Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Weird off-year elections, Iowa style

Personally, the best result last night was U. S. Rep. (IA-2) Dave Loebsack beating back Marionette Miller-Meeks (yes, that's her name). Loebsack was supposed to lose that race. This was Miller-Meeks' comeback challenge. Unless she's made of money and has a strong masochist streak, it'll be her last. Clearly, she was done in by her own wishful thinking about the merits of incumbency in a GOP year.

Three Iowa State Supreme Court justices got booted off the bench. That's almost unheard of. I don't know if that's because the question was confusingly worded or not. Maybe people who voted No (do not retain the judge in office) thought the question was asking, "Do you want to fire this judge?" in which case No should have meant Retain, but din't. On the other hand, maybe gay marriage in Iowa really does strike most Iowans as a bridge too far.

The Iowa Supremes could have dodged the bullet by refusing to consider the case, so history should award them their purple hearts for shooting themselves in the foot, then forget about 'em. No profiles in courage, the ousted justices didn't think courage was needed in a mundane job. (On the SCOTUS front, there's no remedy other than counting the minutes until Antonin Scalia or one of his bobbleheads stroke out, drop out or drop dead. That's Alito, Thomas or Roberts.)

Guvner Branstad is back for a non-consecutive fifth term, which is so-so news for Iowa. Senator Grassley as well. I suspect both these races were decided by opponents' negatives, rather than any glowing adulation for two relics from the Reagan 80's.

Fun stuff: Christine O'Donnell, the witch of Delaware, declared victory to no one's surprise, despite getting swept under the rug. And Harry Reid trounced Sharon Angle, which is all you need to know about Tea Party kooks, except for Rand Paul. The family name carried him past the extremist label, evidently, but he's a one-term wonder.

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