A stranglehold on sour grapes

T.A. Barnhart

This is truly awesome. From the Oregon Catalyst website:

Dems further tighten stranglehold on Oregon

by Dan Lucas

Last month’s election further consolidated what the Oregonian’s Steve Duin has called the Democrats’ “near-monopoly on political power” in Oregon. Democrats have returned to super-majority status in the Oregon Senate – an advantage they’ve enjoyed for 3 of the past 5 election cycles. Starting in January they will hold 18 seats to Republicans’ 12 seats.

In the Oregon House, Democrats have moved to within one seat of super-majority status. Dems will hold 35 seats to Republicans’ 25 seats.

Notice the headline" “Dems further tighten stranglehold on Oregon”. This is false, of course. The Dems did not do anything that the Republicans did not also attempt; that is, try to win elections. The problem for the Catalyst, Art Robinson, Monica Wehby, and the entire Oregon GOP is this: the Dems won more often than did the Rs.

Oregon voters gave the Democrats more seats in the Leg. The Dems did not stage a coup, steal votes, or otherwise commit dark crimes of nefarious intent. The campaigned and won. Republicans campaigned and lost.

We call it “democracy”.

And we call the Catalyst “whiners”.

Right-wing Republican boohoos aside, casting the results of a fair & free election in these kinds of terms is toxic to the program of democratic representation. It’s one thing to question the outcome of elections with a turnout of 30% and restrictions in place as we saw in many states in November. In Oregon, we had over 60% turnout, every votes from the comfort of home over a three-week period, and the results are not controlled by black boxes but by the same dot-counting machines we have had over twenty years to verify. Turning a fair election into a dastardly plot by a single political party is to spit on the the constitutional process of our state.

Not to mention the voters represented by those who were sent to Salem.

I’m not happy that Republicans like Kim Thatcher, Julie Parrish, and Ted Ferrioli are in the Leg. But they got there the same way, and on the same grounds, as did Lew Fredericks, Sara Gelser, and Chip Shields. Their seats in the Leg are legitimate; they provide legiatimate representation to the voters of their districts. I may not like Sen Thatcher’s politics – I find her attitudes loathsome, in fact – but she is duly elected. The folks who sent her to Salem for (god help us) four years are to be respected as much as I feel I am for voting for a smart, well-informed, progressive who is dedicated to the principles and goals I am.

Those of us on both sides of our ever-growing political divide could adopt that same attitude, I think we’d be better off as a polity. I wish I could count on those behind the Catalyst to adopt that attitude, but I ain’t holding my breath. I’m just going to do that for myself.

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