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.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Herrera Beutler challenger Joe Kent was among the speakers at D.C. rally supporting the January 6th insurrectionists

A Trump-endorsed chal­lenger to Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, R‑Washington, was one of two House can­di­dates to speak at Saturday’s “Jus­tice for J6” ral­ly in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., called to defend insur­rec­tion­ists on tri­al for their actions at the Jan­u­ary 6th inva­sion of, and attack on, the U.S. Capitol.

“It’s banana repub­lic stuff when polit­i­cal pris­on­ers are arrest­ed and denied due process,” claimed Joe Kent, a for­mer Green Beret run­ning against Her­rera Beut­ler. JHB is nor­mal­ly a par­ty line back­bencher but became one of ten House Repub­li­cans to cast Yes votes on impeach­ing Trump for incit­ing the insurrection.

Even such far-right, well known names as Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Louie Gohmert, Matt Gaetz, Mar­jorie Tay­lor Green and Paul Goslar stayed away from the Sat­ur­day protest. Gaetz and Greene have tried to vis­it impris­oned insur­rec­tion­ists, but were turned away. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Madi­son Carthorne, R‑North Car­oli­na, has described the incar­cer­at­ed as “polit­i­cal hostages.”

The demon­stra­tion prompt­ed sat­u­ra­tion police pres­ence – Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and U.S. Capi­tol Police were present in full ranks – and the perime­ter fence around the Capi­tol put up after Jan­u­ary 6th was re-erect­ed. The protest was, how­ev­er, a fiz­zle with only a few hun­dred peo­ple in attendance.

“I’m speak­ing at the ral­ly for the J6 pris­on­ers in DC for one rea­son,” Kent tweet­ed. “Con­sti­tu­tion­al rights are being denied to hun­dreds of Amer­i­cans due to their polit­i­cal affil­i­a­tion and a nar­ra­tive based on lies.”

“The estab­lish­ment is lying, they always have been, reject it.”

Kent had a small crowd at the ral­ly but cashed in on the eve of the event. He was wel­comed on Tuck­er Carlson’s Fox show as an “expert” com­men­ta­tor on the U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed ten civil­ians. Fox has been fea­tur­ing Trumped-backed chal­lengers for the House and Senate.

Trump has described Kent as “a war­rior for the Amer­i­ca First agen­da” while dis­miss­ing Her­rera Beut­ler as “a RINO and incompetent.”

Her­rera Beut­ler had an unex­pect­ed­ly tough 2018 race against WSU Van­cou­ver polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Car­olyn Long, and was tar­get­ed by Democ­rats in 2020.

She was reelect­ed in both cycles, and Trump nar­row­ly car­ried South­west Washington’s 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict last year.

Washington’s Top Two sys­tem dimin­ish­es prospects that Her­rera Beuter will be suc­cess­ful­ly chal­lenged next year; unlike Repub­li­cans in oth­er states, she can’t be “pri­maried,” since the top two vote get­ters advance out of the elim­i­na­tion round regard­less of par­ty. But expect a very vis­i­ble Kent. Radio talk show host Lar­ry Elder appeared on Fox News no few­er than fifty-two times dur­ing the recall elec­tion in which he was run­ning to replace Cal­i­for­nia Gov­er­nor Gavin Newsom.

Trump is involved in three oth­er con­gres­sion­al races in the West. He has endorsed Repub­li­can chal­lengers to both Sen­a­tor Lisa Murkows­ki, R‑Alaska, and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Liz Cheney, R‑Wyoming. Both vot­ed for the sec­ond impeach­ment. Cheney has defied House Repub­li­can leader Kevin McCarthy and is serv­ing as vice chair of the House select pan­el inves­ti­gat­ing the Capi­tol insurrection.

Trump is expect­ed to endorse a chal­lenger to Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dan New­house, anoth­er Repub­li­can loy­al­ist who sur­prised many with his vote to impeach.

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