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You guys, the Oregon GOP isn’t well.
Party infrastructure fully engulfed. Lawmakers walking out. No help coming.
Oregon Republicans are super pissed at Solomon Yue. After reading the leaked recall petition filed against Yue in his position as Oregon’s National GOP Committeeman, you’d be forced to admit he sounds like a kind of a bastard.
Doesn’t play well with others (allegedly).
Uses his position to enrich his own interests (allegedly).
Abuses the power of his position at the expense of the integrity of the party. This one is bullshit, straight away, though - Republicans can’t lose what they don’t have.
And maybe (some high-ranking GOP critters in Oregon claim) he might even be loyal to….CHINESE COMMUNISTS!?!?!??!! C’mon, we all know it wouldn’t be a Republican recall effort without at least a smidgen of racism.
Listen, who gives a shit…right? Not me. But it’s fun to watch the Leopards Eating Faces Party get their faces eaten by leopards.
Anyway, the recall petition targeting Solomon Yue starts with a Festivus-vibe airing of grievances.
To summarize - since 2008, Yue has allegedly been a huge asshole and created “dissention” (sic) within the Oregon Republican Party. They (the anonymous authors) also claim that Yue has personally enriched himself based on his position as National Committeeman.
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There’s a bunch of attached letters and other documents that are meant to act as supporting material for canning Yue as the National Committeeman. In one of the documents - the text of a similar recall targeting Yue in 2015 - he is accused of…well, you read it & judge for yourself:
Whereas National Committeeman Solomon Yue, who was born in communist China, has had serious questions as to his loyalty asked by many including former Republican Party Chairman Bob Tiernan Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy.
In fact, you can find the whole document here, if you want to pick through this train wreck of a political entity for yourself.
Regardless of the recall outcome, it’s not a great trendline for Oregon GOP cohesion
This bitter recall effort (aside from being deliciously embarrassing) also shows the Oregon Republicans still absolutely reeling from…well, from the seemingly never ending string of embarrassing demonstrations of ineptitude. It’s hard to pick a starting point.
Let’s go with losing the Governor’s race by about the normal historical margin, despite a spoiler candidate bought and paid for by a friendly billionaire. I don’t know if anyone else remembers the last GOP gubernatorial primary, but it was not a friendly affair.
I mean, the clown car of GOP candidates in 2022 was about as entertaining as you could ask for. Easily more than a dozen far-right candidates were in the race purely to advance their own brand of right-wing insanity. And because they were feeding the right flavor of fringe conspiracy theory to small pockets of low-information voters just large enough to raise a ruckus - they effectively shattered the already brittle and decaying ideological underpinnings of the GOP in Oregon.
And many of them begrudgingly filled the box for Christine Drazan - who lost by familiar margins despite a spoiler candidate working heavily in her favor.
And their consolation prize is a legislative minority that is wearing out the one increasingly desperate maneuver they have left.
Ladies & Gents, the Oregon Senate GOP is proud to present their favorite virtue signal…THE WALKOUT!!!
I know, I know. It kind of loses its luster when they use it pretty much every session. Nevertheless, it’s a legendary piece of political strategy used effectively only by the most skilled political actors. Here’s how it works when executed perfectly, with precision and confidence:
See a piece of legislation you don’t like.
Fucking genius, right? Such legends. Just deny quorum in the State Senate and grind democracy - powered by the political will & mandate of the fairly elected majority - to a friggin’ halt.
I know it feels like a child throwing a tantrum because they can’t have exactly what they want just handed to them all the time with little to no effort. But it’s not that. At all. First off, they’re adults.
Anyway, it appears as if the walkout seemingly engineered by Oregon Republican Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend, has already disqualified himself and most of his colleagues from holding legislative office after their term expires.
Journalists with the Oregon Capital Chronicle have been fucking crushing coverage of this debacle. Here’s Julia Shumway putting the Measure 113 disqualifications in helpful context:
Six of the senators with 10 absences – Knopp, independent Sen. Brian Boquist of Dallas and Republican Sens. Lynn Findley of Vale, Bill Hansell of Athena, Dennis Linthicum of Klamath Falls and Art Robinson of Cave Junction – represent districts with elections in 2024.
Hansell announced his retirement earlier this year. Knopp said Thursday he needed to talk to his family and employer about running for re-election, but that he would do so if it were solely his choice. His Bend-based district voted overwhelmingly for Democratic President Joe Biden in 2020, and political analysts considered Knopp’s re-election a longshot before the walkout.
Republican Sens. Daniel Bonham of The Dalles, Cedric Hayden of Fall Creek, Kim Thatcher of Keizer and Suzanne Weber of Tillamook also have 10 absences, but their seats aren’t up for election until 2026. Both Thatcher and Weber represent swing districts.
Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, has been excused for weeks for medical reasons, and Sens. Dick Anderson, R-Lincoln City, and David Brock Smith, R-Port Orford, have been on the floor. Anderson and Brock Smith are both up for election in 2024: Anderson in a coastal district that narrowly voted for Biden and Brock Smith in a conservative district in southwestern Oregon.
In the meantime - at the expense of the nearly 1.3 million Oregonians who supported Measure 113 and want our elected officials on either side of the aisle in Salem to, very simply, fucking show up for work - Oregon Republicans have been playing the least sophisticated shell game in the history of political cons.
The generalized outrage of Oregon Republican officials changes depending on who you ask AND when you ask.
Maybe it’s because some of the bills don’t meet an antiquated reading comprehension test?
Or maybe the Democrats hate religion because one GOP State Senator was totally skipping session to go to church?
Wait, now it’s because we demand that everyone interpret a healthcare bill as a direct threat to “parent’s rights.”
Whoops, hold on to that outrage, we’ve got fresh outrage coming in…..it looks like we’re now incensed over this one time a couple years ago the Governor was mean to us.
Of course, it’s all bullshit. But that’s how low the bar is for the Oregon GOP
They don’t need to make sense or be consistent or even restrict themselves to the bounds of, say, reality.
Hell, they don’t even need to hide the fact that it’s simply a game to them. Oregon Republicans are the human manifestation of a “liberal tears” mug. They don’t give a shit about honoring the state Constitution or the will of the voters or even their oaths of office. It’s all about owning the libs. And then showing your base how hard you owned the libs. Rinse/Repeat.
Below is State Sen. Knopp’s political nepo baby just, y’know, giving away the game…as a literal game. The Two-Knopps-in-a-Trenchcoat posing as the Republican party are handling this all very VERY maturely:
THESE ARE THE GUYS IN CHARGE! This is, presumably, the intellectual cream of the crop of the Oregon Republican political machine. And, trust me, there’s no bench of talent waiting to tag in. There’s no help coming.
So…where does that leave us? Y’know, the people of Oregon?
We have, essentially, a hostile minority party facing what is likely to be a looooong term stint as the minority political entity on the state level.
As most folks who have raised, or are raising, kids know - indulging a tantrum doesn’t usually accomplish anything positive. I mean, the Governor agreed to meet with the Senate GOP quitters and most of them didn’t bother to show in person. We’ve passed the reason and logic part of this.
So we can either extinguish the will of the majority of Oregon voters like the minority GOP lawmakers are demanding. Oh, we would also need to accept each of their bills, too. Or…nothing!
See? There’s no negotiating with these folks. Because they aren’t interested in solutions.
There are things that can be done. The Governor can compel these folks to do their jobs. And she should. This is a joke for Republicans in Oregon. But the consequences are serious for so many regular Oregonians that don’t enjoy the privileges and comforts most state Republican politicians enjoy. At the risk of sounding lame - this is about upholding the fundamental concept of what it means to elect our representation democratically.
And that’s too important to leave in the hands of the Knopps and a party that is quietly self-destructing behind their bluster. Time for the adults to step in. End the tantrum. Let’s get the work done.
Sounds reasonable, no?
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