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Encouraging Signs in Victorious Elections Results, While Mitt Romney Flip Flops Away

November 10, 2011

Last Tuesday’s Election results provided a host of significant victories for progressives over Tea Party-like forces of reaction.

From Ohio to Maine to Mississippi to Kentucky to Arizona to Houston to New Jersey key Republican supported efforts went down in flames.

To recap:

– In Ohio, voters resoundingly repealed Gov. John Kasich and the Koch Brothers-funded measure that would have destroyed labor union’s collective bargaining rights.

– In Maine, voters overturned a Republican voter suppression attempt by deciding to keep a 38-year-old law that allows same-day voter registration.

– Mississippi voters defeated a ballot initiative that would’ve declared life begins at fertilization, a proposal seen as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide.

– In Kentucky incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear easily defeated Republican Sstate Senate President Dave Williams.

– In Houston, openly lesbian Houston Mayor Annise Parker was re-elected and Mike Laster became the first openly gay man elected to the Houston city council.

– In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie suffered a huge defeat as his efforts to gain Republican control of the state legislature failed as Democrats gained one seat in the state Assembly for a 48-32 edge, and maintained a 24-16 hold on the Senate.

– The icing on the cake was in Arizona as Republican State Sen. Russell Pearce, the controversial architect of Arizona’s racist ‘papers please’ immigration law, was voted out of office in a special recall election and replaced by Republican Jerry Lewis, who does not support the repressive immigration law.

The one downer, and it’s unfortunately a big one, was that Democrats lost control of the Virginia State Senate and lost a lot more ground in the Virginia House of Delegates, where Republicans will have a 2/3rds majority. Thus, Republicans have complete political control of Virginia with the Governorship and state legislature.

Yet, the biggest loser of the night may have been GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. For Romney’s continuous flip-flopping came to light, once again, as he found himself on the wrong side of the majority of voters on a number of important issues.

In Ohio, he endorsed Senate Bill 5 that destroyed workers’ collective bargaining rights, then couldn’t decide if he would oppose its repeal, then finally decided he was for the anti-worker bill all along. On Tuesday, Ohio voters put the bill to rest by a whopping 61-39 percent margin.

Romney did a spectacular flip-flop on the Mississippi measure, which would have defined “personhood” as beginning at the moment of fertilization — thereby banning not only all abortions regardless of circumstances, but also hormonal birth control, in vitro fertilization and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. In an interview with Mike Huckabee, Romney said he “absolutely” supported the measure. Asked by a town hall meeting participant whether he really supported banning hormonal birth control, Romney hedged the question. Finally, the day after Mississippi voters trounced the ludicrous amendment, Romney’s campaign stated that he was on the side of the majority after all, that he had never supported personhood, and thought these decisions should be left up to the states anyway.

Given that Arizona voters voted out State Senate President Russell Pearce, author of the state’s racist immigrant law, will Romney now switch his position on immigration, again, after moving to a place to the right of Rick Perry?

But, it doesn’t stop there. Romney provided, yet, another example of why he has a strong case for asking to be paid royalties for every time reruns of an episode of the old series Flipper is played on TV in last night’s GOP presidential candidate’s debate.

Greg Sargent writes in his Washington Post column, Mitt Romney refused to give a clear and unequivocal answer to the question of whether he supports extending the payroll tax cut for workers. Romney’s first stab:

    “I don’t want to raise taxes on people in the middle of a recession. Of course not. That’s one of the reasons why we fought so hard to make sure the Bush tax cuts were not taken away by President Obama…We cannot continue to pass on massive debts to the next generation.”

Putting aside the absurd comparison to the Bush tax cuts — Obama previously wanted to end the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy; now he’s pushing to extend the payroll tax cut for workers — this answer remained in the realm of generalities. So the moderator pressed him again. And Romney said:

    “I want to keep our taxes down. I don’t want to raise any taxes anywhere. I’m not looking to raise taxes. What I’m looking to do is to cut spending.”

Previously, Romney had appeared to oppose an extension, but now he supporting a payroll tax cut extension, but won’t say so directly.

With the election a year away, and with Romney now the likely GOP challenger to President Obama, we can expect a never-ending list of Romney position changes. Let’s just hope that the majority of voters make the most important flip when they go to the polls next year. That would be to flip the lever by President Obama’s name, thus ensuring Romney’s election bid was one big flop.

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