Joel Connelly: inland West in play… and bloggers deserve some of the credit

You can’t get much more old school than Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Joel Connelly, the curmudgeonly dean of Washington state’s political press corps, and a walking history book of the region’s political lore. So when this old media stalwart throws the new media a compliment, you can bet that he didn’t toss it off lightly.

In today’s column — “Democrats show signs of life in inland West” — Connelly laments how the Democratic establishment abandoned once-blue, rural, Western districts. But he sees a ray of hope.

Lately, prodded by blog sites, the party has begun to notice the 5th District in Eastern Washington — where rancher Peter Goldmark is opposing freshman GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris — and the open 1st District in Idaho.

Connelly sees a trend, in which “rural, moderate-to-conservative Democrats” might be brought back from the brink of extinction. Some of this renewed opportunity is being generated by a crop of extraordinary candidates like Peter Goldmark and Larry Grant, and some of it represents a backlash to hard-line Republican ideology and congressional corruption. But Connelly also credits the netroots.

The re-emergence of Democrats in the inland Northwest has a number of rich ironies.

The region was initially ignored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its chief, Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, D-Ill.

One who did notice was Markos “Kos” Moulitsas Zuniga, cheeky proprietor of the popular DailyKos Web site. It is read by thousands of Democrats across the country and has helped Goldmark and Grant raise the bucks needed to contend.

While the national Democratic establishment may still look on the netroots movement with suspicion, local observers like Connelly, who live and breath local politics, clearly see our impact. Democrats may not pick off McMorris, Sali, Pombo and Doolittle in this cycle, but the fact that these races are so competitive is a confirmation of the 50-state strategy the netroots have championed. Every dollar the NRCC spends protecting supposedly safe Republican districts is a dollar they’re not spending fending off Democratic challengers like Darcy Burner.

Sure, as Connelly makes clear, it’s only a “trend.” But as trends go, it’s a pretty damn good one.

[Cross-posted to Daily Kos, please recommend.]


  1. 1

    Doctor JCH Kennedy, ESQ spews:

    Hey! Does anyone remember REP GARY CONDIT, DEMOCRAT, CA? hehe, DR JCH Kennedy, ESQ

  2. 2

    ArtFart spews:

    3 I’m with you on that, Jim. In my impetuous youth, I was a Goldwater Republican–which, as John Dean has pointed out, would now fall under the classification of “flaming liberal”. I can think of any number of Republicans I’ve liked–Jack kemp, Liddy Dole, Howard Baker, Pat Buchanan nowadays(!)…even Al Haig had his moments. But those folks aren’t running the show in the GOP, and in fact it’s beginning to look like they really never were. The party is completely dominated by murderers, theives, hypocrites and perverts. It’s one big fucking freak show.

  3. 3

    Doctor JCH Kennedy, ESQ spews:

    Hey! Does anyone remember REP GARY CONDIT, DEMOCRAT, CA? hehe, DR JCH Kennedy, ESQ

  4. 4

    Craig\'s Mom spews:

    GBS @ 19 & 22,
    I thought we had reached an understanding about how to deal with Craig?
    We’d all hate to see him de-resolve and start the self-mutilation again. So long as the medication is working it’s best for all concerned to allow him to continue with this current personality construct and not directly challenge it.
    I know just exactly how irritating and tiresome he can be sometimes. But a little harmless mockery is all it takes to deflect him (he takes himself so very seriously). And when you give it a little thought, he’s really quite funny, albeit in a sad, pathetic sort of way.

  5. 5

    headless lucy spews:

    re 21: OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! You’re just a cheeky monkey, aren’t you now!!!

  6. 6

    Daddy Love spews:

    This is a little out of my areas of expetise. I do find it heartening and exhilarating to watch credible challengers mount attacks on the GOP monopoly in traditionally GOP districts, and to watch the building of the 50 state Democratic grassroots movement. Good times, if and when it all works.

  7. 7

    GBS spews:

    One of the top 5 agenda items the Dem’s need to do after they win back the house is to reverse the illegal redistricting done by Tom DeLay.

    If it were not for this illegal redistricting the Dem’s would easily win back the House this year by 50 seats.

    Plus we’ll be better positioned in the 2008 presidential election by rebalancing the electroal college votes.

  8. 8

    Doctor JCH Kennedy, ESQ spews:

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — It may seem like a distant memory now, but Democrats not so long ago dominated the battle between the parties to get their voters to the polls. Over the past half-dozen years, Republicans reinvented the system, using sophisticated computer modeling and vast amounts of consumer data. In 2002 and 2004, they demonstrated their newfound superiority — to the dismay of Democratic Party officials and their allies. […..How to get Democrats to the polls? Food stamps, KFC, cocaine, cases of Marlboros, and Black Velvet.]

  9. 9

    GBS spews:

    Geeez, JCH, do I need to go back and find all your typos?

    Better yet, shall I repost your lies regarding your military service? Puddle Pirate, do you want to see your lies reposted?

    Like I said, your lack of knowledge about basic seamanship is ZERO, except that semen goes in your mouth.!

  10. 10

    GBS spews:

    Here is the scenario I laid out and the four BASIC questions I asked.
    You’re the OOD, it’s 2:30 am and you’re at GQ under hostile conditions. In the aft missile house a conventional surface-to-air missile becomes stuck in the missile house doors leaving the doors ajar on a twin missile launcher. Answer the following questions.
    The questions go from easy to hard. However, in order to be a qualified OOD in the US Navy you must know the answers to these questions.
    A) Who has the conn?
    B) What is the material condition of your ship?
    C) Which group would be tasked with the repair?
    D) Can you fire a missile off the other missile rail to defeat an incoming hostile aircraft?“
    Commentby GBS— 10/4/06@ 8:56 am
    This is your lame ass, you obviously have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about, rambling answer:
    E-3 GBS, Been many years and I had little to do with missiles. My experience was Newport Class LSTs in the Western Pacific [home based in San Diego, Ca] In Gunnery (something that an old-timer like me would know more about) you have terminology like “Hangfire” and “Misfire”. I would assume that in missiles it would be the same – but would not swear to it. If you have a “hangfire”, you wait a length of time (5 mins unless you have a HOT GUN) to see if it will be a delayed fire. If after 5 mins, the projectile does not leave the barrel on its own, you classify it as a misfire and take other steps to remove the round (open breech and remove). However, if you have a hangfire in a hot gun (determined by the number of rounds fired in a specific length of time), you would take other steps because of the concern for a “cook-off” due to the projectile/powder case sitting in a hot barrel. The steps include external and internal cooling of the barrel. We trained by cooling the barrel with fresh and salt water. Again, 3 inch/50s have little to do with today’s weapons. That was your last question, E-3 GBS. Report to your LPO ASAP!!!
    Commentby Doctor JCH Kennedy— 10/4/06@ 10:05 am
    A) Who has the conn? Went unanswered.
    B) What is the material condition of your ship? Went unanswered.
    C) Which group is tasked with the repair? Went unanswered.
    D) Can you fire a missile off a launcher with and open missile house door? A rambling, incoherent answer without any thought that an exposed missile house (a high explosive ordnance space) isn’t a good place on a ship to introduce high temperature flames and toxic exhaust.
    And, you call me a dumb ass?!?!? Please, JCH, anybody who is qualified to stand Officer Of the Deck watch would’ve, at the very least known the answers to questions A, B, & C. A college educated naval officer should have enough smarts to think on your feet and realize that a damaged or inoperable missile battery can’t or shouldn’t be used. Furthermore, how hard is it to figure out that when you have a LIVE and ARMED missile STUCK in the missile house doors leaving them AJAR to an ordnance space that firing another missile next to it is a bad idea? Did you ever consider that firing another missile next to an inoperable weapon might cause it to explode on your ship? Let alone creating a fire in your missile house? Or was that just too much of a brain teaser for you?
    Damn, you are stupid.
    At the very least, JCH, a modicum of common sense could’ve prevailed here, keeping alive your false persona of being a naval officer. Since you lack common sense or any specific knowledge of naval operations through your own experiences you exposed yourself on this blog, yet again, that you consistently lie about your military service.
    Gee, are you a Medal of Honor winner, too?
    That’s twice I’ve caught you lying about military service. I OWN you, like some Tookie Williams look alike owns Duke Cunningham in prison. You are, without qualification, my BLOG BITCH.

  11. 11

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    Plus we’ll be better positioned in the 2008 presidential election by rebalancing the electroal college votes. [????]

    Commentby GBS [………….Democrat New York, Democrat PA, Democrat Michigan are losing [“electroal” ?] electorial votes, and the Republican South is gaining votes. Not only can’t you spell, but you have made another dumb ass mistake. JCH]

  12. 12

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Maria Pro War? I thought Bush said we would only go to war as a last resort…..

    I thought every single piece of intelligence pointed to the fact that Saddam had to have WMD’s. Just watch a video of Powell’s speech at the U.N.

    It is amazing how people can attack Maria. She didn’t start this damn war. Neither did her Democrat friends. A lot of people thought Saddam had WMD’s. It is just the people that really knew he didn’t (CIA) were silenced. Just watch the Downing Street Memo hearing (in the basement).

    The next time you hear someone call themselves a Republican, just point the finger right at their nose, and call them TRAITORS!!!!

  13. 14

    ManofTruth spews:

    How can you sleazebags stand by and let this crap go by?

    Ummm, well it IS who they all are after all

  14. 15

    treasonous pickle spews:

    Uh, JCH, before you start calling people on their spelling……
    … it’s electoral, not electorial.
    Just thought you should know before you spout off again.

  15. 16

    Leftout(of their minds!) spews:

    Joel Connelly????????
    I thought the Seattle P-I was out of business?
    I heard they are going to auction the Big Globe on E-Bay to make payroll.

  16. 17

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    “Everyone sit down! The Mooooslim terrorists have assure me that if we all vote Democrat and chant “BUSH NO GOOD!”, they will land the plane at JFK!” [GBS]

  17. 18

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Hey trolls. There are some pedophiles over there talking about masturbation with other people’s children. Better stay over here, and leave them alone. They may give some money to your buddies.

  18. 19

    GBS spews:

    Craig’s Mommy:

    Shit did you mean forever?!?!?!

    I thought you meant give him a break for one day — yesterday!

    How long do you want us to make nice with your retarded son?

    And, I DO mean RETARDED son.

  19. 20

    spitintheocean spews:

    Yes , but you must also take responsibility for sponsoring a pro-war Senator like MARIA CANTWELL who by her inexperience , clintesque wannabeeism or some other lame excuse has led Wash State into the long war , She’s not for permanent bases ? Well what does that mean 10 years , 15 years , till our honor is retained ?
    I often wonder what the future would hold if Progresssives megaphones such as yours had not caved into Cantwell’s veil of silence on the relevant issues . I think this will be remembered as the year the Progressives joined the DLC war machine and may have mortgaged their children to the LONG WAR .

  20. 21

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Bush Bot McMorris will be knocked off it we all get out and do our part. You can bet the Republican slime machine will be getting their (Satan’s) minions into action to get the ill informed to the polls.

    They have always been good at getting their sheep to the voting booths, and look what damage it has done to us. I will be taking the week before the electon off and volunteering for Peter Goldmark, or Darcy Burner, or both.

    We can do it, but it will take work.

    Just remember the wingnuts still believe God is on the Republican’s side. If god likes people like Abramoff, Bush, and DeLay they may be right. I think they have more support from Satan though….

  21. 22

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    GBS, a O-3 does not answer questions from a busted down E-3. And you do not speak to me without permission from your LPO and/or Chief. When I write your E-3 eval, you will AGAIN be marked down for lack of military bearing. Back to mess cooking, E-3 GBS!!

  22. 23

    GBS spews:

    Daddy Love @ 13;

    You’re right, my bad. ‘The Devil is in the details’ and DeLay is such an intregal part of the details.

  23. 24

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:

    [“electroal” [?] electorial………….”Patya” Beach ? Classic uneducated dumb ass loser greened eyed “progressive” Democrat . GBS, You were a busted loser in the Navy, and I have no doubt you are a busted loser in life. I OWN you!

  24. 25

    Jim spews:

    I lament the loss of the old “honest” Republican party with folks like Dan Evans, Joel Pritchard, John Danforth, John Miller, and the others.
    Today’s Republicans:

    Doc Hastings = Tom DeLay = Predator Foley = “Uncle Billy” Hastert = Linda Smith = Abramoff = Wolfie = Rummy = McMorris = Condosleezza = Boner = Larry Craig = George W. Chickenhawk Bush = Cheney = Pure Evil every G.D. one of ‘em.

    Joel C. is the most astute columnist around and it seems like he has been at every political meeting in the state for the past 15 years.

    He also has credibility with literate folks, getting on Democrats equally as Republicans.

  25. 26

    Rujax! spews:

    We’d be SOL…TODAY…in races we’ve got a shot in now because of La Cage Au Foley.

    Rahm and the DLC (the GOOD Democrats) almost fucked us over AGAIN.

    GO HOWARD!!!!!!

  26. 27

    Doctor JCH Kennedy spews:


    “I make mistakes…”
    Commentby GBS […….Yes, You do, GBS. That is why you are an E-3.]

  27. 29

    Daddy Love spews:

    11 GBS

    Redistricting is done by state legislatures. The Congress has nothing to do with it.

    DeLay used his PAC and a lot of behind-the-scenes chicanery to funnel money into Texas to elect Republicans to the state legislature, who then redistricted more or less at his command, but not as a result of anything done by him in his official Congressional capacity.

    But he did use the Department of Homeland Security to try to track down Texas state Democrats who walked out on the legislature’s redistricting vote.

  28. 30

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Oh by the way, I don’t care about what Clinton did.

    Clinton is not DESTROYING MY COUNTRY NOW!!!

  29. 31

    GBS spews:


  30. 32

    GBS spews:

    @ 23:

    Lesson learned for me; never trust a conservative. I should’ve double checked that myself!

    Thanks, though, that makes my entire week. A classic foot in mouth moment. Well, in JCH’s case it’s cock in his mouth, but funny all the same.

  31. 33

    GBS spews:


    GBS, a O-3 . .

    First of all, dip shit, it’s “an O-3.”

    Second, you were never an officer in the United States Military.

    Third, the ONLY reason I won’t speak to you is because I choose not to do so.

    Fourth, you have ZERO credibility on this blog and I took it from you.

    Fifth, you’re the most pathetic pussy we’ve ever had on this blog.

    Tell us again how you washed out of flight school. Or, tell us again about your vast knowledge of “semen-ship.”

    Here’s laughing at you. You pathetic loser.

  32. 34

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    Who could in their right mind vote for Abramoff, and DeLay’s friends in the Republican Party. They have all the power, and 99% of the corruption. DeLay even bragged about the fact that he would not meet with anyone that did not give money to the GOP.

    The GOP are maggots and the US is their host.


    Even their minions are starting to figure it out.

    Here is a snapshot of the Republican election strategy.

    Lie, and deflect. Lie, and deflect. Lie, and deflect. Lie, and deflect. Lie, and deflect. Lie, and deflect. Lie, and deflect.

    Even their extremely low IQ followers are starting to figure it out…..

  33. 35

    Yer Killin Me spews:


    You pretty much answered your own question. He is our resident . . . well, we don’t know what he is, really. At various times he has claimed to be a doctor, a Kennedy, a naval officer, a resident of Hawaii, a black Congresswoman, and a human being, none of which has been substantiated. We let him hang around because when he leaves, it’s almost like someone worthwhile has entered. Besides, the floors are always much cleaner after he goes.

  34. 36

    Facts Support My Positions spews:

    I bet there is not a single troll wingnut here that has read Woodward’s book “State of Denial”. How about “Fiasco”?

    I suggest you get an education before you come here and repeat Rush’s lies.

    Now Rush is blaming the page scandal on the children.

    How can you sleazebags stand by and let this crap go by?

  35. 38

    Craig\'s Mom spews:

    Craig, please try to calm down. You know how the medication affects your bowels. We wouldn’t want you to have any unfortuanate “accidents” in your khakis. Especially after we worked so hard to get the creases just right for you.
    It’s really nothing to be ashamed of, Craig. Most decorated, naval heroes crap their pants from time to time. Even the ones who live in their very own “Magnum P.I.” compound.

  36. 39

    spyder spews:

    One can hope that Pombo and Doolittle will be overwhelmed by the investigations into their complicity in the various corruption scandals of Abramoff, Scanlon, Wilkes, Cunningham, etal with which they have been connected. We can also hope that McMorris is too wishywashy and naive to have been fully corrupted yet.

  37. 40

    GBS spews:


    FYI: your posts are copied and pasted on my desktop. You can expect the see them again. Frequently.

    Classic, classic, classic. In fact, I might post it over at unSound Politics. Just for shits and giggles.

    You know what else I might post, you being caught lying about your military service. How funny is that? I know I’ve seen you posting all your bullshit “LT USN blah blah blah” crap. What do think your Nazi brothers will think about you knowing you got caught lying about your military service on a liberal blog?

    Shit, you won’t be welcome anywhere will you?