Did you guys know that Democrats are to blame for all the smoke that's been stinging our eyes and molesting the lungs of our asthmatics recently? That's the claim floated by Republican Senate candidate Susan Hutchison in a barely coherent statement released yesterday.
Cantwell says the devastating smoke from wildfires is a result of global warming, but the experts will tell you it's mismanagement of our forests. We need science-based resource mgmt policies, not a Senator beholden to extreme environmental special interests. Watch & RT to share! pic.twitter.com/ulK2xKcXr9— Susan Hutchison (@Susan4Senate) August 21, 2018
Hutchison first argues without evidence that Senator Maria Cantwell has "fought forest management on federal lands," which is "a disastrous policy that now affects us all." She then slams Cantwell for failing to support a nameless "bi-partisan bill in the Senate that provided forest fire solutions" before tying up the whole package with a mixed metaphor. "We now know that where there’s smoke, there’s mismanagement of forests," Hutchison writes. "For too long, Cantwell and her fellow Seattle liberals have promoted a policy that’s harmed us all."
That's right. Seattle's uh… mismanagement of Canadian fires is why some of us are out here pricing face masks.
Meanwhile, back in the world of truth and facts and reality, scientists widely cite climate change as the root cause of the wildfires smoking out the west. A warmer climate in Washington leads to drier soils, which increases the risk of wildfires. The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that "the climate is likely to more than double the area in the Northwest burned by forest fires during an average year by the end of the 21st century." Fuel accumulation and sprawl increase the devastation of these fires. This is the new normal, as Sydney Brownstone pointed out three years ago.
Though Hutchison claims she will "promote science-based natural resource protections," it must be said that the president she supports with all her heart believes that climate change is a Chinese hoax, and that the party to which she belongs is stacked with climate change deniers and hucksters looking to sell off public lands to the dirtiest bidders.
And about that "fire solutions" bill Cantwell didn't sign onto in 2015. I'm having a little trouble finding it using Hutchison's vague language, so I asked her campaign to provide me the name of the bill. I'll keep looking, too, and update this post once I learn more. But while we wait: Whether or not Cantwell failed to vote for a "fire solutions" bill Hutchison liked in 2015 only matters if the senator had done nothing about wildfire protection and prevention since then. That couldn't be further from the truth.
Hutchison's attack comes after several announcements from Cantwell detailing her work on fighting wildfires from her position as a ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Back in March, Cantwell led a bipartisan charge to add "$2 billion for Forest Service efforts to combat the blazes" into the omnibus budget bill. And in the last week, Cantwell secured $1 million for studying cancers in firefighters and unveiled a new federal plan to address wildfires in the west, which she worked on with Agricultural Secretary Sonny Purdue.
Hutchison trailed Cantwell by 30 points in the August primary, which is pretty bad even for someone who is only running as a dignity beard for the state GOP. If Hutchison wasn't facing off against Cantwell, Patriot Prayer gun-nut doofus guy Joey Gibson would be representing the GOP at the top of the ballot.
I know she has to do something to legitimize her Senate run against a three-term incumbent with a pretty decent record, but these claims seem a little desperate.