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Posts published in “Day: January 30, 2022”

A special kind of disgrace


They smeared human feces all over the Capitol. My Capitol. Your Capitol. I just learned this today. Of all the outrageous acts committed on Jan. 6, 2021, this one struck a nerve with me, offending me worse than any other.

I read a lot of news and I may or may not have skimmed over the Republican Capitol defecation and subsequent feces-painting when reading reports of all that transpired on that dark day. But when a friend mentioned the feces today, I truly heard it for the first time and I was appalled. Smearing human feces in the U.S. Capitol building is a disgusting desecration — the act of animals.

I expect fecal activity in the primate house at the zoo. I also expect it from hardened felons with no maturity, no self-control and nothing to lose. I do not expect Republicans to spread their own excrement around the nation’s hallowed Capitol. They purport to love America yet they’re willing to desecrate a historic symbol of its government with their own feces, making much of the world cringe in revulsion.

Right on time, I received an email from one of the Republican propaganda organizations — I get the ones from the Democrats’ propaganda houses, too — that shed a little light on the people wielding feces. The Republican email gloated that a university professor had analyzed the statistical data of the Jan. 6 arrests to discover that — wait for it! — the Trump supporters weren’t Trump supporters at all! No, even worse, University of Chicago Political Science Professor Robert A. Pape discovered the Jan. 6 Capitol besiegers were not Qanon nut-cases but were mostly mainstream Republicans!

Is the GOP so deluded that they think anyone outside the party cares what type of Trump supporter showed up? Most of us knew a lot of so-called mainstream Republicans took part in the Capitol event because they blabbed it all over social media afterward. Business owners, lawyers, realtors, the list was endless.

An article in The Atlantic predicted they were “...a coalition of the willing: deadbeat dads, YouPorn enthusiasts, slow students and MMA fans. They had heard the rebel yell, packed up their Confederate flags and Trump banners and GPS-ed their way to Washington. ...After a few wrong turns, they had pulled into the swamp with bellies full of beer and Sausage McMuffins, maybe a little high on Adderall, ready to get it done.”

U of C’s Pape found “[m]ost arrested were under age 55, many were business owners, had college degrees and came from urban, not rural, counties that voted for Joe Biden in 2020.” Pape compared the statistics of those arrested during the insurrection with the statistics of three broader categories: individuals arrested in recent years as “right-wing violent offenders,” the U.S. electorate in general and Trump supporters.

In his academic paper “American Face of Insurrection,” Pape found “The insurrectionists closely reflect the U.S. electorate on most socio-economic variables and, hence, come from the mainstream, not just the fringe of society.”

In a related Foreign Policy article, “The January 6 Insurrectionists Aren’t Who You Think They Are,” Pape says, considering the mainstream nature of the Capitol participants, “...[m]any millions of Americans sympathize with the rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol. This large mainstream, popular support for insurrectionist sentiments makes it easier to rationalize political violence in the future. There is a large mass of kindling waiting for an incendiary moment.”

Pape is predicting more violence.

I know I am going to hear from outraged Republicans that “it had to be all the Antifa people rioting in the Capitol — there’s no way Republicans would do such a thing.” The problem I have with this is twofold. First, it has been pretty well established that there were no more than a handful of Antifans mingled in with all the MAGA-hat-clad rioters. Second, the same people who blame the almost-nonexistent Antifans keep trying to hook every awful act on said Antifans. Oh no, the Republicans didn’t do anything.

They’re asking me to believe most of the crowd were Antifa members disguised as MAGA-hatted Trump supporters. And all the deplorable acts were committed by them, just to make the Trumpists look bad. Apparently, the Trump supporters were there as docile tourists.

Seriously? Do you really believe I’m that stupid? Worse, are you really so blindly ignorant as to believe your own cartoon fantasy? Everyone who unlawfully entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 is guilty.

By the many hundreds, Capitol rioters on Jan. 6 boasted about their actions, bragging all across social media. They posted thousands of photos showing their proud misdeeds. Examination of their social media footprints showed people who’d been posting right-side material for months. Many were well-known in their communities. Sorry, apologists, these folks aren’t Antifans. They’re Republicans, they’re Trump fans, they’re rioters and they’re guilty..

And some of them spread human feces around our Capitol building. Classy, huh?

It’s bad enough they broke in with their guns and nooses but some of them produced fresh excrement and painted the halls, too.


I lived in downtown Portland for years. I have been to dozens of protests. Yes, I know there are some real losers among the leftists who make protest a way of life. I also know there are a heck of a lot of teenagers and twenty-somethings at these gatherings who can only parrot the most mundane talking points of the protest du jour. Many are students, many are unemployed and many are there for the action far more than they’re wed to any specific cause. As long as it’s cool, they’re along for the ride.

The sad thing is I know Antifans who’d smear feces in a second. Today, to my shock and disgust, I discovered I also know Republicans who will stoop to that level — who will have a whale of a good time collecting their personal sewage and fouling the walls of the nation’s Capitol.

To be very clear, there is a difference between rioting on the streets of Portland and assaulting the U.S. Capitol. Misbehavior on the streets of Portland is mind-numbingly common — the city is famous for its unlimited tolerance and lack of accountability. Defiling and fouling our Capitol is in a completely different class of dishonorable actions.

In a million years, I never thought I’d be writing a column focusing on people who smeared human feces throughout the hallowed halls of Congress. Even more difficult for me to believe is that it was Republicans — people from my own party — who felt smearing excrement was an appropriate act.

The truth is a bunch of authentic Republicans stormed the Capitol and they did shameful things while they were there. No more quibbling, equivocating, excusing. And while we’re talking about excusing, please forgive my language when I say bluntly that Republicans committed a disgraceful and vulgar act when they smeared their own shit on my Capitol.

It’s your Capitol, too. If you’re not offended, something’s wrong with you.

Matthew Meador is a former food and wine writer, senior editor and a rare moderate Republican who now writes political commentary. Previously, Matt was an award-winning graphic artist who often put his skills to use during election seasons. Matt has served in various capacities on political campaigns, for pollsters and for elected officials. Contact him at

Photograph © Tyler Merbler via Wiki

The continuity agent


Kate Brown has been governor for just about seven years, and those years have been an extension of essentially similar - in broad-strokes ideas and governing approach - Democratic control of the top office reaching back more than a third of a century.

Those facts underlie the candidacies for governor of Republicans and an independent, as candidates for change. They are a central fact in a different way, and maybe even more centrally, for Democrat Tina Kotak, the recently-departed speaker of the Oregon House and in some estimations the front runner for governor.

Other Democrats in the race, such as Yamhill farmer Nicholas Kristoff (pending Supreme Court action) and state Treasurer Tobias Read, presumably would take a generally similar ideological course in a broad sense. But they are not in quite the same sense what Kotek is: the continuity candidate.

You can reach that conclusion just on the basis of resume. After this current term is done, Oregon will have a new (or nearly new) governor, Senate president and House speaker, a turnover unlike anything in a generation. Kotek has been speaker almost a decade, and retiring Senate President Peter Courtney has held that job twice as long. If Kotek is elected governor, she will be the primary long-timer in those ranks.

Kotek’s own statements attest to that. The lead statement on the front page of her campaign website says, “she’s running for Governor to continue building a future of opportunity and justice for every Oregonian.” Pay attention to the word “continue,” because she (reasonably) then goes on to cite achievements during her tenure as speaker.

Along similar lines, she said in an interview as she left the speakership: “we have to complete our promises. That is what the next governor has to do.”

Given her role in Oregon government, Kotek could hardly frame her candidacy in any other way, and her productive track record is something to run on, which she is. It is also a big part of what has allowed her to pick up strong organizational, party and financial support so far.

But sticking with achievements from the past can bring political challenges and perils.

Start with the regularly-cited, even after a period of months, Morning Consult polling report ranking Brown as the least-popular (in home state) of any governor, at 43 percent. At least one pollster in-state has said the number is consistent with other research. Whether that’s justified or not, the attitudes that reflects have ripple effects.

Brown did win election to the office twice, but she didn’t reach 51 percent of the vote either time. Since her last election, a gaggle of problems from Portland riots to Covid-19 have battered her, and they’re linked to her in many voters’ minds.

In Kotek’s case, it’s not just that her agenda lines up closely with Brown’s: The identification runs tighter than that. Both are Portland Democrats, both with leadership history in the legislature.

Their campaign support, financial and otherwise, overlaps heavily, notably from labor organizations but also well beyond. One of those key organizations is EMILY’S List, which contributed $800,000 to Brown in 2018. That alone will bond Kotek tightly to Brown.

Kotek is facing the strategic problem confronted by many vice presidents running for the top job, such as Al Gore and George H.W. Bush, even when seeking to follow presidents who were still popular: Linking to the positives but also trying to find ways to differentiate, to set a different course. Kotek has yet to do that.

She likely understands as much. Asked if she would seek Brown’s endorsement, Kotek sounded uncharacteristically cagey in her reply: “If she’s interested in making an endorsement, I would certainly talk to her about it.”

And not all of the similarities her opposition would point to are data points she’d want to play up. Kotek’s effectiveness has sometimes wrapped up in playing hardball, and her decision last year unilaterally to throw overboard an agreement with legislative Republicans on redistricting will surely come in for a few mentions again.

Now that she has full time to focus on her campaign, one of Kotek’s lead topics must be: How could my governorship be different in a positive way from what has come before?

Or she could stick with continuity. But she no doubt will be thinking about how often voters respond positively to candidates who position themselves for change.