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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Monday, March 22, 2004


Some hope for Washington State
I'm generally pretty optimistic about the Republicans' chances in the 2004 election. I think Bush is going to clean Kerry's clock, and that his coattails will be quite wide. I'm less positive about my home state of Washington, however. On one hand, Democrats have owned this place for years. On the other hand, they similarly owned Minnesota, and I was able to see firsthand how a motivated, enthusiastic and skilled group of Republicans can take a state by storm.

I'm really very concerned with the Senate race. The Republican candidate, George Nethercutt, is probably a good candidate on paper. But he's too old, too unoriginal, and too from Eastern Washington. He also got hammered in the press recently for a comment about the war taken out of context. But he's being handed some good weapons to fight with.

One of them is in the form of half-hour long informercials every weekend from a group called Doctors for Medical Liability Reform. The informercials are are skillfully made news magazine-style programs with cover the surprisingly dire medical crisis this state is seeing. As these programs make painfully clear, Washington's medical liability laws are horrific, are driving doctors from the state, and are costing lives. They also make clear that this could easily be solved by federal legislation opposed by senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. They do a marvelous job of making this very clear, setting the stage perfectly for Nethercutt to step in and become a champion for patients and doctors

The Republicans can be successful in Washington this year if they run hard on a pro-jobs/pro-business platform. This medical malpractice issue fits seamlessly into the argument they need to make: that Washington is a great, great state, that should be leading the nation in an number of categories, economic and otherwise; that the policies the Democrats have been pursuing are preventing this by driving businesses and jobs out of our state; and that the Republicans can turn this around and harness the potential of our great state with common sense policies not bound to any particular ideology.

Will Nethercutt stick to this message, or will he make the mistake of attempting to appear ideologically pure in a state that finds much of his (and my) ideology mildly distasteful? We'll see.
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