A potpourri

August 20, 2019 by stephenshubert

Here’s why the ‘political center’ is a dangerous myth — and how it could cost Democrats the 2020 election:

A new study conducted by Lee Drutman for the Voter Study Group suggests that there are actually very few voters who are consistently in the middle on issues …The reality that the cross-pressured middle is a larger segment of the electorate than the consistent middle throws a wrench into the strategy of appealing to the center. As Drutman puts it, “the center is a relatively lonely place to be in today’s politics.”


by Mac Langford

By now many of you have learned of the proposed project to use much of the Anacortes ferry terminal land for some grand project in partnership with the city of Anacortes. Suggested possibilities include commercial outlets, a hotel, restaurants, and/or a casino.

The proposal raises many questions.

Why devote 35 acres to other uses when more parking is a current and obvious need? There are times when all available parking space is inadequate to serve walk-on customers taking boats to the islands. I can recall a time when the ferry system wanted to encourage walk-ons.

How would folks using the new attractions get there? 12th Street/Oakes Avenue is already heavily congested each time a boat arrives. Do the residents who use this route on a regular basis want more traffic in their neighborhoods?

Has there been a study to determine the feasibility of adding certain attractions? There is a motel and two unoccupied restaurants already adjacent to the terminal land.

Would such a project be used by ferry customers? One argument given by the ferry system in favor of reservations was that there would be fewer vehicles waiting at the terminal and for a shorter amount of time. WHEN BOATS ARE ON TIME (!), passengers will have little time to use the suggested added amenities.

Does the ferry system think the project would be something ferry customers would use? Westbound passengers are eager to reach their destination – which is definitely NOT the terminal area itself. And eastbound passengers are eager to continue their journey.

What about “commercial” is not clear about Commercial Avenue? Are enterprises in the heart of town wanting competition?

Is this really the best place for added commercial enterprises? If Anacortes desires to add commercial zones, there must be better locations.

Does Anacortes really want a casino?

I am sure there are even more considerations, but from my vantage point this effort to increase the income of both the ferry system and Anacortes is a lousy idea which should be strangled in its infancy.

George  W. Bush’s Speech Writer Said?

 “I had fully intended to ignore President Trump’s latest round of racially charged taunts against an African American elected official, and an African American activist, and an African American journalist and a whole city with a lot of African Americans in it. I had every intention of walking past Trump’s latest outrages and writing about the self-destructive squabbling of the Democratic presidential field, which has chosen to shame former vice president Joe Biden for the sin of being an electable, moderate liberal.

     But I made the mistake of pulling James Cone’s ‘The Cross and the Lynching Tree’ off my shelf — a book designed to shatter convenient complacency. Cone recounts the case of a white mob in Valdosta, Ga., in 1918 that lynched an innocent man named Haynes Turner. Turner’s enraged wife, Mary, promised justice for the killers. The sheriff responded by arresting her and then turning her over to the mob, which included women and children. According to one source, Mary was ‘stripped, hung upside down by the ankles, soaked with gasoline, and roasted to death. In the midst of this torment, a white man opened her swollen belly with a hunting knife and her infant fell to the ground and was stomped to death.’

     God help us. It is hard to write the words. This evil — the evil of white supremacy, resulting in dehumanization, inhumanity and murder — is the worst stain, the greatest crime, of U.S. history. It is the thing that nearly broke the nation. It is the thing that proved generations of Christians to be vicious hypocrites. It is the thing that turned normal people into moral monsters, capable of burning a grieving widow to death and killing her child.

     When the president of the United States plays with that fire or takes that beast out for a walk, it is not just another political event, not just a normal day in campaign 2020. It is a cause for shame. It is the violation of martyrs’ graves. It is obscene graffiti on the Lincoln Memorial. It is, in the eyes of history, the betrayal — the re-betrayal — of Haynes and Mary Turner and their child. And all of this is being done by an ignorant and arrogant narcissist reviving racist tropes for political gain, indifferent to the wreckage he is leaving, the wounds he is ripping open.

     Like, I suspect, many others, I am finding it hard to look at resurgent racism as just one in a series of presidential offenses or another in a series of Republican errors. Racism is not just another wrong. The Antietam battlefield is not just another plot of ground. The Edmund Pettus Bridge is not just another bridge. The balcony outside Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel is not just another balcony. As U.S. history hallows some causes, it magnifies some crimes.

     What does all this mean politically? It means that Trump’s divisiveness is getting worse, not better. He makes racist comments, appeals to racist sentiments and inflames racist passions. The rationalization that he is not, deep down in his heart, really a racist is meaningless. Trump’s continued offenses mean that a large portion of his political base is energized by racist tropes and the language of white grievance. And it means — whatever their intent — that those who play down, or excuse, or try to walk past these offenses are enablers.

     Some political choices are not just stupid or crude. They represent the return of our country’s cruelest, most dangerous passion. Such racism indicts Trump. Treating racism as a typical or minor matter indicts us.”

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