I took some time mentally debating as to the title of today’s post. Beware one of the options violated my PG rating and it is in the last paragraph of this article. In any event the message is much more important than the event covered today that I will use to illustrate it.
Tuesday voters in the Buckeye State rejected a Republican effort to stifle democracy. If I got into all the details this would be an essay if not a book. It’s an article so I’ll be brief if somewhat incomplete. The state legislature in Ohio is controlled by Republicans and Mike DeWine is Ohio’s Republican governor. They had realized that having August special elections were very expensive and drew small voter turnout. In other words, a waste of taxpayers’ money. They also saw that anti-choice issues were failing in blue, red and purple states. In reaction to an unpopular 6-week abortion ban they passed in the wake of the Dobbs decision; citizens were successful in placing a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would basically enshrine Roe into the state constitution. That issue was slated for the November ballot. The Republicans quickly got an amendment together that would, among other things, raise the threshold from 50% to 60% and add that signatures on the qualifying petition had to come from all 88 counties and placed it on the last August ballot allowed by the new law.
The attempt at subverting democracy was the only issue on the ballot. Numbers are still coming in as I pen this but the backlash produced a huge turnout and the measure lost handily. Even for many people who would certainly not consider themselves to be pro-choice this was a bridge too far. Not only would the amendment effectively take away a woman’s right to choose, it would subvert democracy.
More than just your usual collection of liberals opposed the amendment and this could have profound impact on the 2024 election. Historically Ohio was considered the bellwether state in presidential elections. In recent years it appears to have moved from purple to red. It will also hold one of the many Senate elections that the Democrats desperately need to defend in the person of Sherrod Brown in ’24. The ’24 stake couldn’t be much higher in Ohio.
The organizing in this effort was fantastic. It included more than just the Democratic machine. In the process much data has been gathered and properly utilized in ’24 it could yield a lot more volunteers, voters and contributors to the Biden and Brown causes as well as the campaigns of down ballot Democrats. People that would normally not be reached or would pretty much sit it out will be on call, door knock and e-mail lists. Not that coincidentally one of the spokespersons for this effort was Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Connie Schultz who just happens to be Mrs. Sherrod Brown. I know her work well enough not to question the sincerity of her motivation but you have to think that the data will find its way to her husband’s reelection campaign.
Now here is the important part: it is wonderful that people came together to defeat evil but my concern is will they remember in November of 2024 or will enough of them revert to voting for the Republican candidates who brought us this anti-democratic vote in the first place almost by default? That’s where field work and campaign ads come into play.
Here were two alternative titles that I considered for today’s article: Stay Motivated (the rather polite alternative that you could use in a church or mixed company) and Stay Pissed-Off (more like the real me that my friends know but not necessarily suitable for all environments). Tuesday was a great and important win but it was just one “battle”; the “war” continues. Say whatever it takes; you pick the verbiage and remember Baby Milo.
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