Fodder for Political Geeks

If you:

  • Immediately know what LoTR is;
  • Have ever played any games involving dragons; Carry a calculator;
  • Have read all the Harry Potter books;
  • Can give quotes from MST3K and know what MST3K means;
  • Watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it didn’t involve participating in a drinking game;
  • Are afraid of public places and people in general;
  • Collected comic books;
  • Never had a suntan that wasn’t focused on your forearms;
  • Don’t know how to swim;
  • Don’t know the difference between a line drive and a frozen rope;
  • Never played sports that didn’t involve rackets;
  • Joined the school choir;
  • or were a devotee of Dr. Who;

You might be a geek, or a nerd. Apparently there is a test for it. You can go to it here. I scored 10.45365, which means I have geekish tendencies. Your results may vary.

Were they to give out a test of some kind, and someone here might know of one, dealing with political geekiness, I would aspire to do well.

Hence a story this weekend on what reading the numbers in the latest elections mean, particularly to Kitsap County.

Here’s the long and short of it: It’s not getting better for Republicans.

To get to that astonishing conclusion, I looked at the 21 races (And by the way, this little nugget only accounts for part of the story. I figured the geeks that visit this blog would appreciate it.) in which Kitsap voters could choose between a Republican and a Democrat. In 2004 five races were Kitsap only, so we go 5-0 in those. In 2008 there were six Kitsap-only races.

In 2004, Kitsap voters picked Democrats 15 times. In 2008 the number was 16. Not that big a deal, right?

Here’s the difference. In 2004 and 2008 Kitsap voters were on the losing end twice. In 2004, though, those losses were split between the two parties. In 2008 both losses were handed to Republicans. In 2004 the county voted for Republican governor candidate Dino Rossi and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. This year the county picked Republicans for state treasure and public lands commissioner and lost.

Even worse for Republicans, in 2004 the GOP won two of the five Kitsap-only races. In 2006 and 2008 they didn’t win any.

45 thoughts on “Fodder for Political Geeks

  1. Steve, I scored 9%, so like you I have geekish tendencies.

    I think the Republicans will not recover any too soon because they are attracting people that are too narrow in their ideology, and too “clubby”, i. e. “if you don’t think the way I do about everything, you are unpatriotic, a socialist, a left-coaster, etc”. They are people who listen to talk show hosts like those two college drop-outs, Hannity and Limbaugh, who between them don’t even have one year of college, and who just like to try to destabilize things, due to their own feelings of failure, insecurity and anger. They are like the “anti-establishment” hippies of the ’60s, who kept wanting to stir things up.

    For instance, Limbaugh wanted to create chaos in the Democratic party by telling Republicans to register as Democrats and vote for Hillary. Well, thousands of his listeners did just that! Yes, they actually stated that Rush Limbaugh had sent them. How dumb is that? They “drank Kool Ade” which is what that group of “conservatives” always say the “libs” do.

    I shudder to think what other mischief this dysfunctional man is planning to have his sheep do. I bet most of those sheep have never made anywhere near $200,000, get or have family members who get Medicare and Social Security and wouldn’t want to give up those government checks, but they have been made afraid of “big government” and people with the highest educational credentials.

    Most people are really centrists with perhaps conservative stances on abortion, gay issues, etc, but don’t like to be told one is not patriotic if one doesn’t wear lapel pins, dislike engaging in pre-emptive wars everywhere, aren’t evangelical, want clean air, etc.

    Port Orchard, WA

  2. Geek score…
    32.34714% – Total Geek

    As for the Republican party losing so consistantly in the past few years, I think it speaks to the need of the Republican party to rethink how we portray our image. So many non-Republicans and closet Republicans hear “Republican Party” and think of the extremes in social issues instead of where Republicans share common ground…

    -As fiscal conservatives because taxes are a trust, not a gift.
    -As advocates for smaller government being better than larger government because it takes one to teach others to fish instead of one hundred to fish for the entire village.
    -As unwavering examples of ensuring that civic responsibility takes priority over personal motives because elected office is a trust, not a purse.
    -As champions for constitutional rights because our nation has stood for those rights for more than 200 years.
    -As champions of constitutional duty because our nation would not hvae stood for more than 200 years without dedication to that duty.
    -As advocates for mproving public education because it fosters individual self-reliance.
    -As advocates for private industry because it will grow our economy and strengthen our national self-reliance.

    We must ethically re-engage these issues with every fiber of our beings and quit allowing a vocal few in our party to define us as the morality police. Social moderates unite! We cannot afford to continue shaking our heads and shying away from party participation any longer. We must stand up and be heard! We must moderate back to common ground or soon there will be no Republican Party to recover.

    As an example, tomorrow I will attend church (which may shock a few folks at church who haven’t seen me in awhile). Some of my Republican “friends” do not condone my religious choices. But I am not any less a Republican because of where I choose to worship. Later in the day, I am taking a gift to a single friend who just had a baby. But I am not any less religious because I rejoice with a single friend in the healthy birth of her child. Later in the evening, I plan to catch up with an old friend who is an ardent Democrat and share a root beer or two as we debate local and national politics. But I am not any less a Republican because some of my best friends are Democrats.

    I am who I am. My political views align with Republican principles. My personal religious views align with the faith of my choosing. My choices in friends align with my nature as a human being. While each of these circles touch the other in some way, what defines me, is me.

    It is time the Republican Party define itself in those areas where it’s membership finds common ground instead of continuing to allow those highly vocal minorities within the Party to insist that the members redefine themselves in order to be “real” Republicans.

    Kathryn Simpson

  3. Well said Kathryn. One day I just may want to associate myself with the group whose members I vote for more than 50% of the time.

  4. “So many non-Republicans and closet Republicans hear “Republican Party” and think of the extremes in social issues instead of where Republicans share common ground…”

    Actually, when I hear “Republican Party,” I don’t think at all of the extremes in social issues. Aside from the gay bashing that seems so prevalent, I share many of those same moral beliefs, as a Democrat, like the emphasis on family and marriage, the value of life and faith and taking care of others.

    However, when I do hear “Republican Party,” I think one word, “greed,” pure, ugly, unadulterated greed. The kind of greed that would allow CEO’s to continue to take million dollar bonuses while their company closes plants and puts thousands out of work (right before Christmas). The kind of greed that allows AIG executives to treat themselves to massages and spa treatments on the taxpayer dime.

    When I hear Republican Party, I do not think of people who care about “the constitution.” I think of illegal wiretapping and illegal torture. I think Abu Gharib and Guantanamo.

    When I hear Republican Party, I think of all the subsidies and policies that enrichen Big Oil and Big Coal at the expense of the taxpayer and the “common people.”

    I don’t think of Republicans as those who teach others to fish, but as those who claim the whole ocean for themselves and who strip it of all the fish, leaving the village hungry.

    So, yes, I guess you are right, K.S. the Republicans need an image makeover.

    Mary A. Colborn

  5. P.S. for what it’s worth and I think it is worth something, I go to church every Sunday, without fail and have for 50 years.

    We, Democrats, aren’t the faithless that you Republicans make us out to be.

  6. “I don’t think of Republicans as those who teach others to fish, but as those who claim the whole ocean for themselves and who strip it of all the fish, leaving the village hungry….”

    Mary….you know better. Reading your comment reminded me of a statement made over twenty years ago from a devout person. She looked forward to the day she wouldn’t need to work so hard = that those who had more money would have to give it to her and to those who don’t have as much….everyone would have the same. The ‘haves will be forced to give their money to the ‘havenots’.

    The young guy holding the sign to drivers coming off Hwy 3 onto Kitsap Way apparently won’t have to hold up the sign when society supports him.

    God help us all should one party control the whole loaf… and I never questioned your faith nor doubted that you are a good person…
    Sharon O’Hara

  7. No, I don’t know better. I have witnessed significant greed and destruction coming from those in control, who happen to be Republicans. I never said anything about expecting someone to give someone else a handout.

  8. Look around you, Mary..
    “witnessed significant greed and destruction coming from those in control…”
    To condemn your Republican neighbors and coworkers – or to condemn all the citizens of Germany for the horror and atrocities of the German Hitler/Nazi era – is unfair and unreasonable and untrue.
    It is not possible that ALL Democrats are wonderful while ALL Republicans are filled with greed and destruction.
    Sharon O’Hara

  9. Sharon: I guess Godwin’s law is correct… eventually someone will bring up Hitler or Nazis in an internet discussion!

    I especially like Dodds Corollary: “When debating a particular subject, if a comparison or implied connection is drawn between the opponent’s argument and Hitler and the Nazi Party, the maker of that statement is automatically discredited and the debate is automatically lost by the person or group who referenced the connection to Hitler or the Nazis.”

  10. Actually, I meant to say, Sharon, when I hear the word, Republicans, I think of those who not only claim the whole ocean for themselves stripping it of all the fish, they’re the people who then turn and poison it for others, leaving dying fish and a tainted ocean.

    Is that better? Still leaves us hungry villagers.

    And, a Republican Party badly in need of a make-over.

  11. Nikky…I’m sorry my point was lost on you. Maybe Goodwin has another analogy to comfort you….considering your apparent lack of individual thought and consideration.

    Colleen… “Ridicule is the first and last argument of fools” seems about right. Although, ridicule only works if the intended subject FEELS ridiculed.

    Mary…no, not much better…though, based on your belief, it does not seem the Republican Party can be made over. If all the current Republican members are capable and interested in destroying the oceans fish, leaving hungry and soon dead from hunger, villagers – what would ‘new’ Republican members be joining?

  12. 59.90138%, which is interesting given my anti-geek ribbing.

    Regarding the voting comparison…indeed interesting for the simple sake of being such. In the wider context of politics, however, the cycles aren’t unusual.

    As for why Republicans are currently holding the short straw, there are a variety of reasons, some valid, some not. Living in the Internet Age provides access to information and people from all over the world. On the other hand, it also streams hyperbolic sound bites which can become talking points of “truth” and the basis for belief or making decisions.

  13. Blogging from the Kitsap County Republican Party meeting.

    New chairperson of the KCRP is Sandra LaCelle. New vice chair is Nate Randall.

    Kathryn Simpson

  14. I was just going to say it. Mary Colburn’s ideas about Republicans are just as likely to have come from Democrat’s characterizations of Republicans as from knowing actual Republicans.

    Apparently she thinks rich Democrats are rare. If you are greedy, rich, intolerant and want to ‘easily’ stay that way, you just have to become a Democrat and do the snow job.

    The last time I looked, most wealthy attorneys(lawsuit fame), wealthy Congressmen(the majority Democrats with a 22% approval rating), the Gates(anti-trust fame) and Kennedys(bootleg fame) are Democrats. Locally, perhaps most Microsoft employees and the intolerant Bainbridge Islanders are mostly Democrats of which I’m sure there are no CEO’s among them(not).

    I was just settling on what I find offensive about the stalwart Republicans when Mary reminds me of the more offensive stalwart Democrats.

  15. Fact Check on the CEO’s of the Big Three Automobile Industry:
    Alan Mulally, CEO of FORD, political contributions…

    Richard Wagoner, CEO of GM, political contributions…

    Robert Nardelli, CEO of Chrysler, political contributions…

    Both Mulally and Wagoner contribute more to Democrat candidates than Republican candidates. Nardelli is the only one of the three who contributed significantly more to Republicans than Democrats.

    Factcheck on AIG CEO, Robert Willumsted:

    Willumstad contributed equally to Republicans and Democrats.

    Why point all this out? Greed and selfishness are not exclusive to the Republican party. Rants about Republicans being filled with “unadulterated, ugly, greed” only perpetuate the hate mongering. No matter that your assertions are wrong to boot.

    You speak of “gay bashing” as wrong (and I’ll 100% agree, it is wrong)and yet you don’t see that your stereotyping and bashing of all members of the Republican Party is the same thing. Apparently, your “values” don’t dictate that bashing is wrong. Only that it is politically incorrect to “gay bash” but politically in vogue to “Republican bash”.

    Both are wrong. Try speaking to issues and get that chip off your shoulder about Republicans. Perhaps if you treated Republicans with respect, as all human beings deserve, you might even find some common ground from time to time.

    By the way, many abusive priests also went to church every Sunday for 50+ years. Sitting in church doesn’t bestow spiritual virtue any more than labeling oneself Democrat bestows political virtue or labeling oneself Republican bestows political greed.

    Kathryn Simpson

  16. Bill Gates is more of an opportunist, and tends to lean middle to right.

    Of the 50 Richest Members of Congress, 23 are Democrats. So it’s about even there.

    There isn’t much point to stereotyping about the left or right. is a good place to review political contributions, with the caveat that strategic donations don’t always equal political allegiance.

  17. Good point, RV.

    I was impressed to hear that the CEO of Ford is taking the lead from Lee Iacocca and pledging to only draw a dollar salary next year.

    I wish we had seen some restraint from the financial sector.

  18. What would have been “impressive” is if Alan Mulally had stepped up and said yes when he was asked directly by congress, a couple of weeks ago, if he would work for a dollar salary. He declined. Now his agreement just comes off as an desperate throw away gesture.

    Did you know that his family still resides here in Washington? Despite Boeing moving it’s corporate headquarters to Chicago under the then Condit/Mulally leadership, his family home is still here. He may not be flying his corporate jet to Washington (DC) anymore, but it appears that he is still flying home to Washington “State” on a lot more than one occasion. Not very impressive.

  19. I hear you, Mary. Though when one considers the overall compensation packages and stock options, it could still be seen as a throwaway gesture. People want blood and humility, and they’re getting it. Sort of…

    Big Three concessions of this nature will continue to draw both cheers and jeers. As soon as Mulally declared his choice to go from Detroit to D.C. by car, the media and others were on his back regarding the type and who would be driving it (they’ll be fuel-efficient hybrid cars).

    Sensationalist nonsense, ultimately. I don’t particularly care how he visits his family, as long as it isn’t on the corporate tab. The real issue is how these companies are being run, financial reporting practises, and C-suite/top executive bonus and compensation packages. If it proceeds, Congress should be very careful about how it approaches this bailout, including provisions to hold these companies accountable. That include unions.

    Frankly, market forces are a driver for much needed change, though lectures from the government given its own out-of-control spending are a bit ironic.

  20. So, would someone please explain why we are even considering bailing out these companies or the mortgage companies or the banks (beyond the FDIC coverage that we owe a duty to)???

    Seems like we are getting in more financial trouble with the bailouts than just letting the markets do what markets do… correct and balance themselves over time.

    Kathryn Simpson

  21. By no means the complete answer, but from the Big Three (B3) perspective, it’s about an estimated loss of 240k direct jobs, nearly 1m supplier jobs, and 1.8m other jobs. Federal, state, and local governments would be hit with $14.3 b. of increased transfer payments, $21.1 b. of less Social Security payroll taxes, and $24.7 b. less personal income taxes. This doesn’t include other domino effects in the market due to fear, etc.

  22. We should all be supporting the Big Three at this point. Yes, they made mistakes, especially like Hummers and the like, but if they are committed to providing quality cars that will meet fuel efficiency and emission standards. Let’s do it.

    AIG got away with out any guarantees and threw a party to celebrate, yet, that doesn’t mean we can afford to punish a separate industry, especially one that as RV says, employs thousands of people.

    Bankruptcy can’t be an option. People won’t buy cars if they can’t rest assured that the manufacturer will be in business to make sure that their warranties are valid and that repair parts can be found.

    We can add so many creative caveats to the loan, like the fuel efficiency and emission requests, but we also come up with other creative means to get old gas guzzling clunkers off the road. Imagine if we could recycle them the way that the country did during WWII, turning Hummers and the like into wind turbines, etc.

    There is a lot we can do here. But, once again we must be creative and not punish this industry. They made mistakes, they recognize them, it’s time to move on.

    Let your Congress people know we need to keep jobs in America and we need to retool this industry. I’d go back in a heartbeat to driving an American made car, if they made good on serious promises.

    Mary Colborn

  23. I do drive an American car and in four years it has fewer than 25 thousand miles on it. If I had to replace it, I would buy another American car…probably the same one.

    Speaking of Hummers…I love the look of them and would probably buy one under different circumstances …but have never driven one.
    Someone local has a yellow Hummer seen often on its way to (Seabeck?) and I drool.

    Years prior to our current American economic challenge, I drove a little Datsun F10 about eleven years, added well over 100 thousand miles and sold her to commuter who added another f100 thousand miles with few problems-the last I heard.

    That said…I won’t support a foreign company, no matter the cost savings in today’s economic climate….that is what recumbent trikes are for…exercise and traveling.
    Sharon O”Hara

  24. I stopped buying American cars, when both Fords I owned ended up overheating on a regular basis. In spite of replacing water pumps repeatedly and everything else connected, the problem persisted. Repair shops said that it was a design flaw in the system.

    In any case, I switched to a Japanese car for several reasons – better gas mileage, which results in fewer carbon emissions, and a better quality that results in higher resale value.

    Some people say it is a myth that the quality of American made cars dropped, I disagree. However, like I said, I would go back if they made solid promises and delivered.

    It’s too bad you don’t see how harmful Hummers are in a multiple of ways. The wanton disregard for energy resources is up there at the top of the list.

    But, it is hard to ever convince a Republican to put his or her own best interests aside and do what is right for all. Just my opinion.

  25. Mary, it is not a question of the ‘harm’ of Hummers… I said I liked the look of them and would probably buy one under different circumstances.

    How can my statement relate to your…””It’s too bad you don’t see how harmful Hummers are in a multiple of ways. The wanton disregard for energy resources is up there at the top of the list.” ?

    Sometimes the more blind and die in the wool Democrats speak, the more Republican I lean.

    I’ve owned several American cars and well remember the mis-adventures with one in particular…they were bought used and many miles to their credit.

    My last adventure with the wagon was an aborted trip to Ocean Shores with my kids. The wagon died but I had enough momentum to get to the shoulder of the road. Luckily a kind gentleman noticed our dilemma (I had the hood up) and offered to tow us to a near-by station with his open stock truck. I recall the debris flying back to splatter against the windshield and into the open car windows. Debris or not, he showed the (human) spirit of helpfulness.

    His truck didn’t have lights and I needed the window down so I could hear him yell directions. My kids kept their faces covered.

    Mary, believe it or not, people of all nationalities, race, gender, political preference, are helpful toward those in need.
    That is the Human Condition.
    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  26. “But, it is hard to ever convince a Republican to put his or her own best interests aside and do what is right for all. Just my opinion.”

    I guess Abraham Lincoln was just motivated by his own selfish interest by seeking freedom for those in slavery? Teddy Roosevelt was just protecting his own vacation opportunities by preserving many of our most magnificient national parks? Dwight Eisenhower was just making sure his townhouse in Paris was preserved when he served as the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during WW2 and selfishly began the Interstate Highway system, as President, only so that he could selfishly enjoy long car trips when he retired? Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush were just self-serving jerks when they were working so hard on bringing down the iron curtain?

    The really sad thing about some folks is that they can’t get past their hate and venom to see that people with different perspectives can find value in one another and work together towards the common good, even when they are sometimes working from opposing points of view. It must be very stressful to see the world in such a sour way all the time.

    Kathryn Simpson

  27. Binion here:

    12.62327 – geekish tendencies

    Compared to some on this board, I have geek envy.

    I also didn’t notice anything about stamp collecting, coin collecting, pen collecting, zine founding, making mosaics out of Metro transfers, reading political non-fiction to unwind or over-doting on cats.

    Geekdom is being dominated by the D&D/technology camps. I feel left out, which should up my score.

  28. Poor Andrew…

    I am curious, Mary, have you calculated your carbon footprint? If so, what is your score, and which tool did you use?

    Some of my work in the past included metrics which quantified this. There were many passionate debates in meetings where some attempted to make the argument you did. When scores were tallied, those from the left didn’t score much higher – if at all – than their right leaning counterparts. It was eye opening for them, even if some minds remained closed.

  29. Actually, RV, it’s probably way too high and therein lies the problem. I need to do something major with my existing home and heating system. At the coldest part of the winter, my electrical heat costs $600/month, let alone carbon emissions.

    I refrain from heating the home, but then it drops to 48 degrees or lower inside and I worry for the cat. So, yes, I am investigating ways to lower my energy usage and carbon footprint overall. Yes, it is too high, hence the desire to pursue a greener home and use what I learn as a model.

    You had mentioned something about a blog spot months ago. I thought blogging the experience of moving away from a high carbon footprint (with the house) would be educational for others (as well as me). I need to investigate that more.

    Thanks for words of wisdom as always.

    (Loved Peggy’s visit to Port Orchard to speak of her purse business. Thanks for the introduction.)


  30. Good conversation.
    Most of us consume too much energy and investigate ways to reduce consumption.
    Heat pumps are NOT the answer, we have two.
    One is probably 15 years old, but the other failed and we replaced it about 3 years ago.
    My husband looked at Thermo-heat but decided we don’t have enough property to install it.
    Unless the area reserved for another drain field isn’t needed and we could use it for Thermo heat installation.
    So. Who, in this area, visits homes and evaluates the best and cleanest source of power for the individual homes and property?
    Sharon O’Hara

  31. That’s a good question, Sharon. It’s also a good job opportunity. I believe that Shoreline Community College is offering a certificate in energy auditing. Whereby someone would inspect your home and offer solid advice on which way to go to make changes.

  32. Energy efficiency is part of the measurement, but it’s actually much larger and about how we live. Some tools you can use include:

    This isn’t about evil Republicans who hate or abuse the environment versus saint;y Democrats who will sacrifice their first born to protect it. We’re all in this together,

    Sharon and Mary – Puget Sound Energy has a Green Power programme which involves financing for wind farms and solar power projects. has a listing of green companies and resources. is another resource, and Kitsap County had a Greenworks programme. Vicki Bushnell might be able to point you in the right direction on the latter. And yes, blog it once your house project is underway.

    Peggy follows her passion, and parlayed it into a growing enterprise which pays forward: kudos to her.

  33. I met with what was the Obama for Change group, which is now called Kitsap Village of Hope yesterday – it’s the President Elect’s initiative to create bipartisan groups working for solutions.

    The leader, River Curtis-Stanley asked for input on projects we can undertake. I suggested community gardens. The group decided then and there that they would take on this as a long term project. So, now I am the chairperson/lead. Heavy sigh. I say that because I have always created community gardens where I have lived, but not in Kitsap. Because basically, I have been waiting for those “in power” and “authority” to do so. A friend and business consultant, scolded me recently at length, saying, “we’re tired of your rants about this issue. They’re draining. You have no option, you must do this.” So, anyway, I guess the rants are over. The work begins.

    I’ll be reaching out to people of all persuasions to map assets (assess skills), determine locations, work out logistics, find resources and begin the hard work of creating the gardens.

    But, if we’re going to get beyond where we are – where people are overtaxing the food banks, it will take work.

    Thanks for your comments, RV and Sharon. Sorry for my rants about “evil Republicans.”


  34. For starters, Mary… I’ve written somewhere else here that every community park should have a garden, including fruit and nut trees through-out each park…
    Sharon O’Hara

  35. I thought Howe Farm was supposed to set aside space for community gardens? If so, I sure the County would love a dedicated volunteer coordinator.

    Kathryn Simpson

  36. On Monday December 8th, the Pastor or Memorial Lutheran Church (10th and Veneta) hosted a Neighborhood Meeting. He had noticed that many of us in the neighborhood had combined our private funding, time and labor with a grant from the city and spent a couple of weekends improving areas along our portion of 10th Street.

    One of the participants at the meeting brought up the fact that our very old and established neighborhood contains a significant amount of fruit trees. Every year most of the fruit from these trees ends up on the ground or goes to waste. Many of us in the neighborhood have pledged in this next year to organize our time and with property owner permission, harvest the fresh fruit and donate it to the local food banks. Not only will this effort keep our neighborhood looking better, but the donations will benefit many members of the community. I am sure there are several other neighborhoods in the area who could contribute in the same way. It’s ok to think outside the “Garden” a little.

    Colleen Smidt

  37. So, anyway, I guess the rants are over. The work begins.

    Good on you, Mary. We all go where we’re called, and each effort can make a difference.

    I have a close friend with Seattle Tilth. I can arrange a meet or phone call if it helps. They’re even looking for an Executive Director.

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