NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

The day before Election Day, Tim Eyman said he was praying for a red wave. It never came.

With noth­ing on this year’s bal­lot to sell, and with a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar Fair Cam­paign Prac­tices Act penal­ty and its asso­ci­at­ed costs hang­ing over him, right wing provo­ca­teur Tim Eyman has late­ly been focused on self-preser­va­tion, send­ing email after email to his fol­low­ers tout­ing his appeal of Judge James Dixon’s his­toric judg­ment against him in ear­ly 2021 and ask­ing them to bar­rage Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son with hos­tile emails.

From Octo­ber 7th until the day before Elec­tion Day, every sin­gle email mis­sive from Eyman con­cerned Eyman’s appeal in State of Wash­ing­ton v. Tim Eyman, with Eyman’s calls to action rang­ing from “Send an email to Bob Fer­gu­son right now — tell him what you think about tomor­row’s court bat­tle between him and Richard Sanders” to “watch Richard Sanders spar w/ appeals court judges dur­ing his open­ing state­ment. With his sharp mind, he made it look easy — it’s not.”

Final­ly, though, on Novem­ber 7th, with the near­ness of Elec­tion Day impos­si­ble to ignore, Eyman switched gears and sent out elec­tion-relat­ed commentary.

“For our coun­try, I’m pray­ing for a red wave,” Eyman declared in all caps, before explain­ing that he had invit­ed him­self to the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Par­ty’s elec­tion night par­ty at the Belle­vue Hyatt with Tiffany Smi­ley, Matt Larkin, and oth­er can­di­dates and was eager to be joined by as many fol­low­ers as possible.

“I urge you to join me at tomor­row’s Elec­tion Night Vic­to­ry Cel­e­bra­tions at the Belle­vue Hyatt. It’ll be a great chance for all of us to hug, high-five, hoop, holler, and cel­e­brate our vic­to­ries togeth­er. Elec­tion returns will be com­ing in from across the nation start­ing at 5pm so let’s start cel­e­brat­ing ear­ly,” Eyman wrote.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly for Eyman and his fol­low­ers, the “red wave” Eyman had prayed for nev­er came. Repub­li­cans even­tu­al­ly cap­tured con­trol of the U.S. House, but by the slimmest of mar­gins, and some Repub­li­cans (like Andy Big­gs) have said they won’t vote for Kevin McCarthy to be speak­er when the 118th Con­gress con­venes, por­tend­ing two years of chaos and divi­sion for House Republicans.

Mean­while, Democ­rats held the U.S. Sen­ate after scor­ing a series of hard-fought wins and flipped three gov­er­nor­ships (Mary­land, Mass­a­chu­setts, Ari­zona) along with hold­ing on to gov­er­nor­ships in a host of swing states.

In Michi­gan, a state Eyman has bragged about try­ing to bring vot­er sup­pres­sion schemes to this year, vot­ers reelect­ed Demo­c­ra­t­ic Gov­er­nor Gretchen Whit­mer and Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Gar­lin Gilchrist II, an NPI alum. Vot­ers also end­ed Repub­li­can con­trol of the Leg­is­la­ture and adopt­ed a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment enshrin­ing repro­duc­tive rights into the Michi­gan State Constitution.

In Wash­ing­ton, Democ­rats dom­i­nat­ed: there was a blue wave instead of a red one. Pat­ty Mur­ray defeat­ed Tiffany Smi­ley, Kim Schri­er defeat­ed Matt Larkin, Steve Hobbs was retained as the first Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sec­re­tary of State in over half a cen­tu­ry, and vot­ers enlarged Democ­rats’ leg­isla­tive majorities.

Eyman has said noth­ing pub­licly about any of the afore­men­tioned out­comes, but the NPI team has no doubt that he’s extreme­ly disappointed.

Eyman had fan­ta­sized ear­li­er this year about vot­ers elect­ing a Repub­li­can-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture that would take on Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee and poten­tial­ly adopt a slew of right wing ini­tia­tives intro­duced by his friend Bri­an Heywood.

Not only did Repub­li­cans fail to cap­ture con­trol of the Leg­is­la­ture, they lost seats to the Democ­rats. That’s right: in what was sup­posed to be a “red wave” elec­tion year, Repub­li­cans went back­wards and saw their own num­bers in Olympia shrink!

Eyman and oth­er Repub­li­cans had assumed that peo­ple would rise up and side with them, furi­ous over Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nance of Wash­ing­ton State.

But we knew from our research polling that vot­ers want­ed con­tin­ued Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­trol of the Leg­is­la­ture. Democ­rats had an advan­tage every time we asked, and our poll­ster asked over 700 like­ly vot­ers which par­ty they want­ed to see in charge of the Leg­is­la­ture three dif­fer­ent times — each in a dif­fer­ent season.

The elec­tion results val­i­dat­ed our research and left Repub­li­cans stunned.

They had fed and then eager­ly bought into a mas­sive­ly hyped “red wave” nar­ra­tive with­out stop­ping to con­sid­er that per­haps a lot of peo­ple just weren’t inter­est­ed in hand­ing pow­er to a par­ty that wor­ships a sociopath, wants to deny bod­i­ly auton­o­my to most Amer­i­cans, end free and fair elec­tions, and ignore the cli­mate cri­sis. It must also be not­ed that Repub­li­cans only cap­tured the U.S. House because of ger­ry­man­der­ing — oth­er­wise, they would­n’t have.

In Wash­ing­ton State, with­out the abil­i­ty to aggres­sive­ly rig the map and stack the deck for their can­di­dates, Repub­li­cans found them­selves los­ing, again and again. With­out con­trol of either cham­ber of the Leg­is­la­ture, they won’t be able to play games like repeat­ed­ly forc­ing spe­cial ses­sions to nego­ti­ate bud­gets or forc­ing Gov­er­nor Inslee’s appointees to leave office by vot­ing down their confirmations.

As for Eyman, he has­n’t run a suc­cess­ful sig­na­ture dri­ve for a scheme to wreck gov­ern­ment since this time four years ago. If he fails to qual­i­fy any­thing to the bal­lot next year, his drought would reach four years in length — a new record.

Will Eyman infer any divine mes­sage from the elec­tion results? Prob­a­bly not — but if he is tru­ly a per­son of faith, he might pause to con­sid­er that what he wants for him­self and the coun­try is not what God wants. Jesus instruct­ed his dis­ci­ples to feed the hun­gry, care for the sick, shel­ter the unhoused, and love their ene­mies — and Repub­li­cans like Eyman have almost total­ly shunned those teachings.

To quote Scripture:

“For I was hun­gry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you wel­comed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you com­fort­ed me, in prison and you came to vis­it me. I assure you, as often as you did it for the least among you, you did it for me.”

— Matthew 25:35–40

I have worked to counter Eyman’s destruc­tive ideas for over two decades, and I can­not recall Eyman ever hav­ing dis­cussed vol­un­teer­ing for a char­i­ty, par­tic­i­pat­ing in a food, toy, or cloth­ing dri­ve, going out to plant trees or clean up the envi­ron­ment, or doing any­thing con­struc­tive for our state and region.

I know many con­ser­v­a­tives who are actu­al­ly into con­ser­va­tion and par­tic­i­pate in the envi­ron­men­tal move­ment; Tim Eyman is not among them. I know many con­ser­v­a­tives who give gen­er­ous­ly to char­i­ty; I am unaware of any char­i­ta­ble giv­ing by Tim Eyman. I know many con­ser­v­a­tives who are active in their church­es help­ing oth­ers. I’ve nev­er seen Tim Eyman use his list to sup­port such efforts.

If Eyman does any good works, he does them pri­vate­ly and quietly.

Eyman uses the word “love” in his emails lot, and he tells his fol­low­ers he loves them. He also clear­ly loves his fam­i­ly. That’s good. But does he love any­one else?

There’s actu­al­ly a rel­e­vant pas­sage from Scrip­ture about this very sub­ject — it’s a part of the Gospel of Luke known as the Ser­mon on the Plain:

“For if you love those who love you, what cred­it is that to you? Even sin­ners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what cred­it is that to you? Even sin­ners do the same. If you lend mon­ey to those from whom you expect repay­ment, what cred­it [is] that to you? Even sin­ners lend to sin­ners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your ene­mies and do good to them, and lend expect­ing noth­ing back; then your reward will be great and you will be chil­dren of the Most High, for he him­self is kind to the ungrate­ful and the wicked.”

– Luke 6:32–25

What I pray for is that peo­ple like Tim Eyman will find some­thing more use­ful to do with their lives than scam­ming oth­er peo­ple out of their mon­ey and seek­ing the dev­as­ta­tion of our coun­try and state’s com­mon wealth, on which all fam­i­lies and busi­ness­es in Amer­i­ca and Wash­ing­ton State depend.

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