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On Sunday, several thousand protestors (2,500 +/-)gathered at the Washington State Capital campus. They were mostly focused on protesting Governor Inslee’s programs shutting down the state economy during the Wuhan/Corona Virus pandemic era. The Governor was a bit surprised that people don’t like losing their jobs, homes, businesses, or economic future if it can be avoided. Parking was challenging, particularly since the State Patrol would not open the empty state employee parking garages to attendees. Many sympathetic drivers were waving flags and honking horns during the protest.
The weather was beautiful, the state’s helicopter was hovering at 500ft, and at least one rogue drone was buzzing overhead (presumably getting some unofficial video of the crowd). Many homemade signs were on display, various Republican political campaigns were in evidence, and palpable anger directed mostly at Governor Inslee was to be found everywhere. There were no official speakers or sponsors in evidence in the main area typically used for protests between the Capital building and the Supreme Court, although Tim Eyman (a Republican candidate for Governor) brought a handy megaphone which served him well addressing the crowd.
Eventually, after an hour of milling around the area, occasional chants of “Inslee’s got to go” or equivalent chants on the same theme, the group moved over to the fountain area of the capital campus and listened to a variety of speakers. Needless to say, this wasn’t a crowd happy with Inslee. Sometimes photos speak louder than words, so I’ve attached a bunch of photos below which better illustrate what attendance at this event looked like for those who did not attend.
This was a remarkable turnout considering the fact most people during this pandemic panic are under the practical equivalent of house arrest either complying with Governor Inslee’s directives to stay home, or they are concerned about catching the virus. It should be noted that many people in attendance were wearing masks and/or gloves. In addition, this event was not organized by any major official organizations (although a variety of grass roots groups endorsed it), and this always makes the practical process of getting a crowd of this size more challenging. This should put some political leaders on notice, but politicians are rarely ahead of the curve.
Governor Inslee, of course, didn’t care and mostly ignored the event, although he did tweet out a snarky message later. Inslee apparently views the shut down as a key opportunity to boost his flagging popularity, and the Democrat Governor’s polling seems to indicate he is getting positive marks the longer he shuts down the economy. Mainly this is because he believes he is “saving lives” the longer it drags out, or at least this is the poll tested narrative at this time.
As a political bonus, Inslee earned recent national attention by attacking President Trump, claiming Trump was fomenting “rebellion” and insubordination among the people when Trump encourages the reopening of the economy. Of course, as Republican Representative Jim Walsh helpfully pointed out, Governor Inslee might want to read the state constitution at some point. If he did read it, he might discover that he actually works for the people and not the other way around. A little rebellion now and then can indeed be a good thing and a helpful reminder.
Many people are obviously angry about losing their jobs, their businesses, and they view their economic future sinking fast under the current lock-down policy. Inslee owns this lock-down in its entirety, but the Governor feels it helps him politically. He also recently linked his decision to end the lockdown on the California and Oregon Governor’s policies. Outsourcing this decision to these states is not very popular in Washington.
This might seem very shortsighted, but this guy is a lifetime politician very detached and insulated from the consequences of his decisions and policies. As a former slip and fall attorney, he doesn’t know what it takes to run a real business. If his political allies and donors are selectively protected by his lock-down policies, then he doesn’t really care about the other people who are hurt. His re-election is all that matters to him right now.
We are living in strange days. A genuine economic crisis combined with a pandemic and health panic is creating an unprecedented cultural and economic experience for all Americans. Binge watching Netflix and rioting over toilet paper once a week at Costco gets old quickly. This is only the beginning. Most people who will lose their jobs and businesses this year haven’t lost them yet. However, many know it is coming and people sense the looming storm will be bad.
The bureaucrats and politicians appear unconcerned about this tsunami of chaos and economic collapse. In fact, some of them like Governor Inslee seem practically giddy about their rising poll numbers and how the chaos and the opportunity to make more people dependent on government welfare will help him get reelected. The political opposition to Inslee is fractured and not organized effectively yet. However, Inslee is right about one thing – a rebellion is brewing, but he can’t blame this one on Trump. Inslee will be forced to look in the mirror for the source of this one.
Signs of the rebellion are posted below.
OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.” IT WAS THE FOUNDER’S INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.” UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED…