Oregon Dem Gov. Kate Brown: RECALL THIS, MOTHERF*CKERS
Oregon Republicans don't like the democratically elected Democrat governor, Kate Brown. Oh yes, there are Republicans in Oregon. They're the parents of all the hipsters. Although Oregon is reliably blue, the entire state isn't like Lake Tahoe. There are some red batches of conservatism, especially in the state's interior, and their representatives aren't pleased with the bisexual lady governor's ambitious progressive agenda. She's signed a law permitting undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses. She's pushed to reduce the state's carbon emissions. She's a mad tyrant and Republicans have no recourse but to remove her from office.
Republican Party Chair Bill Currier filed a recall petition against Brown last month. Currier, who is bad at math, argues that Oregon deserves a governor who represents "the will of the voters." Brown didn't win some common Electoral College. After replacing crooked former governor John Kitzhaber in 2015, Brown easily won the following year's special election. She also won a full term in 2018 with more than 50 percent of the vote, and Republicans really tried to beat her. Their candidate had a bullshit goatee and everything.
Sixty days to go for those signatures, boys! Currier also complains that Brown is willing to use her executive powers to work around a defiant Republican legislative minority. She behaves like she thinks she's the governor and he won't have it. Brown is considering executive action because whenever Republicans lack the votes to stop legislation they don't like, they stage flamboyant walkouts to deny the state Senate a quorum. They first pulled this tantrum posing as a tactic over passage of a $1 billion school funding tax. Democrats scrapped bills on gun control and vaccines in exchange for Republicans returning to the Senate and promising on a stack of Trump-brand Bibles never to "pull a similar maneuver in the future."
The Student Success Act passed but Republicans effectively killed the cap-and-trade climate bill when they fled the state like gangsters in the night. Yes, they had agreed not to pull that crap again "in the future," but the "future" is all hover cars and phasers set to stun. This was barely a month later.
Brown described the Republicans' actions as a "subversion of democracy."
"They are in the minority, way in the minority. It's like, 'You lost.' They didn't have any other tool, so they left. They literally shut down the legislative branch."
Nonetheless, Brown was still able to "get shit done," as she says in her native badass. The Democratic majority has passed criminal justice reform bills and a generous family leave law that provides 12 weeks of paid time off. You can practically hear the glass hearts of Republicans breaking across the state. It's obvious why they've resorted to desperate means. Who knows how Brown might improve the lives of Oregonians next?
But the recall attempt hasn't even mussed Brown's hair. She thinks it's all "crazy." Some Republicans secretly agree.
"I am only speaking for myself, but I have misgivings about the petition drive," said Deschutes County Republican chair Paul deWitt. "Kate Brown deserves to be recalled, but we also need to elect Republicans in 2020."
Brown is popular, like someone who wins two elections in three years with more than 50 percent of the vote. Putting her on a ballot in a pointless act of pettiness would not only fail to remove her but also drive up Democratic turnout. Still, deWitt is willing to "do his part" for Currier's Thanos gambit.
deWitt: The petition will be on our table at the county fair.
Oh, well, that's it then. Brown better pack her bags now. The GOP is certain to collect the 280,050 signatures it needs within the next couple months to trigger a recall. Republican political consultant Julie Parish thinks her party needs a "strategy" but the recall isn't it. Maybe they should try accepting the results of an election?
Brown's political adviser Thomas Wheatley suggested that the Republican walkouts and recall efforts are examples of "Trump's politics descending on Oregon." We think this gives both Trump and Republicans overall too much credit. Obstruction and bad-faith negotiations have been tools of the Republican trade since Barack Obama was president. Mitch McConnell would tell you it's paid off fairly well. Here is where we confess to what some smarmy conservative pundit would call liberal hypocrisy. Yes, we would totally support a Democratic legislative minority taking a few of Ferris Bueller's days off to block an anti-abortion law in, say, Alabama or Georgia. We see a significant difference between punching a Nazi and punching a nun. It's not just about who won the most votes. Oregon Republicans are on the wrong side of history and morality.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.