News Columns & Blogs

Pat Paulsen's gone, so it's time for a better write-in candidate

Those of us who study elections seriously have stumbled upon an alarming discovery about U.S. federal politics: spending too much time in Washington, D.C., reduces your intelligence to the rough equivalent of a kumquat.

In your own unscientific way — for example, the Patty Murray vs. Dino Rossi ads — you’ve probably noticed this, too. A candidate carrying a clipboard rings your doorbell and engages you in thoughtful conversation about the issues that affect you the most. Based on their doorstep brilliance, you elect them and off they go to D.C. where, after about two weeks, their ability to maintain rational thought basically resembles an obscure and bad-tasting vegetable.

The problem is that all of our nation’s major issues, such as health care, the economy and will NCAA football ever get a playoff system, are kept in a big storage locker hidden somewhere in Washington, D.C. That means our politicians have to go there to work on them where, because of Geographic Onset Of Brain Erasure and Restore Syndrome (GOOBERS), they just get worse.

That’s why those of us who take elections seriously have concluded after much deep thinking that we need to elect someone who refuses to go to D.C., and why, at the last minute, I have decided to offer myself as a write-in candidate.

I don’t seek any applause, heartfelt personal thank-you notes or unsolicited friendly letters-to-the-editor, although large envelopes full of cash would be nice. I’m just in it for the issues, and speaking of that, here’s where I stand as of 9:31 a.m. Friday morning:

Taxes and budget deficits — against ’em.

The environment — for it.

Improved roads and highways — what’s the point of a car if you can’t drive anywhere?

Plush jobs for all my friends — no problemo.

War — normally opposed but a small offensive on watery American beer is justifiable. Bring in the Canadians!

People have been asking me whether I intend to run as a Democrat or a Republican because, you know, after that Joe Lieberman thing, nobody’s really quite sure what party designation means any more.

Frankly, the party symbol makes this a tough decision for me. I can’t decide if I want to be represented by a jackass or a five-ton, lumbering mass of fat whose nose has grown to obscene proportions.

WARNING: I advise you to support me now because there are only so many really good pork-barrel jobs to go around (actually, both parties have proved this isn’t true, but it’s a good pressure tactic). Remember, if I get only one vote, I’ll know it wasn’t you.

ET CETERA

The first of a series of community meetings on Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan kicks off Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon at The Olympia Center. It’s the first of two meetings exploring the future of downtown. The city’s Imagine Olympia process includes many meetings from now through next spring that will focus on neighborhoods, environmental stewardship, high density corridors and downtown. This is your chance to get involved. ... Monday is not only Columbus Day, it’s also the fourth of 10 furlough days for thousands of state workers. The next one is Dec. 27. ... Good news for dogs. The City of Olympia parks department is officially opening the first off-leash dog area at Sunrise Park at noon next Friday. Will they have a leash cutting instead of a ribbon cutting? ... Anybody noticing traffic improvement on Interstate 5 since Joint Base Lewis-McChord opened the Mounts Road gate? Send me your traffic horror stories, feel-good stories or just want you think about the I-5 situation in general.

George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357-0206 or glemasurier@theolympian.com.

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