Rantz: There’s only one Kshama Sawant recall result that truly matters
Socialist Seattle City Council firebrand Kshama Sawant faces voters on Dec. 7 for her recall election. There’s only one result that is meaningful when determining the future of Seattle.
If Sawant survives the recall, local media will pretend it would be a huge win for socialists. Not really. That result would make perfect sense. She’s been reelected to her position despite her caustic personality and selfish brand-building. The community knows she’s about Team Sawant and her rigid, dangerous views. They support them. In other words, if she defeats the recall, it’s not instructive — it’s expected.
On the other hand, if Sawant loses? It would send shockwaves through the progressive political establishment — one that the current recalcitrant councilmembers cannot ignore. That even her far-left district has said she’s gone too far actually means something.
Sawant is nervous and desperate
Sawant and her socialist friends at The Stranger are trying to label this a right-wing recall.
Her district encompasses Capitol Hill, a neighborhood filled with the most extreme left-wing activists. No one can seriously buy the right-wing argument. Pretending there are any significant numbers of conservative voters in the city, let alone her far-left district, is a futile effort. And given Sawant’s financial support comes from outside her district (and outside the state), it’s more than hypocritical to chide the Recall Sawant campaign for earning some financial support from outside donors.
This strategy shows her concern that she doesn’t have the support she once did; it shows you how desperate she is.
The media is trying to help
Some local media outlets are doing what they can to help Sawant.
Both The Stranger and Crosscut are parroting Sawant’s talking points about the right-wing. And they keep invoking the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
“Jason Rantz, the Seattle area conservative talk show host, has had members of the recall campaign on his show several times,” Crosscut reported in an effort to show the right-wing influence.
“[Recall Sawant organizer] Henry Bridger II … has since become a regular on Jason Rantz’s radio show,” echoed The Stranger.
Bridger has not become a regular on my show, of course. He’s been on the show four times since the recall of the council’s most notorious councilmember is a major news story.
Do you know who I’ve interviewed far more often than Bridger? Councilmember Sawant.
This recall comes down to whether or not her constituents can still stomach Sawant’s antics and divisive brand of socialist politics.
I have no clue if the district will vote her out. I hope they do — her rhetoric is toxic and she doesn’t care for Seattle as much as she cares about pursuing her ideological agenda to end capitalism and tax people who are far more successful than she will ever be. But Capitol Hill is full of fringe voters. Some have used threats and bullying to push people into supporting Sawant. Looking at the demographics of the district, she has a strong chance of surviving.
But if she’s recalled, it sends an obvious message and can’t be dismissed as an anomaly or Republican effort. Seattle voters so clearly rejected the far-left positions of city attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, council candidate Nikkita Oliver, and mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez.
As much as I wish conservatives had that kind of power in Seattle — if we did, we wouldn’t have the crime surge, worsening poverty, or a struggling police department — it would mean Seattle’s undoubtedly liberal voters think the city has become too extreme. And that’s not a message that can be ignored.
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