October 27, 2018
There is a long tradition of endorsement of candidates by newspapers; The Seattle Times is no exception. It is, perhaps, a bit more smug about its wisdom in such matters than some. The Times editorial page advised us on October 21 that it is time to vote, and “The editorial board is here to help.” The implication is that the board sees political issues more clearly than most voters. One of the endorsements puts that in doubt: the choice of Dino Rossi, Republican, over Kim Schrier, Democrat, for Congress in the Eighth District.
This is not an ordinary election; the country is in danger from an incompetent, unstable President, who is aided and abetted by the Republican Congress. The Times is not entirely unaware of the problem. “We have frequently expressed grave concerns in editorials about President Donald Trump’s divisiveness and policies on everything from immigration to tariffs to environmental rollbacks.” That’s too mild a critique, but it shows some perception. However, the board then negated its insight: “But Congress needs more people like Rossi, a pragmatic lawmaker with a demonstrated record of working across the aisle with Democrats for solutions that work for the greater good.”
Even assuming the description of Rossi’s record to be accurate, their choice makes no sense. What is needed is a Democratic House which will exercise some control over the resentful, vindictive adolescent in the White House. The editorial board is dimly aware of that as well — “Schrier embodies the national effort to take back Congress from the Republicans as a check on the president” — but isn’t able to see the logic in that position.
In defending its choice, the Times resorts to the everyone’s-to-blame excuse: “Yes, Trump needs to be checked. But the fighting and the divisiveness has led to a hopelessly dysfunctional Congress, where people fight over issues, not push for solutions.” It takes a remarkable level of self-deception to suggest that resisting bad policies is divisiveness, that issues don’t matter, that somehow the GOP Congress would be reasonable if only asked nicely, that voting for a Republican is going to lead to checking Trump.
Voting a straight— Democratic — ticket may seem unsophisticated, but this is a year when it is the only responsible choice.