U.S. election both good and bad news for Whistler 

click to enlarge MARIA DRYFHOUT / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Big Bird has spoken and the rest of the world has breathed a sigh of relief. Well, except maybe for Pakistan. Would someone please get Mr. Romney a towel?

With too few ballots to rig and too few chads left hanging, the black guy with the terrorist name whipped the white Mormon with no discernible soul and The Donald was calling for revolution in the streets. How can you not enjoy politics American style?

As tempting as it might be to claim the forces of reason carried the day in the Great Satan Tuesday, the day wasn't so much carried as it was equally distributed to almost 117 million pairs of hands. With nearly that many people voting, President Obama's edge over his opponent was a razor-thin 2.6 million votes — 51.1 per cent to 48.9 per cent as of early Wednesday morning. Whatever philosophical differences divided the country Monday night — philosophy probably having very little to do with it — still cleaves it cleanly Wednesday morning.

But there is good news and bad news rolling out of the U.S. election. Some of it cause for celebration and some of it simply threatening to Whistler's very success.

So it's late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning. You're Mitch McConnell. What are you going to do with your life? Well, first off, you're probably going to ask "Who the heck is Mitch McConnell?" Fair enough. As a Canadian, there's no earthly reason you should know. So I'll tell you.

Mitch McConnell is the Minority — read Republican — Senate leader. He's the old white guy with jowls that have their own Zip Code. At age 70, he's the longest serving senator in Kentucky's history, which tells you most of what you need to know about Kentucky.

After the 2010-midterm elections when the Republicans took back the House of Representatives, (sorry, I know I'm losing some of you) it was Senator McConnell who outlined the Party's strategy for dealing with the most pressing problems facing the nation. Mitch said, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

And so, the Republicans didn't do anything about the wars they'd started, the terrorists they hadn't captured, the economy they'd sent into the toilet, the jobless recovery, climate change, or any of the myriad issues people seemed to want their government to tackle. Instead, they stonewalled Obama at every opportunity, even refusing to agree to positions they'd earlier proposed on several issues simply because they didn't want it to seem like the administration was getting anything done.

Not surprisingly, not much got done. More surprisingly, almost half the voters stuck with them. Go figure.

So I'm celebrating the fact that a scant 51 per cent of voters decided to cast their ballot for the side that at least seemed to want to deal with some of the issues instead of simply making the other guys look like buffoons, not that the other guys needed any help in that department.

I'm also celebrating the defeat of Tea Party rapists. Three white guys, all rabid right-wingers, all Tea Party darlings, got their collective asses handed to them by the voters after making intemperate comments about, well, something they shouldn't in good conscience have anything to say about at all.

First and foremost, of course, was Todd Akin, a 65-year-old white guy. Running for the Missouri senate seat held by Claire McCaskill, Todd was agin' abortion regardless of whether the fetus was the result of rape. Why? Well, as Todd explained last August, some "doctors" had told him, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

McCaskill whipped him by a bigger margin than Romney won the state.

In Indiana, state treasurer, Richard Mourdock, a 61-year-old white guy, defeated Dick Lugar in the Republican primary earlier this year. Mourdock was touted by the Tea Party and beat Lugar, who'd held the seat since 1976 and was a moderate Republican, by branding him as not conservative enough.

Mourdock was expected to trounce his Democratic opponent, Joe Donnelly, who'd represented Indiana in the House since 2007. But last month, Mourdock, a staunch opponent of abortion, just had bring God into the race by saying a pregnancy as the result of rape just might be "...something God intended to happen."

Donnelly whipped him in a state Romney won easily.

Of lesser note, Tom Smith, a 65-year-old white guy, lost his senate race in Pennsylvania to incumbent, Bob Casey. What was expected to be a close race turned into a blowout when Tea Party backed Smith just couldn't discern a difference between women who became pregnant because they were raped and women who got preggers out of wedlock.

Casey's margin of victory was way bigger than Obama's over Romney.

Anyone with half a brain would look at Tuesday's results and realize the Republican party is dying off quicker than old white men. Women abandoned them, minorities have never been in the tent, and the right-wing crazies are writing their own obituaries. But with any luck, they'll decide their real problem was the that Mitt was just too moderate and they need to double down with the whackos... in which case, reason may prevail for elections to come.

But all was not good news. In what can only be seen as a real threat to Whistler's viability as a world-class ski resort, our neighbour to the south, Washington, and, even worse, Colorado, passed referenda to legalize pot. Not just for "medicinal" use but for good ol' fashion recreational use. Roll 'em if ya got 'em.

Clearly whatever gains Whistler made last season when we had snow and Colorado didn't are about to go up in smoke! You're a skier. You can choose to pay more to fly to Vancouver and have a nice ski holiday in Whistler or pay less to fly to Colorado, ski the Rockies and cop a bag of weed instead of blowing what's left of your vacation funds on over-priced drinks slopeside.

This could be as big a threat to Tiny Town as global warming.

Clearly it's time for Whistler council to legalize weed. Oh, I know, it's not within the power of a municipality to do that. So what. Just do it. We can trick the local RCMP into, shall we say, compromising positions that will give local politicians enough influence to get them to turn a blind eye.

We need a level, if higher, playing field. We have the terrain, we have the snow and lord knows B.C. bud is way better than the stuff they're smoking in Colorado. Don't ask me how I know, but I was just there. Now all we need is the political will.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Maxed Out

More by G. D. Maxwell

Facebook Activity

© 1994-2014 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation