There's no way to put a positive spin on yesterday's outcome for state-level politics. I fear that what we saw coming out of the Legislature for the last two years was merely a foreshadowing of future events. And I'm sure there are many reading this who don't believe there's anything we can do about this until the next election.
Well, I'm here to tell you that you are wrong.
First and foremost, we must remain vigilant. Politics is important, but policy is what affects the lives of people. And the people who wield the least amount of clout are also the same people who will suffer the most when policy takes a wrong turn.
Those who are familiar with how legislation is written, who can read between the lines to detect potential dangers to this or that sub-group of our population, are needed now more than ever. You need to analyze it, blog about it, Tweet about it, and generally make yourself a nuisance to those who would try to implement bad policy. For those who feel this would be a waste of time, I say this: "The only safe place for a bad idea to prosper is obscurity." The revelation itself is valuable, regardless of how that new information changes (or doesn't change) the results.
Those of you who are advocates, you must continue to advocate. Battles are lost, but your opponent can only declare a real victory if you stop working for those you are trying to help. And if you do stop, your life may be less stressful, but your soul will suffer. Never forget, the right thing to do is the right thing to do.
I may come back later and add some more thoughts, but I would much rather hear (read, whatever) your thoughts on navigating the next few years.