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Isn't This a Time?

The Tea Party Fades, Xcel Loses Big, and I'll have another.........you?

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, November 06, 2013.

Around the nation, the operating theory after this week's election in the media is that post shutdown, the voters want calm competence and not the Tea Party. Probably true in the main, despite a secession movement vote to leave Colorado.

But Huzzah! and rally round the flag, boys and girls, Colorado has defeated the secessionists. Five small counties did vote for pursuing a separation from Colorado. They are Yuma, Cheyenne, Phillips, Kit Carson, and Washington. With a combined population of 43 people, including illegals, their votes are unlikely to overcome the defeat of the same measure in Weld County, where the movement started and which has the population and money to make an academic case for themselves as a separate state, but didn't happen. Whew. That was a close one. The nation had been quivering, although somehow the Dow Jones and Standard and Poor's indexes were at record highs.

They weren't seceding from the Union, but the Tea Party plantlife was undoubtedly hoping that something could be made of this. Rand Paul was reported busy plagiarizing speeches by Jefferson Davis to deliver on the Senate floor, and he had obtained a heavy wooden can with which to beat minority leader and fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell or John McCain or even, perhaps, a Democrat, preferably from Massachusetts. Somebody, anyway. Tradition is important to the Tea Party, but succession and posturing violence is a dangerous tool for foot stomping.

As elections go, especially by-elections, it was a good one here in Boulder. Coddled monopoly Xcel Energy got hammered badly in their attempt to preserve their cash cow and defeat the City in its efforts to control its electrical grid. In the two elections focused upon Boulder's attempt to form a municipal power company, Xcel has spent about 2 million dollars and failed to kill it. Wait for that to show up in our bills under some gossamer or other.

The Boulder City Council went as expected with highly educated and accomplished men and woman winning the five open seats. The current mayor was not the highest vote getter, Mary Young was, so who ends up as mayor could be interesting if not important. It's a weak mayor system with a fully functioning staff and city manager. They have a lot on their plate with flood damage, future flood mitigation, the yearly RTD fiasco, municipalization of the city's power, and the city's usual groups of rather selfish folks for biking and Open Space access, and the always touchy relationships with the University, Boulder airport, Boulder County, agricultural interests, and developers.

By the way, has anyone noticed that the trial for the former Police officer who shot the bull elk on New Years has vanished from the media? I've heard nothing since his partner in crime pled guilty to lesser charges a few months ago. That, in one form or another, should be brought before Council.

New Jersey, a deep blue state, re-elected Republican Chris Christie as governor. No surprise, he's popular, he's competent, and he really loves his state and he has no trouble working with Obama and giving credit where due. He can be petty, but he is someone to keep an eye on. Democrats vote for him.

Much more surprising is Virginia, once the capital of the Confederacy. It's been trending blue in recent elections, and yesterday the Tea Party Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli - a climate change denier and far right panderer, lost the governor's race to Terry McCaullif, a Washington insider with ethics violations in his past. Neither was an exemplary candidate, but given the choice, voters in Virginia elected not just a Democrat but an intimate of the Clintons. I don't know if that presages anything, but every conservative in America cannot but feel that their ship is leaking badly before the 2016 election, with the beginnings next year. The social conservatives especially cannot be thrilled that a state poll in South Carolina about gay marriage showed those for it and those against it were only 13% apart, with the nays ahead. Say this with me: South Carolina has 39% of its voters in favor of gay marriage. SOUTH Carolina. Ye gods!

In Alabama, a Tea Party candidate lost to a mainstream GOP candidate for the state legislature.

A Democrat has been elected mayor of New York for the first time in 20 years. Yeah, Bloomberg said he was a Dem, but let's be real.

And all of this with the negative publicity about Obamacare's roll out. This speaks well of the President and looks good for the Democrats, who may in Obama's final two years achieve what was hoped.