It’s election day, and I’m discouraged. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, my Member of Congress, will no doubt get reelected in spite of a ten year record of having done nothing worth talking about. She’s an ultra-conservative first elected on the strength of being a fundamentalist Christian. Obviously not a progressive in any sense of the word, but curiously enough, she hasn’t done anything notable on the conservative side of the ledger.
The local paper endorsed her on the grounds that she is part of the leadership, and isn’t that a good thing. I can’t see that it is. First, it appears that she is only window dressing for a leadership cadre that has no other interest in her. Second, it’s a leadership unlike any other in my lifetime, one dedicated to the destruction of the sitting president, absolute opposition to anything he might propose or do, even if he endorsed one of their ideas, and utterly disrespectful of the person in that office. It’s not a leadership to be proud of.
Her opponent is a highly qualified business leader, a member of one of the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, and, yes, what I would call a pragmatic progressive – or what might once have been called a moderate Republican. He will not get elected because the conservative voters of the district will not vote Democratic under any circumstance, and because, let’s be honest about it, they can’t stand the idea of a black man in the white house. The hard core of them are convinced that global warming is a hoax, that welfare is out of control, that someone has a secret plan to confiscate their guns, and that the biggest threat to America is ISIS. I look out over that political landscape and am discouraged.