Senator Maria Cantwell's Republican Challenger Likes Blowing Smoke
Here's a fun bit of trivia for you: When Washington held its August 7 primary for US Senate, there were 29 candidates on the ballot, including incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell. Washington has that weird Top Two primary system, where the top two finishers, regardless of party, move on to the general election. You might assume that with that many candidates, it would be a rough haul for an incumbent -- but Cantwell ended up with a whopping 55 percent of the vote, while all the others split the rest of the votes.
Second place went to Susan Hutchison, a former Seattle TV anchorwoman and, until this year, Washington Republican Party chair, who managed to get 24 percent of the vote. We'll go way out on a limb and predict Sen. Cantwell has a reasonably good chance of reelection to a fourth term.
Before we move on to the general election, we do feel compelled to mention the also-rans, who include a perennial candidate who changed his name to "GoodSpaceGuy" because he's in favor of colonizing space, right quick. He'd like to end overpopulation by imposing a "birth fee" on anyone having babies, which he thinks is perfectly reasonable. He also opposes the minimum wage, because he's the only true capitalist in any given election. And yet GoodSpaceGuy manages to seem sane-ish compared to another primary candidate, Joey Gibson, the leader of the "free speech" -- you know, Nazi-friendly -- group "Patriot Prayer," which is best known for violence-inciting road trips to Portland and fretting about "white genocide." Gibson nonetheless managed to get 38,676 votes, finishing in fourth place (with just 2.3 percent of the vote, but yeesh). GoodSpaceGuy squeaked out just over 7,000 votes. Better luck next time! (Yes, of course there'll be a next time.)
Here's a pretty good indicator of what kind of campaign you can expect from Susan Hutchison: In August, while the Pacific Northwest was choking from smoke from wildfires, Hutchison released a weird video explaining she knew who was to blame: Maria Cantwell and Washington's Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, because they're the mindless tools of "radical environmentalists."
You see, a lot of crazy people like Cantwell think "global warming" has something to do with wildfires, but don't be fooled! According to Top Experts, it's really all about "mismanagement of our forests," which of course is why we need much more aggressive logging -- or as fire expert Donald Trump says, we "Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!" (no word on whether Hutchison believes fires are caused by "allowing" rivers to flow to the Pacific).
Hutchison claimed in a press release that in 2015, Cantwell "opposed a bi-partisan bill in the Senate that provided forest fire solutions," although The Stranger's Rich Smith couldn't actually find any such bill. As for Hutchison's insistence that she would rely on "science-based" forest management, we're a little skeptical about what kind of "science" Hutchison supports. You see, before she got into politics with an unsuccessful 2009 run for King County Commissioner, Hutchison was a board member of the creationist Discovery Institute (and last fall, she tweeted her delight at meeting Ed Meese at a Discovery Institute event). In 2009, she said she wasn't a "creationist," but that could mean she likes the hard science of "intelligent design."
So yeah, big on science -- as Smith noted, that apparently includes blaming Cantwell for smoke blowing into Washington from Canadian wildfires. Ah, but does she think climate change is real science? After the flap over her video, Hutchison went with every Republican's anti-science dodge: "I believe the climate is always changing," which means "stop asking me science questions."
Would this be a good place to mention that real scientists are in agreement that wildfires are much, much worse because of global warming drying out the forests and the soil? (Worse,there's the proliferation of forest-killing bark beetles, which aren't being killed off by annual freezes anymore.) Also, too, as ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Cantwell has led bipartisan efforts to provide more resources for wildland firefighting.
Oh, yes, and Hutchison also spent a ridiculous amount of time and energy in that 2009 King County race insisting she absolutely was not a Republican, because it was a nonpartisan election and she thought there was something to be gained by claiming to be nonpartisan -- after making donations to Mike Huckabee, George W. Bush, and to Washington GOP candidate Dino Rossi and state and county Republican groups. She got really huffy about local media trying to "discredit" her by noting her Republican leanings. Then she lost the election and became the chair of the state GOP.
You do have to give Hutchison at least some credit for knowing how to sound like a Republican now. Her "issues" page is full of boilerplate, promising to support the holy Second Amendment, Republicans' Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads, and Trump's border wall (and accusing Cantwell of supporting "open borders," for which we'd love to see a citation. As a military brat, she claims to know firsthand the horrors of "socialized medicine," under which she suffered with full government-paid healthcare. Cantwell, that monster, supports "universal coverage" (though so far, she hasn't yet signed on to Medicare for all), and opposes Trump administration moves to do away with protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.
Oh, and how's this for Excellent Republican Communication? Asked about Cantwell's cybersecurity bill, which will enhance security for small businesses, (it passed both both houses and was signed into law in August), Hutchison had a ready answer: cybersecurity what? Democrats hate small business!
The Democrat party is not a friend of small business and small business knows it [...] Cybersecurity is an important issue, but it's not hand-in-hand with the kinds of policies that help small businesses grow and thrive.
I think she's talking out of both sides of her mouth, which is typical of Maria Cantwell. It's so hard to figure out where she stands on anything because she tries to be all things to all people. But she's not. She's not a moderate. She's a strong vote for the Schumer/Pelosi policies that have kept this country down, and I would say a vote for Maria Cantwell harms small business.
That there is some impressive bullshitting: this law that will help small businesses from being ripped off online just proves that Democrats are bad for small businesses.
In the same interview, Hutchison mocked Cantwell for saying she enjoys hiking in Washington wilderness areas, because what kind of hypocrite thinks hiking helps her constituents, huh?
We wish Maria Cantwell a good fourth term. Here, send her a few bucks, will you? Now, when is she going to commit to a space colony?
[The Stranger / WaPo / Seattle Met / Grays Harbor Daily World / Lewis County Daily Chronicle / Maria Cantwell for Senate]
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.