Well, I have taken some time to think about it before posting it, so that I don’t post anything out of anger or say anything that is offensive to others.
In reviewing yesterday’s results and today’s aftermath, here are some things that rank on my relative 1-10 scales of scariness versus positiveness.
First, the scary list.
1. The State Legislature and Senate in NC both went Republican for the first time since Reconstruction. This terrifies me more than any of the other races, because this affects me most. I am employed by a State Institution who is mostly dependent on the Legislature for funding. We have already been told to brace for budget cuts in the neighborhood of 10-17% for the law library in coming fiscal years. However, now I am fearing that it will be far worse based on the rhetoric coming from the new state legislators. North Carolina has always been a very reasonable state, with an excellent system of universities and community colleges. I am hoping that will not be lost, but I am very skeptical. Even without my own personal interest in my job, I think higher education is so important that the idea of budget cuts there just makes me want to cry. Also, in the Street Family, four out of five of us, Mom, Sarah, Melissa and I are employed in public education on some level. If public education funds are destroyed in North Carolina, Mississippi, or Texas, than so goes some measure of our financial stability Scariness Level: 9
2. Not approaching the terrifying levels of the changes to the North Carolina legislature, is the fact that Russ Feingold lost. I love Russ Feingold. There are so few politicians that I can actually say that about and have it be true. Russ Feingold is a hero because he actually stood on principle at important times. He voted against the Iraq War and voted against the PATRIOT Act. He was guided by principle and true to his word, but because he had a D behind his name, he lost. Bad call, Wisconsin. Scariness Level: 4 (More sad than scary)
3 The Real World can now actually be considered a pathway to wielding political power. Scariness Level: 7 (Because what does this mean will happen to those Jersey Shore kids once the sober up?)
4. I doubt the average person in Oklahoma has any clue about what International Law is and where it comes from, but that doesn’t stop them from telling judges that they can’t use it in rendering decisions. FYI Oklahoma, you have now rendered all of those broken treaties with American Indians even more useless. Also, does this now mean that I am free to disregard any law in Oklahoma that has any basis in any international obligation under a treaty? If so, I got alot of piracy that I need to get going on in that state. Granted, there is a lack of “high seas” in Oklahoma, but maybe if I argue that carjacking statutes are really just based on international law that is now invalid, then I have a case. Scariness Level: 6 (Although this isn’t remotely enforceable, and probably isn’t even constitutional (Separation of Powers, Federal Preemption), the ignorance level is pretty shocking.)
Here are some things that rank on the positive index from yesterday:
1. Harry Reid still won. There isn’t much I can say about that, except that it was a rare beam of light. Happiness Level: 3 (Because in spite of the win, there was too much to worry about on the political landscape than to be satisfied with one small victory.)
2. My North Carolina basketball season tickets arrived! Happiness Level: 8 (Finally! This is the biggest perk that I could have been offered from North Carolina to have induced me to take the job.)
3. Already on my basketball high, I saw Roy Williams today on campus! Happiness Level: 9 (Because I just felt like God was giving me something to smile about on an otherwise worrisome day).
4. The assurance that in spite of political changes, everything will be alright. Happiness Level: 10 (Because it will be.)