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John Batchelor


Rantz: In head tax vote, Kshama Sawant is a disgrace to democracy

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at City Hall in Seattle before a meeting to repeal the city’s controversial head tax. Sawant opposed the repeal. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Like any good cult leader, Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant pretends to have the ear of her adherents, but really, when it counts, she pulls the strings. And boy did she use her influence to make a mockery of not just the council, but also herself and her fringe supporters.

RELATED: Seattle council repeals head tax one month after it passed

Sawant, who claims to fight against fascism, held the council hostage as they sought to repeal the job-killing head tax. Sawant, who is used to bullying her way to victory, couldn’t stop the vote, though she tried mightily.

She refused to cast her vote under the disingenuous concern that her unruly supporters couldn’t hear her. Sawant, not so subtly, told them that she couldn’t vote if they kept chanting. That was her choreographing more chanting; and it earned more disruptions from a group of children engaged in a hissy fit because they didn’t get their way. It was a cute stunt, but as anti-Democratic as they come.

Sawant doesn’t understand how democracy works. Representatives get to vote on policy, even if you don’t like the way they’re voting. You don’t get to stop the vote because you lost. That’s kind of what dictators do — the kind you say you’re protecting us from; the kind you’ve just tried to become.

Sawant doesn’t understand how numbers works, either, which may explain why she was laughed at when she tried to speak as an economist at the vote. She expressed anger that a couple hundred Socialist activists worked so hard to get the head tax passed, only to see it repealed a month later. Well, the 40,000-plus voters who signed the repeal petition also get to decide and their position is more important than your hurt feelings.

Losing is hard in politics. I should know; I’m a Seattle Republican. But not once would I ever try to stop a vote because I was going to lose. Why? I have respect for our democratic process. Something Sawant lacks.

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