by extension.)

“12 Years a Slave” is a worthy Best Picture winner, but I would have been OK with either “Philomena” or “Nebraska” having won (of those two, “Philomena” probably is my favorite).

I saw all of the nominees for Best Picture except for “Her,” “Captain Phillips” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” I would like to catch “Her,” and probably will, but the subject matter of neither “Captain Phillips” nor “The Wolf of Wall Street” appeals to me, and I’m a bit overdosed on Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio as it is (one word: overexposure). (Seriously, though, it wasn’t long ago enough that I saw DiCaprio as the Great Gatsby. I’m good for a while.)

“American Hustle” is an OK film — good, but not great — and “Gravity” and “Dallas Buyers Club” both have been over-hyped. None of those three nominees deserved to be named Best Picture.

“Gravity” is watchable (I saw it at IMAX), but, in my book, fatally flawed by its incredible — literally incredible, as in unbelievable — plot.

“Dallas Buyers Club” also is watchable enough, but come on, it’s like “Philadelphia” meets “Transamerica.” This gay man is as sick of movies about gay and/or transgender people being about AIDS as black folks are sick of movies being about slavery.

That said, yes, obviously the academy is filled with (mostly white) liberal guilt, and so if you make a movie about slavery, AIDS or the Holocaust, yes, your chances of winning an Oscar go up astronomically.

Again, “12 Years a Slave” is a worthy film, as I noted when it came out, but I do believe that (white) liberal guilt boosted it, just as it boosted “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Speaking further of which, I have enjoyed the return of Matthew McConaughey, whose performances in “Bernie,” “Killer Joe” and “Mud” all were good, but it seems to me that the main reason that he won Best Actor for “Dallas Buyers Club” is that he lost so much weight to play the role, which is not quite the same as great acting, but also because he played a man with AIDS, which also sure was good for Tom Hanks (who won Best Actor for the unworthy film “Philadelphia”).

I’d have given Best Actor to Chiwetel Ejiofor** for his performance in “12 Years a Slave” — not out of white liberal guilt, but because I think that he gave the best performance of the year.

At least the enthralling Lupita Nyong’o wasn’t robbed of the Best Supporting Actress award for her great performance in “12 Years a Slave.” Again, no white liberal guilt there — she earned that award, turning in a performance that probably is the heart and soul of the film. (I love Jennifer Lawrence, who did a good job in “American Hustle,” but this award wasn’t hers.)

And Jared Leto — don’t even get me started on him.

OK, so just as McConaughey won Best Actor for having lost a lot of weight and played a guy with AIDS, Leto won Best Supporting Actor for having lost a significant amount of weight and played a transgender individual with AIDS.

This was the result of full-blown liberal guilt. I don’t see that Leto’s performance was better than was Bradley Cooper’s in “American Hustle” or Michael Fassbender’s in “12 Years a Slave.” It was the transgender person with AIDS angle that did it.

I fully support equality for transgender individuals — I am a gay man myself — but isn’t coddling a historically oppressed minority group in a saccharin, maudlin manner just the flipside of oppressing that group?

Also, just as “Gravity’s” fatal flaw, in my book, is that its protagonist’s fantastic feats are just not believable, in my book “Dallas Buyers Club’s” fatal flaw is its portrayal of the protagonist, Ron Woodroof, as a homophobic heterosexual man with AIDS when, in fact, very apparently those who knew the real-life Woodroof — including his ex-wife — have said that he actually was at least bisexual, but possibly, if not even probably, gay. (Indeed, the photos of him that I’ve seen of him make my gaydar smoke.) Oh, and those who knew Woodroof dispute that he ever displayed homophobia (which, admittedly, a closeted gay man might do, especially in a homophobic state like Texas and in that day and time, to “prove” that he’s “heterosexual”).

Why the apparent change of such an important detail (the protagonist’s sexual orientation)?

Would Woodroof’s story have been less interesting if it had been that of just another faggot who had died of AIDS?

Can you pretend to be respectful of the gay “community” when you change a central character in a “real-life” story from non-heterosexual to heterosexual?

And in Jared Leto’s acceptance speech, he gave an unfortunate (but fortunately brief) shout-out to the “dreamers” of Venezuela and Ukraine. Wow.

On the surface, the “causes” of Venezuela and Ukraine appear to be great bandwagons for a good guilty white liberal to jump upon, but when you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find that those so-called-by-Jared-Leto “dreamers” are, in Venezuela, plutocratic and pro-plutocratic wingnuts who are just bitter that the socialist president there won the last presidential election — not by much, but he still won. They’re bitter that they lost the election and so they’re trying to force a do-over election (this was done in my state of California in 2003, with the gubernatorial recall election, which was, for all intents and purposes, just a do-over of the previous close gubernatorial election).

I fully expect wingnuts to support the Venezuelan “cause” of toppling a democratically elected socialist president because he is not a right-wing, pro-plutocratic president, but Leto, who presumably fashions himself to be a good liberal, should know better.

And the “dreamers” in Ukraine are largely far-right-wing nationalists, some of them even actual neo-Nazis.

Sure, they have a “dream.” Hitler had a dream, too.

These dreams might be great for them, but others of us, these dreams are nightmares.

Jared Leto, if he wants to be remembered as having been more than just pretty, really, really, really should do his homework before he endorses a “cause” in front of a massive, worldwide audience.

*OK, to be fair and thorough, I  saw all of the performances that were nominated for Best Actress except for Meryl Streep’s in “August: Osage County,” since the film’s previews suggest that it’s a mediocre, sappy film, worthy of perhaps catching on DVD. Still, I can’t imagine that Streep’s performance in that surpassed Blanchett’s in “Blue Jasmine.” My second choice for best actress would have been Judi Dench for “Philomena.”

**To be fair and thorough, I saw all of the performances that were nominated for Best Actor except for Leonardo DiCaprio’s in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” (Hey, if I got paid to see [and write about] movies that I wouldn’t ordinarily see, that would be different!)

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Repugnican losers are trying to rig the game

Widespread talk of how the Repugnican Tea Party was going to “reform” itself after two national rejections in a row has been a fucking joke. We have our answer already: Of course the traitors have no interest whatsofuckingever in changing their ways.

Now, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are trying to have the electoral votes in some purple states with Repugnican-Tea-Party-majority state governments changed from winner takes all (which is the case in 48 of the 50 states) to divvying them up (like only Maine and Nebraska do) — but only in those purple states in which this change of the rules would benefit the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, of course.

They’re not talking about divvying up the electoral votes of such deep-red, winner-takes-all states as Texas or Arizona or Georgia. They’re only talking about divvying up the electoral votes of such purple states as Virginia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsinstates that Barack Obama just won (and that he won in 2008).

It seems to me that this violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment — at least in spirit, if not in the letter — because it gives the voters in some states a right that voters in other states do not: Namely, to have their votes make a difference in the Electoral College.

I’ll even play devil’s advocate here: The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ new scheme, if it had been in place in our last presidential election, would have meant that, for instance, someone who voted for Mittens Romney on November 6 in, say, Virginia or Wisconsin or Pennsylvania still would have had his or her vote count in the Electoral College as long as he or she lived in a congressional district that Mittens won, even though Barack Obama won the majority of all of the votes in those states — but someone who voted for Mittens in, say, deep-blue New York or California, would not have had his or her vote count in the Electoral College, because in those winner-takes-all states, Obama would have received all of the states’ electoral votes.

Is that fair — to give voters in some states more say in the Electoral College than the voters in other states? Shouldn’t every voter’s presidential vote count equally?

Of course, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, being traitors, aren’t about fairness and equality and democracy. They’re about “winning” at all costs — fairness and equality and democracy be damned.

Of course, the best course of action would be to eliminate the Electoral College altogether, to amend the United States Constitution to abolish it and to replace it with a straight-up popular vote for the presidency.

In a so-called democracy, there is no good reason not to choose the president of the United States based on a popular vote. (“But that’s the way we’ve always done it!” is not a valid argument, since it replaces reasoned analysis with mental laziness [a.k.a. “tradition”].)

The winner-takes-all Electoral College method effectively means that those blue voters in red states and those red voters in blue states have no voice at all, but to have one of the two duopolistic political parties pick and choose which states are to be winner-takes-all and which states are to divvy up their electoral votes — only in order to benefit that party’s presidential candidates — is even worse.

It is unfair as it is that even Nebraska and Maine divvy up their electoral votes when the other 48 states do not, but this hasn’t been a huge unfairness problem thus far, since both states together have only nine electoral votes (at least 270 of the 538 electoral votes are necessary to win the White House).

If the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are successful in rigging the entire Electoral College to benefit themselves, however, millions of voters will be disenfranchised.

The good news in all of this is that if the Repugnican Tea Party were strong, it wouldn’t need to cheat in order to “win” presidential elections, as it did in 2000 (and probably in 2004 as well), and as it is trying to do now.

The bad news is that sluggish, complacent, lazy Americans have a way of just allowing the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to get away with their blatantly anti-democratic bullshit, such as stealing presidential elections and launching bogus wars.

I considered the blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000 to be the biggest blow to American democracy during my lifetime, but what the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are cooking up now, if realized, would make even that seem like child’s play by comparison.

P.S. (Friday, January 25, 2013): My bad: Add Ohio and Michigan to the list of purple states that Obama won in 2008 and in 2012 but that now are controlled by Repugnican Tea Party traitors who have at least talked about divvying up their states’ electoral votes in order to rig future presidential elections for the Repugnican Tea Party.

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Wingnuts’ call for California’s split is disingenuous

Southcalifornia

New York Times and Los Angeles Times graphics

Just say oh, hell no!: The current Repugnican Tea Party proposition to split California into two states is meant only to help the shrinking Repugnican Tea Party in presidential elections.

It’s been in the news lately that some wingnuts in Southern California want to split the state into two states, “North California” and “South California” (a la North Carolina and South Carolina or North Dakota and South Dakota).

California is just too big to continue to (try to) manage as one state, they argue (correctly or incorrectly).

This argument has been made before many times in the history of the nation’s most populous state, and repeated efforts to split the state into two throughout the state’s history have failed.

So should this one.

As the Repugnican Tea Party traitors always do, they give benign, reasonable-sounding reasons for their plan, but in actuality, their plan serves only to benefit them politically.

With a population of more than 37 million according to the 2010 U.S. Census, for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, California has 55 electoral votes. Texas, the second-most-populous state, has 38 electoral votes. (New York, at No. 3, has 29. [Each state gets two electoral votes for its two U.S. senators, as a baseline, and top of those two baseline electoral votes, gets one electoral vote for each of its members of the U.S. House of Representatives.])

Fifty-five electoral votes — that’s a lot of electoral votes, and the Repugnican Tea Party traitors long have wanted to get their grubbies on a chunk of them for a long time now.

Q: How to do that, given that California is a solid blue state and that like most of the 50 states, California awards its electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis?

A: (1) Try to turn California from a winner-takes-all state to a state that awards electoral votes proportionately, like Nebraska and Maine do. Or, (2) try to split the state into a blue state (“North California”) and a red state (“South California”), giving the Repugnican Tea Party another red state in its column.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d be giddily happy to no longer have to share the great state of California with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and other assorted right-wing nutjobs — but not at the expense of helping the Repugnican Tea Party traitors more easily win presidential elections.

I’m fine with proportionally allocating electoral votes within the Electoral College; I don’t like the current winner-takes-all system myself.

But unless all fucking 50 states award their electoral votes proportionately, it’s unfair (and, it seems to me, unconstitutional [specifically, violating the Constitution’s requirement of equal protection]). You don’t hear the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pushing for, say, Texas’ electoral votes to be split proportionately, do you?

Best of all would be to abolish the Electoral College altogether and elect our president on a straight national popular vote. (If our system had been set up that way, as it should have been and should be, we would have had President Al Gore instead of “President” George W. Bush, since Gore won more than half a million more votes than Bush did in the official 2000 presidential election results.) If it’s good enough for us to elect our governors on a straight popular vote, it’s good enough for us to elect our presidents this way.

In the meantime, reforms or changes that are meant to benefit one party over another are bullshit and need to be blocked.

Sure we can split California into a red state and a blue state. But only when and if we split the red states, such as Texas, into red states and blue states.

(What’s that, wingnut? Suddenly it’s not such a great fucking idea?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

P.S. As I painstakingly pointed out way back in April 2009, the red states take more from the federal coffers than they put into the federal coffers, yet the red states piss and moan about how horrible they have it under the blue states when the red states are, in effect, welfare states — drains on the blue states.

Similarly, Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office has pointed out that the red area of the state that would comprise “South California” takes more from the state’s coffers than it puts into the state’s coffers.

(And Brown’s spokesman said that talk of splitting the state into two “is a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time,” adding, “If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona.” [Or Texas or…])

So again, yeah, except for the fact that it would help the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the presidential elections, I’d be more than happy to see the blood-sucking red counties of California go their own way from those of us in the blue counties who are carrying their pathetic, worthless asses.

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Same-sex marriage in the heartland suddenly changes the game radically

Photo illustration (disclaimer: these dudes may or may not be hot for each other or for any other dude or dudes… [Not that there is anything wrong with that!])

Des Moines, Iowa [from the Associated Press] – Gay marriage, seemingly the province of the nation’s two [liberal] coasts, is just weeks away from becoming a reality in the heartland, and apparently it will be years before social conservatives have a chance to stop it…. The only recourse for opponents appeared to be a constitutional amendment, which couldn’t get on the ballot until 2012 at the earliest….

I wanted to allow the news that Iowa right now is the third state with legalized same-sex marriage (after Massachusetts and Connecticut) to marinate my brain for a little while before I chimed in on the subject.

My first thoughts were that I had never even heard that Iowa was even anywhere close to having legalized same-sex marriage; why did this news apparently come out of the blue? I also wondered how safe legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa was, since we Californians had legalized same-sex marriage for fewer than six months before the wingnut “Christo”fascists, with Proposition 8, took our rights away like Cruela De Vil took away the puppies. And, of course, I was miffed that Iowa beat my home state of California.

I am happy to have learned since that Iowa’s same-sex marriages seem to be safe from wingnut “Christo”fascist reversal for at least the next few years. Whew.

And Iowa did and did not beat California on the same-sex marriage issue, depending upon how you look at it.

As of right now, today, Iowans have same-sex marriage rights but Californians don’t. Iowans. (Did I say “Iowans”?)

But California’s state Supreme Court did beat Iowa’s state Supreme Court to the same-sex marriage issue. The California Supreme Court ruled on May 15 that same-sex couples in the state must, under the rights guaranteed to them by the California state Constitution, be able to marry legally.

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday — let me say again that the court ruled unanimously — that same-sex couples in Iowa must be allowed to wed legally. (California’s highest court had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage by only 4-3, I’m chagrined to admit. However, six of the seven California Supreme Court justices were appointed by Repugnican governors, so that gives the 4-3 ruling more significance, I think. [Iowa’s Supreme Court also has seven justices, by the way.])

California was the second state, after Massachusetts, to have achieved legalized same-sex marriage. (Massachusetts was the first to have put a same-sex couple on the moon, so to speak, with its top state court ruling in 2004 that to ban same-sex marriage violates the state’s constitution.) This past November, Connecticut became the third state to establish that same-sex marriage must be allowed under state law. Iowa is the fourth state to have achieved legalized same-sex marriage.

After California made it to No. 2 in May, a slim majority of California voters — swayed by millions of dollars that the Mormon and Catholic cults poured into hateful, bigoted and false political advertising in the state — decided in November (with Prop 8) to write ignorance, hatred and bigotry into the California Constitution, so that today, same-sex couples may not legally marry in California.

The California Supreme Court in May had ruled that state codes (over which the court has full jurisdiction) outlawing same-sex marriage were unconstitutional; at that time, the state’s Constitution (which is the upper limit of the court’s jurisdiction) did not prohibit same-sex marriage, so the haters decided (with Prop 8) to write unlawful, un-American discrimination into the state Constitution.

The California Supreme Court is expected to rule no later than in June on whether the results of Prop 8 will be upheld or shot down. It remains to be seen whether the same California Supreme Court that in May granted same-sex couples the right to marry will decide whether it has jurisdiction over the constitutionality of the state Constitution itself; this is a very sticky legal issue. (I believe that of course the court can shoot down anything the voters approve that is unconstitutional, under the principle that the tyranny of the majority over oppressed minorities must not stand, that equal human and civil rights may not be put up for a vote. But, of course, I’m not a lawyer…)

Just the day before yesterday, it was looking pretty gloomy for California; would the state Supreme Court shoot down the will of 52 percent of California’s voters?

With only Massachusetts and Connecticut having legalized same-sex marriage as of just the day before yesterday, it probably seemed safer for the California Supreme Court to shoot down same-sex marriage then than it does now, with Iowa poised to recognize same-sex marriages on April 24.

Suddenly, same-sex marriage isn’t the province of only the liberal East and West coasts (or, as they sometimes call my coast, the “Left Coast,” a designation that I embrace wholeheartedly).

Suddenly, same-sex marriage isn’t just a solid blue-state thing anymore. Suddenly, it’s about what it always has been about all along: equal human and civil rights for every American.

Take a look at where Iowa is on the map:

(Iowa, for those of you who need the assistance, is “IA.”) There it is, Iowa (IA), surrounded by Kansas (KS), Nebraska (NE), South Dakota (SD) and Missouri (MO). (Iowa, in case you were wondering, went to Barack Obama, 54 percent to Repugnican John McCainosaurus’ 45 percent. Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri all went to McCainosaurus, with Missouri being the closest, 49 percent to 49 percent, with Obama losing to McCainosaurus by fewer than 5,000 votes.)

When same-sex couples in Iowa are getting married, will the California Supreme Court — which already ruled, in May, that same-sex couples in California should be able to marry legally — uphold the bigots’ Prop 8?

I tend to think not.

But even if the California Supreme Court does uphold Prop 8, will the California voters, the next time that the issue of same-sex marriage were put before them, vote in such a way that California is outdone by Iowa?

I don’t fucking think so.

P.S. Making all of this even more interesint is that the fifth state to have achieved legalized same-sex marriage might be the state that started it all: Vermont.

Vermont, the first state to offer same-sex couples civil unions (which confer all of the state rights granted to married heterosexual couples except for the title of “marriage”), might be the fifth state to achieve legalized same-sex marriage if the state’s House of Representatives, which this past week voted 95-52 for legalized same-sex marriage in the state, can override Repugnican Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto threat, which would require two-thirds of the house members to vote for same-sex marriage. (Um, how in the fuck did Vermont end up with a Repugnican governor anyway?)

If Vermont’s House of Representatives can get just five of the “no” votes to switch sides, Douglas’ veto can be overriden; Vermont’s Senate already overwhelmingly voted in favor of same-sex marriage, 26-4.

Douglas’ promised veto could be overriden as early as within the next week.

P.P.S. OK, so I’ve bashed Iowa some here, but I noted this paragraph in an Associated Press story:

Iowa has a history of being in the forefront on social issues. It was among the first states to legalize interracial marriage and to allow married women to own property. It was also the first state to admit a woman to the bar to practice law and was a leader in school desegregation.

OK, so I guess that I am humbled. My state — which used to be considered the bellwether state, didn’t it? — achieved legalized same-sex marriage but couldn’t keep it. However, I’m confident that we’ll get it back.

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