Hello Democrats! This week we were glued to the news coming out of DC, where the Senate Judiciary Committee was holding hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Hearings -
It’s been both infuriating and inspiring to watch Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson handle the aggressive and off-base questioning from GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She handled herself so well, but I had tears in my eyes because of her courage in the face of this racist, sexist, GOP nonsense levied at the most qualified applicant the Court has seen in recent years. I’m looking forward to seeing her nomination move forward. The full Senate should vote on her nomination before their recess begins on April 9, and our country and our judiciary will be stronger with this history-making Justice on the bench.
For a truly honest moment of joy, watch this video of Sen. Cory Booker talking about Judge Jackson’s nomination:
It’s also been striking to see some of the incredibly astounding right-wing, anti-democratic stances that Republican senators are taking during their questioning, including:
That’s what the Republican Party has come to - saying that states should be able to ban same-sex or interracial marriage, or that contraception could be illegal? All in pursuit of undermining and attacking one of the most qualified judicial nominees that the Supreme Court has ever had?
Folks, we need to make sure our friends and neighbors understand what’s at play here - a complete reversal of civil rights for ALL Americans (except the white, wealthy GOP ones…). It’s beyond belief! But this is really happening before our eyes. We need to make sure Democrats know and use this knowledge to spur action this election cycle.
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WA Republicans and Political Violence - The extreme swing of the Republican Party isn’t only happening in Washington D.C. - Washington State has also had more than our share. Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times wrote an article this week about GOP 2022 Congressional candidate Loren Culp, how he called for the lynching of a Black man, and rallied for judges and prosecutors to be shot - and how nobody in the Republican Party seems to object.
Now when this first came up, I’ll admit that some of us at The Seattle Times expressed a certain weariness. Oh God, another story about another candidate saying another unhinged thing. Each time, we debate whether writing about it makes us dupes — if we’re simply serving to broadcast and propagate the unhinged thing.
Only last month we featured Culp calling coronavirus “the Chinese Virus” while recommending quack cures to his followers — a story that prompted the Anti-Defamation League and other groups to denounce his “anti-Asian rhetoric.”
“We speak together to ensure that this rhetoric never becomes normalized,” they wrote. Except that’s what’s happening anyway. If a candidate keeps saying extreme and hateful things, and isn’t disowned by his party, and meanwhile everyone else starts shrugging because we think he’s a nut or we’re worn down or we just can’t keep pace with the firehose of lunacy, well, that’s a case study of how something as rancid as a call for a lynching becomes politically normal.
I noticed this when I wrote last month how another Republican in that same dreadful race, for central Washington’s 4th Congressional District, had called for hanging the U.S.’s chief medical advisor. What Jerrod Sessler said was: “We should be building a gallows for Anthony Fauci.”
Nobody spoke out against that. So I found my initial shock deadening, boiled-frog-style. Oh, it’s just another Republican who wants to hang a public health official.
Maybe folks on the Republican side of the aisle are indifferent to the violent extremism in their party, but I’m not. It’s shocking and appalling that they tolerate this. The GOP may allow themselves to grow accustomed to the erosion of rule of law, but we Democrats can’t let it be normalized.
That sort of thing is even showing up in their state legislative candidates, like GOP Rep. Jesse Young who’s challenging Democratic Senator Emily Randall in the super-competitive 26th legislative district on the Kitsap Peninsula. Young has committed multiple ethics violations for repeatedly using taxpayer dollars to benefit his own political campaigns, lost access to staff due to anger issues and mistreatment of them, threatened Black Lives Matter demonstrators as a part of an armed mob, and more. On issue after issue – from the right to abortion, to protecting LGBTQ youth, protecting victims of domestic violence, helping students afford college, ensuring affordable and quality health care for all, and so many others, Young has come down on the wrong side. And yet he’s the candidate the GOP is promoting for one of the most competitive races in the state legislature this year. This is what we’re up against!
Tiffany Smiley and Mitch McConnell - It was reported this week that Tiffany Smiley is talking to Mitch McConnell about "how great to have Washington state be the seat that flips the Senate in November” and said she’d welcome the endorsement of Donald Trump.
“If the president wants to support us, that’s awesome,” Smiley said.
(By the way, let’s remember that Trump lost Washington state 58% - 39% in 2020)
We know why Mitch McConnell, Rick Scott, and the WA GOP are supporting Tiffany Smiley - because they know she will vote to repeal our health care, she'll vote to hike taxes on our seniors, and she'll vote to make abortion illegal in America. We can't afford a Mitch McConnell Republican as our voice in the other Washington, and that’s why we’re all taking Washington’s Senate race so seriously this year.
If you agree, join me and the hundreds of PCOs and volunteers who are already doorbelling and making phone calls across Washington, and let’s get to work! You can find campaign volunteering opportunities with our Coordinated Campaign here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org! This early work to contact voters is a critical part of building towards victory in 2022.
Speaking of Donald Trump’s Endorsement - As long as we’re talking about Tiffany Smiley welcoming Trump’s endorsement, how’s that going for other candidates? In Alabama, Rep. Mo Brooks was endorsed by Trump in his campaign for the Senate, and just had that endorsement taken away. Why?
Brooks put out a statement saying "President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency."
Brooks is a very conservative Republican, but credit to him for going public with the demands that Trump made of him, even at the cost of losing Trump’s voter base. It's clear that Trump and the GOP are still not giving up on their 2020 election conspiracies, and it's horrible that the WA GOP won't condemn this. One wonders why Smiley is so eager to welcome Trump’s endorsement if calling for overturning the 2020 elections is the price that a candidate has to pay to receive it?
What Happens When We Win - It’s important to recognize that this isn’t all about how horrible Republicans are - when Democrats win, we don’t just defend democracy from their attacks, but we can move forward positive policy of our own. This week was the 12th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which (among several life-changing, life-saving changes) lowered health care costs for millions and made it easier for Americans with pre-existing conditions to get coverage. Since then, President Biden and Democrats’ American Rescue Plan has built on the success of the ACA.
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan building on the success of the ACA, 239,000 people in Washington who get insurance through the marketplaces established by the ACA are now seeing reduced health care costs – no thanks to every single Republican member of our Congressional delegation, who unanimously voted against the American Rescue Plan.
I want to see our Democratic leaders pass even more great, progressive legislation, but we need to make sure we have the majorities that can get it done. That starts with doing our part here in Washington to re-elect our Democrats. I know that if all of us dig in together, we can and will win this November. Your help as a volunteer or a sustaining supporter with Blue Washington can help make that happen!
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