I've been so focused on national politics, keeping ye olde blog happily updated, and this bloody story that I very nearly missed the Washington State primary election. I've really got to keep better tabs on my political email.
It's a damned good thing Washington state plumps for absentee ballots, or tomorrow would've been a clusterfuck. Damned good thing my roommate put the ballot where I could find it. Especially since she's on it. This is the first time I've gotten to vote for someone I know in a statewide election. Just don't ask me what I'm voting for - I can't remember the official name of the position, but it's basically sending her off to make sure Obama plants his ass in the Oval Office.
This also marks the first election in which I am delighted to fill in the little bubble next to a politician's name. My Congressman, Jay Inslee, is up for re-election.
I've spent the entirety of this year wanting to vote for that man.
I come from Arizona, where your choice is a) a noxious Republicon or b) a Democrat without a hope in hell of winning the damned election. I've never been represented by a person who actually represented me. Then I moved up here, and started filling in petitions, and discovered what it feels like to have perfect trust in a politician.
Damned good, is how. Muy bueno. Tres bien, even.
I can trust Jay. Oh, I'll grant you, there's some things in his voting record he and I could quibble over, just as there is with any politician. For instance, that yes vote on that "Importance of Christmas and Christianity" bullroar, I could definitely give him some guff for (although he rather made up for it by voting against the National Day of Prayer). But that kind of thing pales in comparison to issues that matter. And on those, he speaks for me.
Use of Military Force Against Iraq: NO
Military Commissions Act of 2006: NO
Stem Cell Research bills: YES
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 NO
Oh, I could go on. SCHIP, Social Security, Minimum Wage, and a ton of other issues, but I haven't got time for more than some highlights. It's enough to show that on the most important issues, he's got our backs.
Whenever I sign petitions, I get long, thoughtful emails from Jay explaining his positions and thanking me for my input. I've published one here. I should publish more. All I can say is, it's pretty unique to get a little thrill of excitement when an email from a Congressman lands in my box. Other politicians for the most part just send a one or two paragraph response saying "thanks for participating in democracy, good on you, here's some pablum that won't tell you if I heard one fucking word you said and have a nice day." Not Jay. I don't get emails from him so much as treatises. I'm not left wondering if I've just been petitioning a brick wall. I know what he's thinking, and why, and then he backs that up with his vote.
You know what that makes me feel like? An adult. A valued constituent. More than just a person who can be snookered into voting. I even get the sense that if he takes a stand against an issue I'm passionate about, he'll make sure I understand why. And it will be well-reasoned, make sense, and even if we remain in disagreement, I can at least respect his position. That's purely hypothetical, o' course, because he's been right in line with my own thinking on the important stuff since I moved here.
I appreciate being represented by a good, intelligent man who truly cares about this country. He does his job very well indeed. And that's why I felt so damned good filling in that little bubble by his name. I even would've hauled my sorry arse out of bed early to vote in person if I hadn't found my absentee ballot in the nick o' time.
If Jay Inslee ever runs for President, I'll be working my ass off for his campaign. Guaranteed. And it's going to feel fantastic making sure he remains my Congressman for many years to come.
Yeah, I'm a fan of my congressman. However did you guess?