Message discipline

Former state GOP chair Chris Vance, writing at Crosscut about the race in WA-03 to replace retiring Rep. Brian Baird:

In the end it probably won’t matter which Democrat prevails. The 3rd is a Republican-leaning district and this looks like a Republican year. Herrera is most likely going to Congress.

I have to hand it to the Republicans, when they send out a bit of spin/conventional wisdom, most of them stick to it like glue. Herrera is thoroughly untested as a major candidate for Congress, having won a single election for the state House of Representatives after she was appointed in the ultra-conservative 18th Legislative district after the Richard Curtis sex scandal. We have yet to see how she will perform on a larger stage once things heat up.

Untested candidates can win, of course. It’s one reason politics is so fascinating. Herrera is obviously smart and dedicated, and it would be foolish to underestimate her, especially with the Slade Gorton crowd so thoroughly behind her.

But WA-03 is a swing district, not a Republican-leaning district, and anyone who follows politics here knows that. People with names like Baird, Cantwell and Obama have all won here. Craig Pridemore, the state senator from Vancouver who is one of the two major Democratic contenders, won his senate seat in 2004 from long-time incumbent Don Carlson, and 2004 was hardly a banner year for Democrats.

Sure, the national zeitgeist is a huge factor, but that’s true no matter the nominees. Vance sees a GOP tidal wave building, and it’s his right to see what he wishes I suppose. The Republicans have been pushing this “repeat of 1994″ stuff since last year, and frankly it’s more than a little wishful thinking on their part. The sad thing is that their noise machine will do everything it can to make it come true, of course, but it’s a long ways to the election and the GOP is not without its own woes, including a lack of money at the national level.

The Tea People have jumped about ten sharks by this point, and Republicans are still the party of nothingness, nihilism and no. Inchoate rage is not a political program, it’s just a tactic, and a pretty low-brow one at that. They still have no real solutions, only tactics and their noise machine. A lot of normal people are on to their game, at long last. That’s why “The Daily Show” is so popular.

And here’s another “riddle me this” for you: if Herrera is such a lock, why does her candidacy require so much lifting by the Slade Gorton crowd?


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I didn’t pay enough attention and posted my Chris Vance comment in the wrong thread so I’m reposting it here.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Who gives a shit what Chris Vance says? During the 2004 recounts, Vance showed up to give a press conference in the parking lot of KCRE’s Mail Ballot Operations Site (MBOS) almost every day claiming Dean Logan was helping Democrats steal the election, yet he never once set foot inside the building. He didn’t know a fucking thing. Everything he told the media had been scripted in advance and was a fucking lie. Want to know what the Republican observer team did in that building throughout the recounts? They were knitting, reading books and magazines, chatting with each other (and with Democratic observers) — in short, they did everything except watch the ballot counting. There wasn’t much to see, because it was like watching grass grow. But out in the parking lot, Vance was busy talking into TV cameras, telling the world that dark and evil snakes were crawling on the floors of MBOS. What a slut.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Chris! Yeah, you, Chris Vance! I know you guys read this blog and you’ll see this. I want to let you know something. I hope you’ll think this is funny. One day, in one of your parking lot press conferences, that “reporter” in the green raincoat who asked you a question, which you answered on TV, was sweet little old me. That’s right, moi. Your long-eared friend! Things were so slow in MBOS that I wandered outside, mingled with the media crowd, and had a little fun with you.


  4. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The Obama administration has decided to reverse the Bush administration’s policy of stridently opposing the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states:

    “The declaration, which is non-binding, says that native peoples ‘have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied, or otherwise used and acquired.'”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Nonbinding, and they still opposed it, for chrissakes! This is why we have to win elections, and make sure they don’t. The outcome of elections matters. It’s a simple question of right and wrong — we’re right, they’re wrong. Why would anyone vote Republican?

  5. 6

    Chris Stefan spews:

    I think there is a real danger that the tea party favorite David Castillo will win the primary. Depending on how crazy he comes across on the campaign trail this could be a real problem for the GOP establishment.

    Of course on the Democrats side there is a similar but opposite problem. The establishment candidate is Denny Heck. He’s so boring and his campaign so lacks in passion that he’s only likely to win the general election if the GOP really screws up. Even worse he’s almost certain to be a full-on Blue Dog once he gets to Congress. Pridemore isn’t boring, and has the passion but little money or establishment support. On the other hand he’s likely to be a progressive vote once he gets to Congress.

  6. 8

    Mary Plante spews:

    I don’t find Heck boring and I’ve been impressed with the energy level of his campaign. Heck has the support of most of the Democratic caucus in Oly and of PCs both in and outside the district. I’ve been hearing rumors about a Pridemore withdrawal for weeks.

    Heck is no Blue Dog. His voting record in Olympia was quite progressive. He was with those of us who demonstrated outside Baird’s office last November. My spouse and I live in Pierce County but we’ve talked with the political coordinator from my husband’s union and plan to join labor volunteers to campain for Heck in Vancouver.

  7. 9

    Michael spews:

    Heck is way ahead in the money game.
    Heck announced April 1 that he had more than a half-million dollars on hand.

    He reported to the FEC that he had $569,610 in total receipts as of March 31 — including $250,000 he has donated to his own campaign — and $532,446 in cash on hand.

  8. 10

    Doc Daneeka spews:

    Vance sees a GOP tidal wave building, and it’s his right to see what he wishes I suppose.

    With his fine track record, who wouldn’t trust Vance’s political judgment?

    If Karl Rove was Bush’s brain, Chris Vance is Dino’s dildo.

  9. 11

    Chris Stefan spews:

    Actually I may very well be quite wrong about Heck. The only things I really know are some public statements from him a few years ago I didn’t really agree with and who locally seems to be supporting and opposing him. The people who’s political opinions I respect seem to think Pridemore is the real deal and that Heck is a hack. On the other hand the people who support him are the ones who think the party would be better off if every elected Democrat acted and voted like a Blue Dog.

  10. 12

    Yellow Dog spews:

    Denny Heck is the electable candidate in the 3rd, acknowledged as a swing district. The smart money–literal and figurative–is on Denny because he can speak to voters who might think Pridemore is too liberal (and has anyone else noticed how much he looks like Baird?–creepy!)