Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: republican party

Jan.
30th

McKenna on why he lost

Erik Smith has an interesting interview with Rob McKenna on the Washington State Wire, dissecting the former attorney general’s thoughts on why he lost the gubernatorial race to Democrat Jay Inslee in November. Read it here.

McKenna points to the lack of success all but one Republican had in getting elected statewide in Washington and cites growing partisan polarization and being hurt by the national party’s image problems. Even though he had most newspaper endorsements (including The News Tribune’s) and carried 47 of the state’s 49 a majority of the state’s legislative districts, he couldn’t overcome the overwhelmingly Democratic

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Nov.
14th

Sam Reed set the standard for state election officials

Secretary of State Sam Reed

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Not many Republicans get elected statewide in Washington, but Sam Reed probably could have the secretary of state job for life if he wanted it. He’s been that popular.

Instead, Reed is retiring after three terms. But he has the satisfaction of knowing that the position will be in the capable hands of Kim Wyman, currently the Thurston County auditor and the candidate he strongly endorsed to succeed him.

It’s very likely that Reed’s endorsement – and the example he set in office – gave Wyman the extra nudge she needed to become the only Republican elected statewide in an overwhelmingly Democratic year. Sure, she was better qualified than her opponent and had bipartisan support from most of the state’s county auditors, but getting Reed’s blessing undoubtedly was a factor in the close race.

A majority of voters saw in Wyman what they have appreciated most about Reed during his tenure: moderation, integrity, a sense of fairness that is not swayed by partisan zeal and a wealth of experience in running elections.
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Nov.
2nd

Can Romney count on ‘the military vote’?

It’s long been a political given that military voters skew Republican. Georgetown University professor Rosa Brooks, writing in Foreign Policy, says that may have been the case in the 1980s and ’90s; now military voters more closely track how the general population votes. And on some issues, service members are even slightly more liberal than civilians.

Here’s the article.

The Myth of the Republican Military Voter

By Rosa Brooks
(c) 2012, Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are said to be tussling over the fabled “military vote,” and during this extraordinarily tedious election season, both have highlighted their fondness for all things military. Despite the efforts of both candidates to drum up military support, however, most commentators assume that the military “naturally” supports Republicans over Democrats. But will “the military vote” really favor Romney next week?

Romney hopes it will, and right-wing conspiracy theorists are convinced it will — that’s why they keep huffing and puffing about alleged Obama campaign attempts to suppress military votes, through methods as devious as neglecting to inform service members of their voting rights and supposedly burning military ballots.

But the Obama campaign has no reason to hope that service members don’t vote, and Romney shouldn’t count his chickens before they hatch. The military is far from a “natural” Republican voting bloc. Although the military appears to have skewed Republican in the 1980s and ’90s , for most of the last century the politics of military personnel appear to have more or less mirrored the politics of the civilian population.

There’s ample reason to believe that this is the case again today.
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March
5th

Caucuses no substitute for a presidential primary

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

If 1,500 people got locked out of the polls in a normal American election, citizens would be howling about Putinesque conspiracies and invoking the specter of Jim Crow and the literacy tests of yore. The U.S. Justice Department might even send in a SWAT team.

Yet 1,500 Republican voters got locked out of the party’s presidential nominating caucuses in the Tri-Cities on Saturday, and all that came of it was some griping.

One reason is obvious: There was no foul play. Republican organizers simply ran out of space in the Three Rivers Convention Center, which they’d rented for the occasion. Nine hundred had come to the 2008 caucuses; the party planned for 2,000 this time – but 3,000 or so actually showed up Saturday morning.

Another factor, less obvious: There’s no general expectation of caucus-going. The vast majority of Republicans and Democrats don’t go to them. Most voters probably don’t know what they are, exactly. A cynic might even say that nominating caucuses are all about exclusion in the first place.

Ordinary folks have routinely been locked out of the parties’ caucuses, figuratively, every four years.
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March
1st

Politics doesn’t get much more personal than this

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Tomorrow’s a big day for state Republicans. They’ll gather in schools, community centers, lodge halls and church meeting rooms to conduct a highly personal brand of politics: the party caucus.

They will make and listen to impassioned speeches for the four presidential candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul – and select delegates to the county convention. A non-binding straw vote will be taken, with the winner getting bragging rights three days before the big Super Tuesday contests in 10 states.

The outcome of the straw poll is important enough that all four GOP candidates stumped in Washington at least once. The official winner won’t be named until the party’s state convention starting May 30 in Tacoma.
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