by Goldy, 04/30/2008, 9:07 AM

Wild Sky Wilderness Area

The dead tree editions of both of Seattle’s dailies feature stories on yesterday’s passage of legislation creating the Wild Sky Wilderness Area, here, here and a rare front page column by Joel Connelly here. Nine years in the making, the bill protecting 106,000 acres in the North Cascades was repeatedly blocked by Republicans until, well, the Republicans finally lost their ability to block the bill, along with their control of Congress.

Creation of the wilderness had been blocked in the House for years by Congressman Richard Pombo, a powerful California Republican who said some of the land wasn’t pristine enough to warrant wilderness protection. But Pombo was unseated in 2006 as Democrats regained a majority in the House, and Wild Sky was revived.

For me, this raises an important point on which Joel and I agree to disagree: that in the current political environment, the most important thing environmentalists need to know about any candidate is the little “R” or “D” next to their name.

Peter Jackson, a Seattle writer, mused over the fact that 117 Republicans in the House voted against the Wild Sky legislation. He is the son of Sen. Henry Jackson, a Democrat who crafted landmark environmental legislation in negotiation with a Republican-run White House.

“We have to convince members of the party of George Bush that they’re also members of the party of Theodore Roosevelt,” Jackson said. “To borrow from a relative of mine, in matters of wilderness, the best politics is no politics.”

Perhaps Dave Reichert really does support Wild Sky—it would have been political suicide for him to oppose it—but he sure as hell didn’t do anything to move it forward when his own party was in control of the process. That’s because the GOP is institutionally opposed to government mandated conservation even on government lands, as evidenced by the majority of House Republicans who still voted against this popular bill despite the obvious futility of their opposition.

Joel is an encyclopedia of Washington state political lore and wisdom, and I don’t doubt his tales of bipartisan cooperation on environmental issues. But that was a different era, and as Peter Jackson points out, a different Republican Party.

12 Responses to “Wild Sky emerges from the Congressional wilderness”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

Republicans think what’s the point of being good stewards of the planet when they’re planning to blow it up anyway.

2. Roger Rabbit spews:

Republican Logic = If they rape the land, it isn’t worth saving, therefore it needn’t be saved.

3. The Real Mark spews:

Peter Jackson is right, to an extent. The problem is in viewing the GOP as the “party of George Bush” vs. the much broader collection of citizens that it really is. It is funny to read how the Left gloats about the (now relatively few) Republicans who don’t care for McCain, but fails to recognize that there are many of us who are quite disappointed with the past eight (or at least the last four) years of GWB. That isn’t to say that Kerry or Gore would have been better. It really speaks to the fact that the politicians of the last 20 years have been quite flawed and, to an extent, disappointing.

With McCain and Obama, it at least appears that we’re going to see some improvement. That is IF Obama really “walks the walk” and isn’t just a pretty boy in a suit with a TelePrompTer. That is IF McCain continues to speak his mind instead of following the GWB-era policies.

McCain has a good record on the environment. Here is a compilation from a third-party source:
[note: I can't vouch for who they are, but they include footnotes for all of their source material]

4. correctnotright spews:

@2: Actually, if you look at the voting records the GOP IS the party of George Bush. Even a so-called “independent” like Reichert (so-called only by himself to get elected in the 8th) votes with bush 90% of the time and the few exceptions are cases where he votes against republicans after voting with them in the important preliminary votes when his vote doesn’t matter. No, Reichert claimed to be for wild Sky but could not budge the republican chair at the time (Pombo) – once again he was either ineffective or lying about his views. Nothing got done as long as the republicans were in control of congress – this was essentially the same bill for 8 years. Republicans in congress stalled this to death. They are genetically opposed to wilderness – but they vote in lock stp with bush on Iraq, the deficit, energy, the trade deficit (they call it free trade) and banking deregulation – all of which have led to the economic mess we are in. Meantime Bush blames congress – what a stupid tool. They predicted that Iraq would undercut the other middle east nations and oil woulds be cheaper – they have been wrong so often we can set a clock to it.
By the way – the surge is working…and this is just a temporary economic hiccup. Yup – way accurate those republican idiots…

5. ArtFart spews:

1 In other words, rape Mother Nature and then claim the bitch was asking for it.

6. Jim, (a genuine musician) spews:

I take a small measure of pride in this.

My wife and I donated to Richard Pombo’s opponent and we were understandably elated to see Pombo lose.

Jerry McNerney is under significant attack from the typical Pombo supporters, so if you happen to have a bit o’ cash laying around, such as your stimulus borrowings from The People’s Republic, give McNerney some.

Jim, STILL never having attempted to operate any form of bagpipe assembly.

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 During the last 7 1/2 years I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that there are any Republicans left who aren’t goosesteppers.

8. The Real Mark spews:

Bunny Boy @ 6

You obviously need to get out more. Don’t they give you any kind of a furlough or field trips at the home?

The Rabid Right that you refer to is simply the flipside to the Loony Left — both are far too public and wield far too much power over their respective parties for anything real to get done.

9. ArtFart spews:

6 Well, as a matter of fact, there are Sam Reed and John McKay. Otherwise we’d have enjoyed the dubious benefit of Dino Rossi being governor for the last four years.

10. The Real Mark spews:

And, to give credit to the other side of the aisle, you have people like Brian Sonntag.

11. The Real Mark spews:

While we’re on the topic and feeling all Kumbaya…

Roger, I will give you credit for saying something vaguely intelligent every once in a rare while. IIRC, you proposed taxing the local businesses & developers that would benefit from knocking down the Viaduct. I can go with that. You’ve also had a few valid points now and then — even if I don’t agree with them. What is too bad is that, in the words of the kids today, “you can be SUCH a dick sometimes.”

12. slingshot spews:

@3, the RealfuckingidiotMark the rightwinger spews: “there are many of us who are quite disappointed with the past eight (or at least the last four) years of GWB. That isn’t to say that Kerry or Gore would have been better. It really speaks to the fact that the politicians of the last 20 years have been quite flawed and, to an extent, disappointing.”

You’re fucking joking, right? What a pathetic idiot. In the last twenty years we’ve had two Bushs, and their two wars, interrupted by the best Republican president in history, Clinton: and his eight years of blow jobs. Anyone who thinks Gore or Kerry would have been no better than Bush II, the fucking history making Nazi American Kaiser needs an oxygen bottle because he’s too fucking stupid to breathe on his own. You really need professional help.