Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Political Desk: United States Senator

Patty Murray. Well, duh.

OK, to keep this from being a two-sentence entry, let me expand upon the long, dark shadow that the current Republican presidential nominee is casting over everything down-ballot, particularly in Washington State. The sheer odious nature of the candidate is such that every GOP candidate is caught with his guts in a vice - does he denounce the odious candidate and cheese off his loyal Republican base, some of whom have partook of the Kool-Aid and swore allegiance to his alternate reality? Or does he support the candidate and scare off anyone who might be thinking the GOP, after years of failure, suddenly will get it right THIS time? What form would this denouncement take? Wrist-slap? Failure to endorse? Declaration that you wouldn't vote for him? Or do you just lay low?

That last option is not available to Washington Republicans, thanks to our Head of the State Republican Party. She wrist-slapped the candidate and then rationalized his behavior by saying he was a Democrat at the time.

So what you're saying is that Its OK If You're A Republican? That particular line shows up so often it has its own hashtag. And it does underscore that we expect more from Democrats, and that we're pretty good at getting rid of the ones that don't measure up.

The result is, of course, many GOP candidates are in that gut-vise, such that they are forced to denounce the presidential candidate on their own and let the chips fall where they may.

A number have. Dave Reichert, safely ensconced in a district that reaches from Issaquah to Ellensberg with minimal challenge, has turned on the deeply flawed candidate. So has the Gubernatorial GOPer, though he fumbled around long enough so that both sides can be mad at him. Others are following suit.

Which gets me back to the US Senate. Chris Vance is the Republican nominee, former State senator, and FORMER chairman of the State GOP (Odd that bit of information seems to have slipped off his resume in the Voters' Guide - here, let me help correct that in noting that he was the person who held the job BEFORE the person that threw the rest of the party under the bus). And he dumped his party's candidate long before it was cool. He saw the bear trap, did the math, and figured he'd rather be part of the group to save the party after all hell broke loose. Good for him.

But it won't help. Patty Murray has been an incredibly effective Senator, both from the standpoint of representing her state and engaged making the other Washington think about THIS Washington. Coming in as a relatively neophyte (yes, you can get in without a lot of previous experience), she has weathered the various political storms of the other Washington and emerged as a leader in the Democratic caucus. She worked to break the first budgetary gridlock in Congress with the GOP, and will do so in the future. She has earned my vote, and should earn yours as well.

So, Patty Murray. Well, duh.

More later,