Hawai‘i Democrats make a stand

As the rest of the country moved sharply to the right, local voters made a strong statement that Hawai‘i remains as liberal and Democratic as ever.

We stood behind Hawai‘i-born President Barack Obama as his policies were repudiated elsewhere, we elected an unabashedly liberal governor by a wide margin over a solid GOP opponent and we were one of the few states to turn a Republican congressional seat Democratic.

After bitter primary fights in most of the top races, Hawai‘i Democrats came together in an impressive show of strength that gave them a clear mandate to lead the state into the future.

While it was a night of tough losses for the Republicans, at least they put up a fight in most races after the debacle of 2008 when they failed to contest 40 percent of the legislative seats.

And they deserve credit for showing the courage of their convictions by running on their Republican values instead of fudging party philosophy, as successful Hawai‘i GOP candidates have often done in the past to compete in a Democratic state.

But now Republicans have to face the reality that after hearing them loud and clear, the great majority of Hawai‘i voters simply don’t share their economic beliefs and are not comfortable mixing religion and politics on social issues.

We’d benefit from a vibrant two-party system, but at this point in our history, Republicanism is not a brand that sells in Hawai‘i and the party is going to need some new ideas to return to relevance here.

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7 Comments on “Hawai‘i Democrats make a stand”

  1. Kolea Says:

    I was stunned by the local results. I had assumed we Dems were going to win the Governor’s race, but thought Djou might hold on to the First CD seat. And assumed the GOP would pick up a couple more House seats.

    Instead, the Republicans lost the Congressional seat, Hemmings Senate seat and barely kept six seats in the House.

    In the past, conservatives in the GOP blamed the Party leaders around Lingle of being too moderate to attract voters. Well, they ran a full court press with unabashed religious and economic conservatives. And they lost badly.

    But the Dems won. Voters expect them to roll up their sleeves and fix the problems, make the necessary changes. With Lingle gone and almost total control of the Lege, there are no more excuses.

    The pressure on Neil is to produce “The New Beginning” Lingle promised, but never delivered.

    And for all Democrats to roll up our sleeves, put on our thinking caps and get to work. (Heck, even non-Demcrats with good ideas!)

  2. Kolea Says:

    OK, my math was wrong on the size of the incoming GOP House Caucus. I had forgotten the Dems hadn’t challenged Ward, Marumoto and Thielen, so their names were not included in last night’s election results.

    And in the 3rd printout, released sometime around 11 last night, Marilyn Lee was losing to Republican Shaun Kawakami. In this morning’s 4th printout, Lee had pulled ahead by 17 votes. A margin that close undoubtedly triggered a handcount audit of all the ballots in the district, with Republican and Democratic observers looking on closely.

    The outcome of this race is significant for a reason unknown to many people. During the internal debates over HB444 (civil unions)in the House Democratic caucus, Rep. Lee was specifically cited as a Democrat who might be made vulnerable to a Republican defeat if the vote were to be held. According to my understanding, this argument was not made by Rep. Lee herself, but by others. Rep. Lee is one of the sweetest and best-liked people in the House and when leadership told the Democratic members a vote on civil unions might put HER at risk, it caused some members to agree to not force a vote on the issue.

    And that agreement held until the last minute effort to pull the bill back for consideration by Blake Oshiro.

    So had Rep. Lee lost, those opposed to the re-consideration could have used her defeat as an “I told you so” moment against HB444 supporters. Fortunately, she won.

  3. Michael Says:

    The People of Hawaii actually Lost. Mainland Power has more control in Hawaii and things will end up, This is the Mainland and Not Hawaii.

    Democrats or Republicans, the parties won.

  4. anticoqui Says:

    This will probably sound -Hawaii against the US mainland but…. We in Hawaii don’t fall for the dirty/mud-slinging political fights that seems natural on the continent. We are an island State that is vulnerable to shipping halts; not like the continent. In that sense, we are more like Japan…so we should, maybe, look for some examples from there. Protectionism for Hawaii is deemed bad but may be needed. Why? Take agricultural goods, Hawaii is limited to what can be exported and must inspect commodities as pest-free. Other States have little or no requirements to ship clean goods to Hawaii; our Ag. Inspectors have to catch all pests inbound. Why should Hawaii keep our fuel-gulping ways to support BIG OIL and send monies out-of-State? Look at Japan and other Far East nations developing alternate energy sources for help…as Mufi said,I(we) look like them. oops, bad pun. The Mainland States can more easily wheel-n-deal with each other, and then, hold Hawaii over a barrel even with Sen. Inouye in a powerful position. Someone far better than I should be able to make like an accountant and see if Hawaii does end up with a fair shake when political dealings are done. Democrats hold strong in Hawaii, but, except for military spending…what else would the Republican majority in the House give us on the national scene?

  5. Michael Says:

    anticoqui Says:
    “We are an island State that is vulnerable to shipping halts; not like the continent. In that sense, we are more like Japan…so we should, maybe, look for some examples from there.”

    If you study Hawaiian History, If Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawekiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn married into Japanese Royalty as requested, Hawaii would be owned by Japan. She refused and married a Caucasian named Cleghorn. Hawaii later was attacked by Americans who took over Hawaii and later made it the 50th State. Japan in 1941 attacked Pearl Harbor. If Japan had owned Hawaii. 1941 may or would have been an attack on Japanese owned Hawaii.

    Japan cannot be compared to Hawaii, since Hawaii is just an Island the Size of the smallest Island of Japan. Hawaii does not have the money of Japan.
    Too many races here who think they are better than the other.

    As you say this is Hawaii, but becoming more like the Mainland. Study Hawaii History. Study Japanese History. Study American History. We are not in anyways compared to Japan.

  6. anticoqui Says:

    Michael…I won’t argue with you. You want Hawaii to stay under the thumb of Mainland Big Oil for energy; I’m hoping that Japanese technology will help reduce Hawaii’s oil use….because we both import oil. Historical examples could follow but we both have our own beliefs so ….live and let live.

  7. anticoqui Says:

    OOOPS! Michael i should retract my previous statement….my apologies for puttng you under BIG OIL’s control. Brain-f#rt on my part.

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