Writings and observations

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

Well, we had an election. Some of us are pleased with the outcome – some of us are renewing passports and searching the I-net for details of New Zealand’s immigration laws.

Speaking strictly of candidates and not political parties, I’ve never seen a slate of more unqualified, unknowing and woefully unskilled winners. Consider. One governor returned to office owned a company found guilty of numerous counts of Medicaid fraud. That may’ve been how he could afford to throw more than $24-million into his race. Two new members of Congress have felony convictions while a third was re-elected while still under indictment on multiple criminal charges yet to be tried.

There’s the new senator who authored – authored – a bill in both the Colorado legislature and the U.S. House to not just outlaw abortion but also essentially criminalize any form of birth control. Then he claimed he didn’t know that would be the result of his labors – then repeatedly denied any connection with either bill though both still carry his name.

Idaho voters elected a Supt. of Public Instruction who lied about her educational achievements, couldn’t remember when she was divorced or remarried, hadn’t voted in a dozen or so elections and said she had no knowledge of the state’s educational budget but would “study it” if she were successful.

Idaho also elected a new Secretary of State whose honesty and integrity have been repeatedly and publically criticized by his own party and who says he wants to enact new voting laws that would discriminate against and/or disenfranchise some of Idaho’s citizens. And Idaho voters re-elected a State Treasurer who ignored Idaho’s investment statutes while losing more than $10-million in the markets and whose practices were soundly criticized in an official audit.

Idaho’s governor was re-elected, too. Not content with just thanking voters, his acceptance speech included a promise to waste even more tax dollars in repeated attempts to override the federal court decision to allow same sex marriages in the state. He’s already failed twice.

The hog castration lady from Iowa will be a U.S. Senator though she showed repeatedly during the campaign she has limited knowledge of both the job and the role of government in general. And after a campaign in which she admitted always having an automatic pistol on her person – not only for personal protection but also for use at that moment when “government rights” interfere with her “rights.”

There’ll be far too many members of Congress with questionable backgrounds for moral or ethical reasons, criminal convictions, limited knowledge of the offices to which they’ve been elected, positions on issues that would discriminate against certain categories of citizens. Far too many conducted campaigns showing little knowledge of American government – which they will now represent.

But – we’ll survive. We always have. That survival, however, will likely come after a couple of years of deadlock, bad decisions, heated political and economic battles and some very real pain being inflicted on too many Americans. Especially minorities and the poor. Those factors are guaranteed. They were assured by those who voted – and those who didn’t.

The outcome seems to say a majority was disappointed with the direction of things and wanted to go in another direction. That’s as it should be in our Republic. However, the inherent problem with our system is that it doesn’t choose the new direction. Just stop going this way and – in the future – go that way. Seems a lot of winners weren’t chosen so much for what they said or promised but because they weren’t the guy in office. Voters said “No, we don’t want you anymore. We want him or her.” Not so much a choice of candidate as a choice of “something else.”

Aside from the skewed balance of Congress, the other factor that’ll likely make all this happen is President Obama’s seeming lack of skill at brass-knuckle politics. Where Bill Clinton made progress “wheeling and dealing” with a Republican Congress, Obama’s background is as a negotiator – a conciliator. He has shown neither ability nor willingness to do the “horse-trading” it takes to accomplish anything when faced with such resistance.

It’s gonna be a rough couple of years. Maybe more. Despite Democrats believing Hillary Clinton is almost unbeatable in 2016, this week’s results show we out here in the boondocks have our own ideas. We may not have the political “knowledge” of the talking heads nor their “inside-the-beltway” understanding of the political process.

But we have marker pens and voting machines we’ve learned how to use. We’ve proven we’ve got some ideas that might not square with the “experts.” We’ve shown even the pollster guru’s don’t know us as well as they claim. We’ve got some things we want done.

It’s up to Republicans now. We gave ‘em the keys to government and told ‘em we want to “get on with it.” If they get the message and satisfactory progress is made in the next 24 months, great. If it’s acceptable change, that’s great, too. But if they run Congress the way they have the last four years, we’ve shown we can take those keys away and give ‘em to the donkeys. The ball’s in their court. And we can “take ‘em out.”

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Rainey

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Republicans win after period of conflict (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
10 Barrel in Boise bought by Anheuser-Busch (Boise Statesman)
INL finds breakthroughs on battery tech (IF Post Register)
Narrow legislative wins by Rusche, Rudolph (Lewiston Tribune)
Forest Service again tries to clarify on photos (Lewiston Tribune)
Possible evictions at Syringa Mobile (Moscow News)
Top executive spots filled at UI (Moscow News)
Idaho gets ready for legal Oregon pot (Nampa Press Tribune)
Canyon Co clerk explains slow vote count (Nampa Press Tribune)
Many part-time adjuncts at CSI (TF Times News)

GMO label battle goes on after defeat (Medford Tribune, Corvallis Gazette, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Linn-Benton bond appears to pass (Corvallis Gazette)
Oregon pot dispensaries hope to expand (Corvallis Gazette)
Oregon misses Republican tide (Eugene Register Guard)
Marijuana regime changes begin, slowly (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Reviewing Klamath school bond success (KF Herald & News)
Klamath irrigators still looking for options (KF Herald & News)
Jackson Co plans pot tax (Medford Tribune)
Election turnout hit 69.5% (Portland Oregonian)
Child dropoffs allowed for newborns, not older (Portland Oregonian)

Kitsap may get Republican prosecutor (Bremerton Sun)
Some legislative races still up for grabs (Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouverl Columbian, Olympian, Port Angeles News)
Challenger to Cowlitz prosecutor still ahead (Longview News)
Background check backers plan for more (Seattle Times)
Banner Banks buys AmericanWest Bank (Spokane Spokesman)
Election results redder in Spokane County (Spokane Spokesman)
Pierce sheriff seeks 32 new staffers (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark officials move to implement new charter (Vancouver Columbian)
Newhouse retains a narrowing lead in CD 4 (Yakima Herald Republic)
Yakima public broadcaster KYVE may shut down (Yakima Herald Republic)

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