With the 2010 midterm election behind us, it's time to reflect on just how fickle and down right stupid this country can be. We saw the rise of the Tea Party and the demise of logic this past Tuesday, setting up what will most likely be a very unproductive 2 years in Washington. I could attack multiple aspects of the election and turn this post into an 80 page rant about the American people putting the most fiscally irresponsible and socially backward citizens back into power, but instead I am going to focus on a story I found earlier today.
As many people noticed, there were a lot of judges on the ballot that were up for retention. I assume most people just checked yes for each judge and continued on to the exciting proposition section while some of us took the time and researched past rulings in order to make the most informed decision possible (and still voted yes for almost all of them...3 hours later >_<). Whether you blindly voted or you researched your decision, you probably felt that these retention votes were more like background formalities rather than actual issues. I completely understand. I voted in CA and there were much more pressing decisions that needed to be made such as Props 19, 23, and 25 and the Governor's race. However, in Iowa this was not the case as judicial retention votes, for their state Supreme Court at least, seemed to take center stage.
This past Tuesday, Iowa made history when they voted not to retain three of their Supreme Court justices. Kudos for making history? Not exactly. The three justices that were voted off the bench were part of the decision that legalized same sex marriage in the state of Iowa and it is solely because of that decision that they were ousted. Apparently, the state was flooded with homophobic advertisements from out-of-state organizations that urged the people of Iowa to vote no on retaining these justices. These out-of-state organizations, the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the advertisements.
This is idiotic beyond belief not only because of the obvious intolerance and bigotry, but also because this was not a movement sponsored by the citizens of Iowa. Does anyone else find it odd that every day we see the Tea Partiers, the Libertarians, the Republicans, and conservatives in general bitching and complaining about "big government" yet they seem to be fine with these national shadow organizations pumping money into various state elections in an attempt to force their misguided beliefs on people? A double standard maybe? This same thing happened in California with Prop H8.
This double standard is just one of the many aspects of a much larger problem regarding the misguided hatred of the societal progress embodied by allowing two willing adults to marry on their own terms. It's bothersome that people can be so easily influenced to abandon their ideals, however misguided they may be, in favor of what the rest of herd is doing. This election exemplified America's inability to think for itself. Because of this inability and irrationality, three judges are without a job simply because they held up the ideals of their state's constitution when they allowed same sex marriage. The truly sad thing is that I bet the average Iowan who voted no to retain these judges couldn't tell you about any of the other important cases that they ruled on.
If you want to read the article, you can find it at http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2010/11/iowa_judges_booted_for_support.php
The picture was found at davegranlund.com