Politics on the Home Front
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
You might recall that there’s an election coming up. Naturally I have to chime in, so let’s look at some Washington state contests that are especially entertaining because they are such preposterous mismatches.
At the top of the mismatch charts is the gubernatorial race. The current governor, Jay Inslee, has decades of elected experience at both the state and federal levels, is a prominent national voice for dealing with climate change, and has been among the most effective state governors in his response to the coronavirus.
“Gracious,” the Republicans must have exclaimed, “we’ll have to pick a brilliant, supremely qualified candidate to topple an incumbent with an impressive record and good approval ratings. Yes siree Bob, we’re gonna have to shoot for top quality here.” So they chose Loren Culp, a totally inexperienced high school dropout with really dumb ideas.
Hailing from the town of Republic (pop. 1,100 or so), Culp is the “chief of police.” He gets to be chief because he’s the only member of the police department. One assumes he’s also the guy who writes the parking tickets and sweeps up the jail at the end of the day. Culp pooh-poohs climate change, thinks the chief of police gets to decide which laws are constitutional and which are not, and dismisses COVID-19 (over 1,000,000 dead worldwide) as no big deal. Culp has been very enthusiastic about unmasked, non-socially distanced super-spreader events, and says that on day one as governor he’ll throw the entire state wide open. This will be a wonderful opportunity for those of us who have always wondered what it might have been like to live in Medieval Europe during the bubonic plague. This contest is a no-brainer in every sense of the word.
How about politics here in Whatcom County? Well, we have a couple of risible mismatches ourselves. In the 40th Legislative District the incumbent Alex Ramel (D) is a bright fellow who was working on important issues long before joining the Legislature. Among other things he’s been board president of the Kulshan Community Land Trust, author of Bellingham’s Climate Action Plan, and Energy and policy director at Sustainable Connections. Alex had done a ton of homework before ever stepping onto the House floor.
Alex’s challenger, Russ Dzialo (R), promotes positions that might most charitably be called unusual. A typical response to some of his ideas might be, “Well, gee, that’s, uh, interesting, Russ.” For example, it’s a little odd that Russ is even running for the Legislature since he doesn’t approve of legislation. He thinks it “limits the ability for citizens to make their own decisions.” Rather than laws, Russ opines, the government should just give us “guidelines,” and then “individuals should be able to decide for themselves how to stay within the guidelines.”
Ah yes, Russ, very helpful. So if the “guideline” suggests that I drive 25 miles an hour in a residential zone, I can personally interpret that to mean 25 miles per hour unless, of course, I’m late to an appointment, in which case I can floor it.
Another of my favorite mismatches is over in the 42nd Legislative District where incumbent Sharon Shewmake (D) is being challenged by the very amusing newcomer Jennifer Sefzik (R). Sefzik’s resume of past political involvement or relevant community service is pretty thin, which she explains by saying that for the past 25 years she has been raising children. Well, Jennifer, your opponent is raising children, is teaching economics at Western Washington University, and has been an effective member of the Legislature. Maybe you need to up your vitamin intake.
Sefzik doesn’t have many specifics on her website, though she is definitely opposed to inappropriate sex education for kindergarteners, unlike the teachers unions who are just itching to teach the Kama Sutra to 5-year-olds.
Sefzik also doesn’t have much of substance with which to attack Shewmake, so she makes up for it by attacking Seattle instead, that hellhole of espresso-fueled socialist anarchy. She then links Shewmake to these horrors by calling her “Seattle Sharon.” It’s silly, of course, but Jennifer just doesn’t have much to work with.
Oops, I’m running out of room. A quick reminder in case you forgot, we’ll also be voting for president. So unless you’re throwing your vote away on a third-party candidate, you have two choices. One is an ignorant, dangerous, irresponsible sociopath, and the other is Joe Biden. Choose wisely.