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Massachusetts The Day After

472px-scott_p_brownI woke up with the worst politics-inspired hangover of my life today.

Until yesterday, I thought I lived in the bluest of the blue bubbles, politically speaking. Massachusetts, home of gay marriage, universal health care (of sorts) and decriminalized pot. We’re like a suburb of Amsterdam.

What happened here? It’s the question everyone around me is asking this morning.

Last night was reserved for potty-mouthed rage. Today my progressive friends are starting to look around and ask what went wrong. They’re not alone. Pundits all over the country are getting in on the act.

Our own Brett Singer has done a great job looking at why it happened in today’s Morning News. Political statistician Nate Silver is playing the blame game over at 538. The New York Times has a round-up of expert opinions. Feministing is hosting an open thread where you can cry in your coffee over the implications this has for women’s rights.

From where I’m sitting, this is just confusing. My corner of the state is, to put it mildly, pretty far left – and proud of it. Green Party candidates can run real races here, and sometimes get elected. Republicans can’t. Nearly seventy-five percent of my city’s vote went to Martha Coakley. The twenty-three percent Brown picked up might be the best showing a Republican has made here in a long time, but it was still a far cry from winning.

The state’s progressive policies on everything from health care to housing made me believe the rest of Massachusetts looked more like my neighborhood than it apparently does. When the political whiplash wears off, I’ll have to figure out what it means to live in a suddenly purple state. For now, I’m just eating a big helping of humble pie along with the rest of Massachusetts’ lefties.

What about you? What’s your reaction to the Massachusetts election? If you live in Mass, did you vote for Coakley or Brown? Why? Where else are interesting conversations about the election happening?

Photo: Public Domain

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