There was a time when the governor’s mansion in this state was in the hands of a “centrist” Republican named Dan Evans.
He was followed by Dixy Lee Ray, a right-winger who ran under a Democratic Party flag-of-convenience. She was followed by John Spellman, another corporate Republican.
Then came Booth Gardner.
He ran in 1984. If you recall, that was the time of Ronald Reagan’s re-coronation (and its accompanying royal jubilee, the L.A. Olympics).
He’d been a state legislator and Pierce County Executive. But his statewide rep was relatively obscure.
He also had the Republican establishment (at the start of its drift into far-right insanity) going against him fierce. (One particularly ludicrous TV attack ad had a heavy-set actor playing a cigar-chomping “big union boss” who’s “got this Gardner guy right in our pocket.”)
What he had going for him was family (Weyerhaeuser family) money and connections, and access to Sen. Henry M. Jackson’s donor/organizer mailing list.
And he had the support of just enough “swing” voters who admired Reagan’s national public image but were less enamored toward Spellman.
Gardner beat Spellman. The Washington governorship has been in Democratic hands ever since.
That’s not to say it’s been easy to lead this state, then or now.
Entrenched interests, inter-regional feuds, the unelected would-be dictatorship of Tim Eyman, our regressive but hard-as-hell-to-change tax system, have all held back the pace of reform (now more desperately needed than ever).
But with Gardner, it all at least seemed possible.
Some politicians retire to the golf course. Others find new causes, new campaigns.
In Gardner’s case, his encore on the public stage was thrust upon him, with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease just a year after the end of his second term.
As his appearance and health deteriorated (to the point that he had to tell people, “I used to be governor of the state of Washington”), he became an increasingly outspoken advocate for the rights of the terminally ill.
In 2008 he campaigned for a (successful) “death with dignity” initiative.
He took his crusade national with an Oscar-nominated documentary short, The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner. (You can watch part of it at this link.)
via vintageseattle.org and capitolhillseattle.com
In 1964, Seattle voters soundly defeated an “open housing” ordinance that would have let anyone live anywhere. It lost by more than 2-to-1.
photo by kyle johnson, from the set 'portraits of seattle' on flickr
It’s been more than a week since Jen Graves’ Stranger story, “Charles Krafft Is a White Nationalist Who Believes the Holocaust Is a Deliberately Exaggerated Myth.”
The paper’s print issue is now off of the stands.
The controversy continues.
Like many participants in and observers of the Seattle visual-art scene, I’ve long known about Krafft’s open admiration for neo-Nazis and Holocaust revisionist pseudo-scholars. He didn’t keep his views secret. They just hadn’t been written about in the local arts media, prior to Graves’ article.
While Krafft was out of the country when the article was written, Graves was careful not to allege anything about Krafft’s beliefs that he hadn’t specifically mentioned in national blogs, podcasts, talk-radio shows, newsletters, and his own Facebook posts.
Still, the counter-allegations of “hatchet job” etc. against Graves abound.
In the online comment thread for the original article.
In a spirited defense of Krafft (“despite his occasional idiocy”) by his friend (and my sometime book publisher) Adam Parfrey.
And in an essay by white-nationalist book publisher Greg Johnson, “The Persecution of Charles Krafft.”
Some of the counter-attacks are predictable.
There are people who sincerely defend white nationalism and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.
Then there are people who assert that Graves, the Stranger, and the Seattle cultural establishment in general are a bunch of PC do-gooders who can’t handle any real dissent from their party line.
Ah, the last rhetorical refuge of the bigot and the bully; to turn around and whine that they’re really the victims.
By the way, that last remark of mine is directed toward Johnson and some of the other commenters—not against Krafft himself. Krafft has always been open and forthright about his extreme beliefs, and about his fondness for guys who express even further-extreme beliefs than he does. He hasn’t, as far as I know, ever played the faux “victim” card.
So how do I feel about Krafft, you might (or might not) be asking?
I believe he’s a sincere admirer of various military and paramilitary aesthetics, including those of the Nazi and Warsaw Pact eras.
I believe he’s got a big flaming ego, that enjoys tripping on the “Oh, aren’t I being a naughty, politically-incorrect cad?” vibe.
And I believe “irony,” at least the kind of irony viewers have long perceived was in Krafft’s ceramic rifles and hand grenades and Nazi-kitsch revival pieces, is a tiresome premise.
Every work of “satire” or “parody” contains, in its aesthetic, the real worldview of its creator.
Andy Warhol, for instance, really was a capitalist. Quentin Tarantino really is an exploitation filmmaker.
And Charles Krafft really does get off on power fantasies.
Even really, really sick ones.
alex nabaum’s 'the evolution of china'
Wash. state’s still got America’s most regressive tax system.
And nobody this year seems to be even trying to do anything about it.
…But enough for now about the Sonics announcement (more on that to come).
via huffington post
We now have a president, at the height of his power, who has spoken in favor of gay rights, economic fairness, peace, and climate action at the single most public forum available to him.
I know my “radical” friends carp, and always will carp, that Obama isn’t nearly half as progressive as they’d like.
But real-world politics isn’t about a hierarchy of sanctimony. It’s about getting real stuff done, overcoming real obstacles. And right now, this president and this Democratic Party are our best vehicles for that.