Willard M. Romney was certain he’d score a knock-out on Super Tuesday yesterday, and, once again, he had to settle for a split decision. In the key primary–and national election–state of Ohio, Romney beat Rick Santorum by just one percentage point. Santorum won Tennessee and Oklahoma, Newt Gingrich won Georgia (not a surprise), and Romney’s hope to lock up the nomination so he can concentrate on President Obama was dashed. Yay!
Romney spun it well, but so did Santorum. And Gingrich again, as he did after Florida, gave what sounded like a victory speech–victory as in “I’m in Bizarro world where multiple third and fourth places mean I won.” Ron Paul, well, you didn’t hear a peep from him, but he’s still there, like the loony relative you don’t send invites for family functions, but he somehow finds out and shows up.
What the results show is that Romney, the pretend conservative, has difficulty winning in the deep south. His Florida and Virginia wins aside–he and Paul were the only Republicans on the ballot in the Old Dominion–Romney has trouble appealing to the voters who traditionally go for candidates to the right of Ivan the Terrible. This could mean the primary battle will extend through the spring and into the summer, if Santorum continues to do well in southern states. Gingrich and Paul show no sign of dropping out of the race any time soon, even though it’s coming down to a Romney/Santorum bout.
I initially thought, yes, let it be Santorum; Obama will cream him. Besides, there’s no way people will vote in Rick Santorum as President. Then, I remembered I felt the same way about George W. Bush, and America elected him. Twice. Granted, Santorum’s social, economic, and policy positions make W look like a, well, Massachusetts Moderate, but if the Republican base can get motivated and if progressives stay home in a huff, Santorum could… No, I won’t put it in print. Just thinking about it will give me dystopian nightmares.
Romney, I believe, will be the nominee, after a long, protracted process that will leave him emotionally spent, and the President will be fresh as a daisy. The polls look good for the President now, but it’s March. We’ve got eight months to go, and we can’t take a single thing for granted. As the Republicans disinter the rotting corpse of the War Against Women and flail its stink about, we need to remember that few Republicans with national presence denounced Rush Limbaugh’s odious words about Susan Fluke; we need to remember that Republicans brought up the Blunt Amendment, which would allow any employer to not cover any medical procedure or medication for any one for any reason. (That was defeated, thank goodness.)
I can’t list all the things we need to remember come Election Day in November, but as a progressive who has been disappointed by some of the President’s policies, I know he has my vote. The alternative is just too dark and reactionary to consider.
One of my readers who thinks I’m an “ultra-feminist” (I am, but it doesn’t bother me.) can stop reading here, so his blood pressure doesn’t elevate.
The shenanigans of the Virginia Legislature–personhood bills, trans-vaginal ultrasounds, etc.–have made national news. Our reactionary-laden legislature seems determined to return us to the 1950’s in terms of many things, chief of which is women’s right to decide what to do with their bodies. It’s something men do without thought–who to fuck, when to fuck, whether to use protection or not–and for some reason don’t want women to do. To protest the legislature’s actions, several hundred men and women held a silent protest this past Saturday at Virginia’s capitol building in Richmond. Several of them stood on the Capitol’s front steps. The governor claims he didn’t send in SWAT, but it’s obvious he did. The police arrested people who were doing nothing except sitting and standing, handcuffed them, and locked them in a bus for nine hours for something that is normally a ticketable offense. (Hello, America; wake up and smell the police state.)
Last weekend at the Richmond protest, there was one sign that said it all for me, that reflects my sense of deja vu, my feelings about having to fight–yet again–to make sure women have the same choices men do, and here it is: