Politics from the Far-left Coast

Cantwell drawing challenge from left flank (WA-D — Senate)

I guess the far left is alive and well (?). I̢۪m just amazed how disconnected from reality some on the far right and left actually are (this example is on the left, but the right is just as bad, maybe worse).

Maria Cantwell, Washington’s junior senator, has been quietly girding for a tough re-election challenge from the Republicans. Now she’s also dealing with a primary challenge from her left flank.
Mark Wilson, who warmed up with primary races against Jay Inslee and Patty Murray, is running as a progressive “peace and justice” candidate, assailing Cantwell for everything from her vote to send troops to Iraq to her free-trade stance.
Wilson portrays Cantwell as ineffective and a tool of corporate America, and says the Democrats could lose the seat if she’s nominated next September.

“A tool of corporate America?” Oh, I get it, she has actually had a job outside government or NGOs, and therefore she is unworthy. Dunk the witch. Actually, she was part of the dot com boom, and managed to cash out before the crash, so I’m not too sure how applicable her business experience is, but it is more than her adversaries to the left.

Meanwhile, Wilson is ready to exploit what he sees as a rift in the state’s majority party. Even before Congress authorized the war, the Poulsbo businessman and Marine veteran was urging the party to vigorously oppose President Bush and the Iraq conflict. It’s a signature issue as he barnstorms the state, meeting with local party groups and “peace and justice” groups.
So far, he hasn’t made much of a dent by taking on three of the party’s most popular politicians. As the Libertarian Party nominee for the 1st District congressional seat in 2002, he polled 3 percent against Jay Inslee. Last fall, he got 1 percent of the vote in a four-way Senate race won by Patty Murray.

Peace and Justice? Is that code-word for non-reality based left? And we have a candidate going from big “L” Libertarian to left of Patty Murray? Realize this is in a state that includes the “income tax is illegal” faction of the Libertarian Party. My guess is this candidate is a professional agitator (nothing wrong with that, just stating my opinion). As for Marine veteran, I will not go against the “once a Marine, always a Marine,” but the Kitsap Sun reports (reg required, and it is a labyrinth) he was discharged after 13 months for medical reasons, so I wouldn’t say he had any practical military experience (but I thank him for serving, and know that is more than most of his contempories ever considered).

Wilson said his early campaigning has convinced him that Cantwell’s party support is soft, particularly among liberal anti-war activists and progressives who fault her for not more vigorously opposing the policies espoused by the White House and the Republican Congress.

Looking at the liberal ratings at the ADA (Americans for Democratic Action) , Cantwell has a 95 rating, above the 90 rating of the other WA Senator Patty Murray (90), and above most other Democrat Senators (OK, Ted Kennedy = 100).

Republicans, meanwhile, are chortling over the possibility of a nasty Democratic primary. GOP Chairman Chris Vance, who has been acid in his comments, said Cantwell is trying to have it both ways on Iraq, supporting the war and followup appropriations while signing a dovish letter to the president.
“The Democrats are worried about the hemorrhaging on the left. There’s no question that Maria Cantwell is not as popular with her liberal Democratic base as Patty Murray, and now she’s morphing into John Kerry,” he says. “She voted against John Roberts (for Supreme Court), against free trade for the first time with CAFTA, and now she’s signing letters as if she were a peacenik.

Um, OK. This guy has zero chance. But is shows the lunacy of the extreme left. This isn̢۪t the mainstream Democratic Party. But he is getting attention.

I̢۪m afraid all we are seeing between terms is extremes from both parties.

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Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.


  1. Herb says:

    The left coast democrats are indeed a radical bunch. They seem to think that it’s their way or the highway and are so engarged in a hate Bush campaign that they lose sight that the midwest red states are the ones that nullify their radical senses.

    Their hatred for Bush is so strong that they look like the radical freaks they are and the rest of America sees them for what they are. I don’t think they will ever change and they would do or say anything to put Bush and our country down in their attempts to get back into power.

    Sorry Left Coast, you are and will remain lost.

  2. RA says:

    You have documented the “extremism” on the left. Then you say the right is just as bad. Show me.

  3. Scott in CA says:

    Here in San Francisco, the “progressive” groups are continually shrieking that Nancy Pelosi is too right-wing. Really.

  4. John Burgess says:

    I used to get semi-spam from Cantwell when she was running the PR section of RealMedia, back when it was a horrible program. Maybe people are holding that against her?

    I surely do… early RealMedia caused me to too many total reinstallations. And I’m not a WA voter!