Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A new form of gridlock?

Now that the election hype and fervor (sturm und drang if you will) is over, I wanted to share a thought I heard from a post-election commentator.  She noted an interesting contrast.  While conservatives clearly won the battle of the candidates, progressives seem to have won the battle of the referenda.  Ballot questions covering equal rights (same sex marriage), minimum wage increases, legalizations (casinos, marijuana), employment policies (mandated leave or sick time), largely trended progressive.  What could explain this?  The commentator offered up that while the electorate still holds progressive values, they lost confidence in progressive office holders’ ability to implement them.  There was no changing of any hearts or minds.  The progressives gave up on the people not the policies.

I wonder if this is a form of self-delusion.  Can it be possible to elect conservative politicians, pass progressive referenda, and expect the latter to reign? Or a new form of gridlock?