California Über Alles

Sadly, Proposition 19 didn’t make it over the victory line yesterday, causing intense disappointment to weed aficionados worldwide. The Federal Government had promised to vigorously enforce the US anti-dope statutes in the event of Prop 19 passing (the DEA built its power during the marijuana scares of the 30’s), so victory would probably have been more symbolic than immediately practical, but it would have moved the issue a few more steps towards a rational solution. The problem seems to have been the inexplicable failure of the stoner youth vote to turn out. Let’s hope they get their act together for 2012.

The night in general turned out just about as well for the right as had been predicted, with big Republican gains across the nation, though they narrowly missed out on gaining control of the Senate, thanks to the failure of Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell to win in Nevada and Delaware respectively.

The defeat of the Tea Party candidates in these races is obviously cheering, but in the long term it may prove to be a mixed blessing for the Obama administration. The 21st-century Know-Nothings may be on a roll at the moment, but I wonder if 2010 may turn out to be the high-water mark of the Tea Party, as GOP strategists assimilate the lessons of the debacle in Delaware especially, and conclude that they need to steer more to the centre if they want to win the big prize in 2012. A lot depends on how the economy goes, but Obama’s best shot at a second term must lie with the Republicans going with a wing-nut candidate rather than the sort of fiscally conservative but socially liberal mix that worked so well for the Tories here.

Meanwhile, back in California, Jerry Brown is heading for the Governor’s mansion once again, which gives me an excuse to spin this classic number by the Dead Kennedys.

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