NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

Tim Eyman proposes risking the lives of a lot of people with a massive election night party

Since March, more than 100,000 peo­ple across this coun­try have got­ten sick or died from SARS-CoV­‑2, the nov­el coro­n­avirus, which the Unit­ed States has utter­ly failed to mit­i­gate, let alone con­tain. While Wash­ing­ton State has been more effec­tive at com­bat­ing the virus thanks to its Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­er­ship, the state is still see­ing an increase in cas­es, which is grave­ly con­cern­ing.

Tim Eyman does­n’t care.

The long­time scam­mer and sleazy polit­i­cal oper­a­tive — who has tak­en a break from pitch­ing destruc­tive ini­tia­tives to embark upon a nar­cis­sis­tic guber­na­to­r­i­al cam­paign — has for months been dis­re­gard­ing the guid­ance of pub­lic health offi­cials while attempt­ing to drum up inter­est in his can­di­da­cy (and mon­ey).

All spring, Eyman invit­ed peo­ple to join him for a house par­ties, ral­lies, and press con­fer­ences where they are at risk of catch­ing COVID-19. As if that weren’t bad enough, now he wants to take things to a whole new irre­spon­si­ble lev­el.

From an email dis­trib­uted to his fan club yes­ter­day:

Eyman pro­pos­es all gov­er­nor can­di­dates and all their sup­port­ers have elec­tion night cel­e­bra­tion in the same loca­tion. Think about it: this ensures imme­di­ate uni­ty so we can beat Inslee!!

I firm­ly believe I will win the August 4th [Top Two elec­tion] and be the can­di­date cho­sen by the vot­ers to chal­lenge Jay Inslee in the fall cam­paign. I’m con­fi­dent of that.

And I’m also con­fi­dent that Anton Sakharov, Joshua Freed, Loren Culp, Phil For­tu­na­to, and Raul Gar­cia think I’m wrong and that vot­ers will choose one of them instead.

So let’s take advan­tage of every­one’s self-con­fi­dence in the out­come of the pri­ma­ry by com­mit­ting right now to hav­ing all of us and all our sup­port­ers hav­ing one elec­tion night cel­e­bra­tion at the same loca­tion.

Tim Eyman may not be billing this as a “COVID par­ty”, but that’s essen­tial­ly what this would be (if it took place): A poten­tial­ly dis­as­trous super spread­ing event that could result in a lot of peo­ple get­ting sick and pos­si­bly dying.

Many on the right wing believe COVID-19 is a hoax.

But it is ter­ri­fy­ing­ly real, as many Trump sup­port­ers have found out to their cost.

That includes high pro­file Trump sur­ro­gates and Trump staffers.

For instance, after par­tic­i­pat­ing in Don­ald Trump’s June 20th Tul­sa ral­ly a few weeks ago, Her­man Cain con­tract­ed COVID-19 and had to be hos­pi­tal­ized.

So did mem­bers of Trump’s Tul­sa advance team.

Mean­while, the Repub­li­can gov­er­nor of Okla­homa, Kevin Stitt — a Trump boost­er in one of Amer­i­ca’s red­dest states — has test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19.

Pre­vi­ous­ly, back in the spring, peo­ple who spend time around both Trump and Pence in the West Wing had got­ten infect­ed with COVID-19.

And yes­ter­day, COVID-19 became real for Chuck Wool­ery.

For­mer game show host Chuck Wool­ery, who tweet­ed Sun­day that “Every­one is lying” about COVID-19, includ­ing the media, Democ­rats and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, said a day lat­er that his son was diag­nosed with the dis­ease.

His Twit­ter account no longer exist­ed on Wednes­day.

“The most out­ra­geous lies are the ones about COVID19. Every­one is lying. The CDC, Media, Democ­rats, our Doc­tors, not all but most, that we are told to trust,” Wool­ery wrote Sun­day night with­out cit­ing evi­dence.

“I think it’s all about the elec­tion and keep­ing the econ­o­my from com­ing back, which is about the elec­tion. I’m sick of it,” he added.

His tweet was retweet­ed by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

On Mon­day after­noon, Wool­ery said his son test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19, the dis­ease caused by the coro­n­avirus.

“To fur­ther clar­i­fy and add per­spec­tive, COVID-19 is real and it is here. My son test­ed pos­i­tive for the virus,” Wool­ery tweet­ed, adding that he feels for “those suf­fer­ing and espe­cial­ly for those who have lost loved ones.”

Empha­sis is mine.

We’re sor­ry, Chuck. Sor­ry that you did­n’t take this pub­lic health cri­sis seri­ous­ly, and sor­ry that your son has con­tract­ed the dis­ease. We hope he recov­ers.

As I have remarked here before, many of Tim Eyman’s fol­low­ers are elder­ly Wash­ing­to­ni­ans, and they are thus at the great­est risk of dying if they con­tract COVID-19. For Eyman to will­ful­ly pro­pose putting their lives (and oth­ers!) at risk just so that he can have the biggest pos­si­ble crowd cheer­ing for him on what he thinks will be a tri­umphant night for his twist­ed polit­i­cal career is sick­en­ing.

But not sur­pris­ing.

After all, Eyman looks up to Don­ald Trump — he has express­ly said so — and big in per­son gath­er­ings of right wing activists are a sig­na­ture facet of Trump’s cam­paign, along with pro­pa­gan­da dis­trib­uted through Fox and Face­book.

Though Don­ald Trump recent­ly donned a mask — which I imag­ine might well have been jar­ring for Eyman and oth­er rabid Trump sup­port­ers who had ful­ly bought into Trump’s absurd posi­tion against masks — Trump is still utter­ly fail­ing to pro­tect Amer­i­cans from the threat of COVID-19.

What is par­tic­u­lar­ly mad­den­ing is that Trump has the pow­er to pro­tect mil­lions of peo­ple mere­ly through the mega­phone of his Twit­ter account and oth­er plat­forms that car­ry his mes­sage, like the Mur­dochs’ FNC. He could save a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of lives with­out even using the pow­ers of the pres­i­den­cy.

If Trump ful­ly embraced mask wear­ing, then a lot of his fol­low­ers like­ly would, too. If Trump told his fol­low­ers to stay away from bars and sup­port his can­di­da­cy from home as opposed to con­gre­gat­ing in per­son, a lot of his fol­low­ers would do as they’re told. Not all, of course. But many would. Hav­ing cho­sen to fol­low Don­ald Trump as their author­i­tar­i­an strict father, many would obey his direc­tives.

Repub­li­cans have repeat­ed­ly proven they’re very good at turn­ing on a dime.

They stopped car­ing about deficits and pres­i­den­tial over­reach as soon as Trump was in office, for instance, and they had no prob­lem scrap­ping the fil­i­buster for Supreme Court jus­tices when they want­ed to get Neil Gor­such con­firmed.

One Repub­li­can can­di­date for gov­er­nor — Raul Gar­cia — has cham­pi­oned mask wear­ing and is try­ing to stand out in what for­mer Eyman ally Phil For­tu­na­to (now an Eyman rival) has called “a clown race”. Gar­cia enjoys the sup­port of Repub­li­cans like Dan Evans, Sam Reed, and Mark Schoesler.

But he’s prob­a­bly not going any­where.

“Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­cans have had suc­cess only when they have made clear they were a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than the nation­al par­ty,” for­mer Repub­li­can state par­ty chair Chris Vance argued today in Cross­cut. “Today, a can­di­date like Gar­cia needs to go even fur­ther and make it clear he is very dif­fer­ent than the Trump GOP.”

Unfor­tu­nate­ly for the few rea­son­able Repub­li­cans left, that would­n’t work as a recipe for elect­ing Repub­li­cans to high office here in the Pacif­ic North­west.

To be a Repub­li­can nowa­days means to be part of the Trump Par­ty — because that is what it has turned into. The peo­ple who run the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty and rep­re­sent it in high pro­file roles could­n’t sep­a­rate the par­ty from Don­ald Trump even if they want­ed to. Their base would turn on them.

The Main­stream Repub­li­cans of Wash­ing­ton State — a group which we at NPI hold in high regard — are basi­cal­ly all that is left of the par­ty that used to be the polit­i­cal home of dis­tin­guished lead­ers like Evans and Nel­son Rock­e­feller.

Tim Eyman made it clear this week that he’s glad that par­ty is dead.

“For decades, the estab­lish­ment keeps telling us to nom­i­nate Repub­li­cans who are nice, civ­il, and respect­ful. That approach has failed — repeat­ed­ly,” Eyman wrote in an email enti­tled Mosh­pit pol­i­tics is the only way to win.

“Mosh­pit pol­i­tics” has def­i­nite­ly served Don­ald Trump well at the nation­al lev­el.

But Wash­ing­ton State’s pol­i­tics are very dif­fer­ent than the coun­try’s as a whole. About three out of five Wash­ing­to­ni­ans have a neg­a­tive opin­ion of Don­ald Trump, and pub­lic opin­ion research going back to 2012 has found that most Wash­ing­to­ni­ans aware of who Tim Eyman is have a neg­a­tive opin­ion of him.

Wash­ing­ton is a state where sci­ence mat­ters, where med­ical break­throughs are secured, and where coop­er­a­tion and inclu­sion are val­ued. Don­ald Trump per­formed poor­ly in Wash­ing­ton in 2016, and is on track to do worse this year.

Tim Eyman has cer­tain­ly had some suc­cess run­ning cons against vot­ers in years past by qual­i­fy­ing decep­tive­ly word­ed ini­tia­tives. But this time, for the very first time, he’s on the bal­lot him­self. And if his expe­ri­ence turns out to be any­thing like Bill Size­more’s in Ore­gon back in the nineties, he’s going to lose. Bad­ly.

As for Eyman’s rivals, they would all do well to decline Eyman’s invi­ta­tion to join him in vio­lat­ing Gov­er­nor Inslee’s just-issued direc­tive pro­hibit­ing social gath­er­ings of more than ten peo­ple. If they care about their health and their fam­i­lies’ health and the health of their most fer­vent sup­port­ers, they’ll stay home on Top Two Elec­tion Night, and watch returns get post­ed in safe­ty and com­fort.

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One Ping

  1. […] Last Novem­ber, dis­hon­est ini­tia­tive pro­mot­er and chair thief Tim Eyman declared at a meet­ing of the Sound Tran­sit Board of Direc­tors that he would be run­ning for Wash­ing­ton’s high­est office in 2020. Eyman sub­se­quent­ly filed a dec­la­ra­tion of can­di­da­cy with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion and began hold­ing non­stop cam­paign events — some­thing he’s still doing today, despite the pan­dem­ic. […]

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