Of Blue Waves and Bah Humbugs!

Politicians and opinionaters

Dear reader, we haven’t visited since the election. Congratulations! Mostly the good people won. The Blue Wave showed up in Lane County with a 69 percent turnout!

My wife Jeannie and I headed to Mexico in late October and didn’t return until after the election. I made the mistake of telling my grumpy friend “the congressman” beforehand that I was going down there. He assured me that Trump would never allow me back in the country. So I applied for a temporary permanent Mexican residence visa. Now I can be an alien from another country besides Ireland. I did sneak back into the Willamette Valley without letting Peter know. But I still don’t know whether I immigrated or emigrated…

Some election results didn’t surprise me. DeFazio’s 34-point victory over Radiant Art Robinson — for the fifth time — was sweet. I hope Art continues to run in perpetuity! And I expected Julie Fahey to trounce that loser Rich Cunningham in House District 14 — she beat him by over 20 points.

 Even the races I figured to be close were landslides. Kate Brown’s final margin over Knute Buehler was more than 6 percent statewide and 16 percent in Lane County. Marty Wilde cleaned Mark Herbert’s clock in House District 11 by more than 20 points. The best news was Heather Buch clobbering incumbent appointee Gary Williams by more than 12 points in the East Lane Commissioner race! We finally have a reasonably progressive board with Heather and Joe Berney joining Pete Sorenson in 2019.

 Who You Gonna Blame? Dear Reader, you know I’m a direct-action kind of guy. Recently I concluded the Eugene Weekly Letters editor was one sick puppy. How else can you explain the juxtaposition of two recent letters, one on top of the other, from two of my favorite wingnuts — rightwing nut Jerry Ritter and leftwing nut Robert Emmons. 

 Jerry has an excellent handle on everything from uncontrolled immigration crushing Europe to Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate saving us from the socialist Democrats just elected to the U.S. House. Not to be outdone, Robert is equally disgusting in his attack on DeFazio for ignoring environmental catastrophe. Hell, after reading these two guys, why should we even bother to hold elections anymore?

My favorite part of the EW is the Letters section. So I confronted the editor of the EW, Camilla Mortensen, at the paper’s annual “holiday” party, and immediately blamed her for this odd juxtaposition. She assured me there was no conspiracy or collusion between the EW and these veteran opinionaters to suppress future voter turnout. And she immediately blamed senior staff writer Rick Levin for approving the letters. Since Rick was also at the holiday party, along with contributing editor Anita Johnson, I “Bah humbugged” them both for good measure.

I’ve known Ritter and Emmons for many years, and, even though they come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, their sideline soapbox rantings offer nothing in the way of solutions, of moving forward. Emmons especially seems to come out of the woodwork every two years, right after elections, with an attack on Peter. As far as I know neither of these guys has ever run for or won an election. What a surprise! 

DeFazio is now the longest serving House member in Oregon history. One big difference between him and his critics is that he’s been elected in a tough congressional district for the past 32 years. Unlike either of those two clowns, Peter has developed a well-earned reputation as an independent, passionate and effective lawmaker.

I’m currently reading Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, his bestselling take on how history shows we can survive even the Trump era. He has a quote from a 1910 speech by Teddy Roosevelt that is an appropriate response to these solution-less soapbox sociopaths:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood… who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

 Thanks for your good work, Peter. To hell with the nattering nabobs of negativism! 

Former state Sen. Tony Corcoran of Cottage Grove is former legislator and a retired state employee.

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