Perhaps the most famous post-election quote is, “The people have spoken… The bastards.” I don’t know who said it, but it must be on the lips of a lot of soon to be former Republican officeholders around the country.
However, another truism we may want to also consider is, “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.”
This election was a referendum on George Bush and the Iraq war. And it needed to be. I rarely agree with Ted Kennedy, but he was right on the money when he stated in the beginning that Iraq would become George Bush’s Vietnam. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have created a huge mess that is draining our country’s resources, and has cost us the respect of most of the rest of the world, all in the name of stopping terrorism. What they have also accompIished is creating a whole lot more potential terrorists than the world had before. And I know I personally just feel so much safer standing in endless airport security lines taking off my shoes, and I’m glad to no longer be paranoid there might be toothpaste of shampoo in someone’s carry-on luggage.
What Bush has also given us is Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Personally, I find her past record of bi-partisan compromise and cooperation very comforting reassurance that she’ll use all her considerable people skills to work across party lines to make America a better place. Yeah right…
We now have a Democratic-dominated Congress. That will mean more spending on programs of questionable value, and increased taxes to pay for it. At least they’ll have to answer to us in another two years. Let’s see how they manage the war on terror, and what happens in Iraq. Since they now control everything, there will be no Republicans to blame anything on.
The Democratic tide, fueled by America’s anger over the war flowed right down to the smallest of local elections all across the country — and George Bush, in his arrogance, was completely clueless about it. He must have been the only one who didn’t see it coming. You have to wonder how it would have turned out had Bush fired Donald Rumsfeld a week before the election — instead of the day after.
With that in mind, was anyone really surprised at the local outcome? I know I wasn’t. I’m not particularly happy about some of it — or the poor choices we were forced to endure because both political parties don’t believe voters have the intelligence or integrity to elect competent candidates in an open primary — but it is what it is.
Was Jack Hamilton the best candidate to lead us into the future? Hardly. Is 25-year old Josh Brown? Absolutely not. The problem is, because of the primary system, our choices were so poor that we were forced to pick between these two extremists.
The choice of Brown has made Chris Endresen the single most powerful person in Kitsap County, and with her new lap dog in place, look for things to shift decidedly leftward. It’s certainly going to be interesting to watch Brown in action. Because of what I saw of him on the stump, I don’t trust his statement that he’s going to act as a moderate in the Patty Lent mold for even one second. He’ll do whatever Chris Endresen tells him to — and he’ll hop to it like a good little lackey.
Say goodbye to meaningful and timely economic development, non-government jobs, and of course, any semblance of property rights. Say hello to higher taxes, higher housing prices, $10,000 impact fees, increased regulations, surrendering to more heavy-handed state control, even longer permitting times, and the continuing revolving door at DCD.
I really tried hard to like Brown, But sincerely, in my view, with the blatant help of the Kitsap Sun, Brown ran what I thought was a basically dishonest campaign. In candidate forums I personally moderated and participated in as a questioner, I regularly watched Brown talk out of both sides of his mouth on the environment and economic development issues. He told the enviromental community he was absolutely opposed to NASCAR and it wouldn’t happen on his watch. Period. He told the business community he was very open to the economic possibilities NASCAR offered, but thought we could cut a better deal. So which is it?
It will be whatever Endresen says it is.
The Kitsap Sun refused to question Brown’s ethics, his residency, or his qualifications after his duplicity was brought to its attention. I believe our daily newspaper has done our community a major disservice by continually slanting the content of its reporting to heavily favor Brown, and making Hamilton look bad at every opportunity.
In one forum, I asked Josh Brown to detail his qualifications to be county commissioner. He answered that Norm Dicks and the four Democratic mayors in the county had endorsed him. Did I miss something there? Was there a bona fide qualification outlined in that answer?
The bottom line is this: We have handed an unemployed, unqualified, 25-year old an apprenticeship paying $87,243 a year to manage our $307+ million budget and make decisions that will impact our lives, our businesses, and our children’s future — and we’re stuck with him for the next four years. Let’s hope he’s really the quick study he promised — and that promise isn’t as hollow as the opposing ones he’s made to the environmental and business communities.
Welcome to the real world, Josh. You’re not in Berkeley anymore.