The Stranger Interviews Congressman Adam Smith, Who Says His Dem-Socialist Challenger Is Totally Wrong About Him

Comments

1

Do we really think that Adam Smith's district would go for a far left candidate during the general election or possibly hand the seat to a Republican?

This isn't the election to be fucking around on these issues. We have to win no matter what and if that means going with "safe" candidates then so be it.

2

Just like Nikkita Oliver, Sarah Smith will generate a bunch of press from The Stranger and only The Stranger, and then go on to get walloped - never to be heard from again.

3

@1 Washington State follows a top two primary structure. Both candidates are D's.

4

@3, thank you for the correction. I just moved here 4 months ago so am a little confused about the primary structure and since Adam Smith isn't in my district....

5

@2: It was weird the way we were the only ones who wrote about Oliver.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/outsider-and-abolitionist-nikkita-oliver-vies-to-head-the-system-and-transform-it/

https://crosscut.com/2017/03/nikkita-oliver-activist-seattle-mayor

https://kcts9.org/programs/in-close/nikkita-oliver-seattle-mayor-candidate-ed-murray-peoples-party

https://www.cityartsmagazine.com/honest-lament/

https://www.seattlemag.com/news-and-features/most-influential-seattleites-2017-nikkita-oliver-dominique-davis-and-anne-levinson

https://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2017/7/24/candidate-profile-nikkita-oliver

http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2017/03/activist-nikkita-oliver-new-seattle-peoples-party-to-take-on-murray/

https://southseattleemerald.com/2017/03/08/vowing-a-transformative-campaign-artist-organizer-nikkita-oliver-enters-mayoral-race/

https://www.theurbanist.org/2017/06/30/2017-endorsement-questionnaire-nikkita-oliver/

https://thecisforcrank.com/2017/05/15/the-c-is-for-crank-interviews-nikkita-oliver/

Yeah, no. But I agree Sarah Smith is likely to get walloped — the folks who voted for the R in the primary are highly unlikely to vote for Sarah Smith in the general.

6

Great interview. Solid questions from Eli, and masterful responses from Rep. Smith. The power of knowledge, experience and expertise really comes through here. It helps that he actually has a long record of progressive leadership on which he can lean, but even scoring just on rhetoric this is a guy I'd want arguing on my behalf in Congress.

7

"And I'll also say that if I get reelected, I would be the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee." --A. Smith

The Repubs are gonna put a Dem in charge?!
Hmmmm.

8

@7 I'd say he is making a bit of a leap of logic, or whatever you want to call it there. If he gets re-elected AND the Dems succeed in flipping the House.

9

@7 - I caught that too. I think he's being optimistic, and with the state of the electorate right now, he has reason to be.

10

Rep. Smith, thank you so much for your leadership over the years, like voting for the 2001 AUMF, the Iraq War, and the Patriot Act! Where would we be without you?!

11

@8 -- oh, that's good.

Better than massive Repub support for his pro-War policies...
See: @10

12

Oliver never to be heard from again? Please, she needs a job and Harrell can retire with his millions.

13

I understand exactly why Smith is talking about the whole Clinton/Sanders rift. Because that is why most of the people who support Sarah Smith do so. Adam Smith, like most establishment Democrats spit in the face of his constituents, ignored the fact that they overwhelmingly preferred Bernie Sanders for President, told us he knew better than us, and chose to lose with Hillary rather than win with Bernie. These assholes elected Trump by backing a loser, and then are surprised we want to send them to retirement? Shit, of course we will back anyone who challenges him from the left.

14

Pressure from the left on any Democrat is a good thing.

15

I'm with Sarah.

16

@14: Yes, and pressure from the right on any Republican is a good thing. Chase all the freaks into their silos and let the rational middle rule the day.

17

Unlike a lot of people, I thought Sarah Smith came off well in her interview. She seems smart and savvy enough to actually be up to the job. But Adam Smith is clearly much more suited for the job in his district.

19

She is a clueless ideologue, just like Nikkita Oliver was/is.

20

Of course he’s asked about his immutable characteristics of being White, and Male. Then is led down the path of proving street cred by the number of Minorities he has working for him.

Identity politics at its finest. It’s not enough that he is a good rep, he must be willing to meet a quota of social victims.

Dan responding in this thread is funny. Really struck a cord with him when someone mentioned Nikkita. Remember her. She’s the only woman that I got the sense Savage would briefly switch teams for, he loved her so much. Must have been the incessant complaining that hooked him.

21

I should add that it’s interesting he’s pointed out as being white, while his leftist no-spin zone Nikkita Oliveresque opponent is touted as a female. As if being White is only a liability if you are male, but if you’re a female then you get a pass if you fall in-line.

Her only utility to identity politics is her sex. Make no mistake about it, he other liability is the fact that she’s a Socialist. I left out Democratic because there’s nothing Democratic about Socialism.

22

@16 Yes the crazy left who want free healthcare and education and a living wage. So radical. There is a right wing in America (the Democrats) and a crazy right wing in America (the Republicans). We need a left. We don't currently have one. Hence, pressure from the left is good.

23

I remember after the redistricting, and GW's war, when this Turd Blossom (think Tom Delay hugging Bush) Adam Smith sent out campaign mailers with NO indication that he was a democrat, or affiliated with the party. Adam Smith called himself an "Independant" voice.

We can do better than him, Patty Murray, and Cantwell...the sellout Clinton DLC democrats that have poisoned the party for TOO LONG.

24

“FREE...healthcare...education...living wage...”

Neither of those 3 things is free. Each costs money.

25

@dansavage - Ha. Point taken. Again and again and again. Cheers.

26

"... the folks who voted for the R in the primary are highly unlikely to vote
for Sarah Smith in the general." --the Dan Savage

UNLESS -- they happen to want Healthcare for ALL.
Improved Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Family Leave. Paid. Along with Daycare.
Prison Reform.
And More.

All those thing Republicans love to say we can NEVER Afford.
Well, certainly not -- not with THEM (and Corporate Dems) in charge.

27

21: there's plenty democratic about socialism-what happened in the Soviet Union and China was Stalinism, and the actual values of socialism had nothing to do with it-plus, today, the prohibitive majority of people who identify as socialists utterly reject the Soviet and Chinese models, as you know full well, and communism no longer exists as anything remotely resembling a "threat". The Cold War is as over now as it was in 1989.

ACTUAL socialism would give working people democratic control over their workplaces, as exists in co-operatives. We can run the workplace democratically better than it usually gets run by the "I started this business all by myself(it doesn't matter that daddy bailed me out four times)" characters and the fist-shaking Mr. DIthers types. Paid decently, treated with respect and dignity, given real input and real decision-making power in how their workplaces are run-as well as real responsibility to make sure the workplace continues to function-and they will run the workplace well and run it efficiently, and continue the massive increases in productivity that workers in this country have been responsible for even though they've received no reward for their valiant labor since the 1970s-wages have stagnated since then for no valid reason, while massive increases in CEO pay-despite the fact that CEOs' have had virtually nothing to do with the success of American business-accompanied by endless mass layoffs(even in times of "recovery, times when mass layoffs should never need to happen)of the people who created all the wealth.

None of that is needed. We can run the workplace, and all other aspects of life, democratically and cooperatively. We don't need "the malefactors of great wealthy". We never actually did.

28

1) Socialism is just another stage of capitalism. From laissez faire to regulated and taxed to socialism as the economy matures so should the economic system and rules under which it operates. So it is not socialism v. capitalism it is obsolete economic framework v. mature framework that ensures that all benefit from the economic system they have been forced to live with.
Smith is a very good politician. He knows which way the wind blows and knows enough to vote for bills he knows will fail so he can cite those votes in defense of his goal of getting reelected and continueing to guareentee his corporate backers all the protection he can give them.

29

27:

A remarkable paean to "democratically controlled" workplaces that was.

But, why is it that despite the many advantages of "worker control" of the means of production (an idea that by now has a pretty long history), such businesses remain on the margins, at best? If worker control results in better economic outcomes, why hasn't at least one worker controlled enterprise rocketed to the top of its industry, thereby clearly establishing the superiority of the model? Could it be that "worker control" doesn't work?

Also, what keeps "democratic socialists" from establishing their own "democratically controlled" workplaces? Why do so many proponents of "democratically controlled" workplaces (read: now that you've started and financed and built the business, move over, we know better than you) toil away in undemocratic workplaces (or the SCC), rather than showing the world clearly how superior "democratic control" of the workplace is?

30

In Germany FIFTY PERCENT of the Boards of Directors is Legally-mandated to be made up from Employees/Workers in that Business. (They are strong believers in Socialism -- PLUS Democracy.)

Here? Fucking ZERO.

Great Comments, @27 and @29.

We do NOT need people making 200, 300, FIVE HUNDRED times what the workforce is paid, merely to lead a Corporation. A two-tier society, with one group surrounded by armed guards / razor-wire Gated Communities, and the other living in the fucking Streets, if they're Lucky, is where we're headed.

WHEN did WE Vote for that?

We have an Opportunity to change / rethink that horrific model
for one where we can all live like Human Beings.

I know which one I want.

31

@30: Oops -- correction: Great comments @27 and @28
-- NOT @29.
Apologies.

32

@13 Right on. And @28, your comment nails it:

Smith is a very good politician. He knows which way the wind blows and knows enough to vote for bills he knows will fail so he can cite those votes in defense of his goal of getting reelected and continueing to guareentee his corporate backers all the protection he can give them.

This is exactly what Sarah is calling out, and what people at least claim to be tired of. Everybody who voted Bernie sure is. I am hopeful Adam Smith earns the nickname Smug Smith: he ticks all the boxes but doesn't do anything for his constituents that are human beings and not war corporations.

My personal view is that Adam Smith is not a legitimate candidate. Held to the Nuremberg standard, he's a war criminal.

33

29: Actually, there's been a surge in the creation of co-ops and collectives lately, so socialists and anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists and ordinary folks who simply want to make their own economic decisions cooperatively without being at the mercy of Bezos/Gates/Allen types ARE, in fact, creating those models all around us. Many ARE financially successful. If we haven't seen a co-op/democratic management enterprise that equals Amazon or Big Mermaid yet, it's largely for two reasons:

1) The financial sector has not wanted alternatives to the Gates/Gordon Gekko/Julius C. Dithers model to become the dominant model in the U.S. or global economy-which is why we need to establish a National Co-op Bank;

2) The issue of economies of scale, which is beginning to be addressed by the trend towards establishing networks of cooperatives(on the model of the Mondragon Cooperatives in Spain, which have been a major force in the Spanish and Euskadi/Basque economies for decades now).

The cooperative revolution is happening, and there's no reason for anyone who isn't a bazillionaire to NOT want it to happen. The idea that the economy MUST be run by arrogant, petulant "self-made" economic tyrant-toddlers(Hi Elon, glad to see you're reading this-how's the tunnel to Dodgers Stadium going? )is only in our minds because the corporate media has induced us to believe that, just as the same corporate and allegedly "liberal" media has told us all, relentlessly, since 1981 that there is NO alternative to austerity, greater inequality, the end of job security and, if they get their way, the end of pensions for all but the few. There ARE alternatives, there are other ways. We just have to believe we can use our own ingenuity and creativity, working together, for the good of all. Working together without expectation of disproportionate personal gain works in times of disasters-why couldn't it work the rest of the time? Greed and fear of want have never been the only things that motivated people, and the pursuit of material gain has never been the only valid purpose for living.

34

AWESOME Comments, AlaskanbutnotSeanParnell.
THANK You.

35

(forgot the Great quote!)

"There ARE alternatives, there are other ways. We just have to believe we can use our own ingenuity and creativity, working together, for the good of all. Working together without expectation of disproportionate personal gain works in times of disasters-why couldn't it work the rest of the time?

Greed and fear of want have never been the only things that motivated people, and the pursuit of material gain has never been the only valid purpose for living."

36

this dude's remarks on wanting to cull dod or do anything about stopping the saudi campaign against yemen are smoke. he is absent on all of rep ted lieu's letters, and his "reforms" amendment he is proud of https://adamsmith.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/smith-leads-colleagues-in-passing-yemen-reforms (part of the $717b ndaa for 2019 he voted for) proves he doesn't care at all, it simply "requires" various reports to be written next year, and more pay-offs to those living where they grew up and just happened to have their lives destroyed by the misogynist saudi kingdom with us help. adam is not a lone monster, he's got lots of help. he can return home and smoke all he wants, without it supporting the starvation of 18 million.

37

@18 If you are referring to the Presidential Primary, of course Hillary won, it was completely meaningless. Working Democrats took the time to show up at the caucuses, you know, where our votes actually matter, and overwhelmingly chose Bernie. Why would they then waste a postage stamp on a meaningless ballot? Progressives focus on accomplishing things, not winning meaningless popularity contests.