The Council Races Come Down to Two Versions of Cosmopolitanism: Kshama Sawant's and Jeff Bezos's



Eh, I think it is better to frame it as a contest between just another non-entity and a rabble-rouser. Sawant's weakness is that she is perceived by some of us as being more interested in her revolution than in being an effective representative for her district. She would be wise to pay heed. Even if she gets our vote, she might not next time.


The sweet, sweet scent of desperation continues to flow from The Stranger’s election posts. The difference between CM Sawant and CM O’Brien is the latter knowing when to quit. O’Brien decided not to waste his allies’ time and effort on a doomed attempt to keep him on the Council; Sawant will gladly waste any amount of other people’s time, effort, and money in a failed attempt to further her personal ambitions.

Since persons far away from Seattle care nothing about CM Sawant’s policy failures (still no mention of the Showbox in your endorsement of her, L’Etranger?) they’ll frame it as Seattle rejecting a Socialist. Well, if they want to make Socialist synonymous with incompetent, that’s too bad for Socialists.


Good piece, but if “get out” means “stand idly by as a mob with no individual volition surrounds a lone red hat”, well, I can’t allow that.

Just a numbers thing.


If all of the Amazon funded candidates win, then Seattle’s problems become Jeff Bezos’s problems. I think we need to hold the business community responsible for their candidates. After all, they brought us Ed Murray.


@2 You know what's desperate, tensor? Clinging to the possibility of taking Sawant's scalp after the primaries decisively squashed your previous chest-beating claims that the election would sweep all the lefties out of the council on a wave of righteous hobo-loathing.


Good god, it the choice is between Kashama Sawant and Jeff Bezos, we're fucked


The false dichotomy of local nonpartisan elections! Trying to classify candidates in a system without neat little ideological boxes.


"one might find it hard to explain Sawant's support of the small business Saba"

No, not at all, Charles. You've heard of Occam's Razor. Sawant's pandering, pure and simple. She's trying to make the very routine 'eviction' of a business that just happens to be owned by immigrants, into a 'civil rights' issue. She can't factually claim there's racist intent here, so she exalts what's really a mediocre Ethiopian restaurant into some essential cultural gem. It seems the only people who really care are the restaurant owners and a few regular customers. But it gets her face in the news, which is her preferred drug delivery system, the drug being attention. And when she's Jonesing, there's no limit to her absurdities.

Notice also that Sawant's silent on White businesses being evicted because their buildings sold, something that happens all the time. No high in that.

It's the pandering, stupid.


@2 You seem rather certain that this is going to go your way. Hubris? Why are you wound up about it anyway? Do you have some inside knowledge that Orion is planning to euthanize the homeless?


@6: It seems that many peoples' money--including Kshama Sawant's, who regularly uses Amazon--is on Amazon.


@7 The boxes are pretty clear in this case, though: on the one side there's Dark Lord Sawant, Terror of the Seven Districts and Hand of the Cult of CryptoStalin, and on the other side there's whassisname. You know, the nice white guy.

Enough, at any rate, for the cyber-heroes strap on their internet lightsabers and go fight some evil.


@7: Then I vote for the less annoying.


In a way, Sawant represents the Bourgeoisie, in that she stands for The Showbox and old Seattle, a diverse multicultural city of low rents, whereas Orion represents the Technocrati, who wish to replace that fabled renter-based city with one of condos and townhouses, who exist in a space that considers multiculturalism to be a mix of White and Latinx with a few Asians with PhDs.

But even this can change.

Both rebel against the Climate Crisis adaptation of Seattle, where the old 125,000 population city is replaced with a million person (no, I am not joking) urban city of 40-100 story buildings, where car-oriented lifestyles are replaced with biking walking e-scooters and solowheels.

This future city is pumped up by capital flight from tech cities in the Asian urban sphere, fleeing oppression but with attitudes that see nothing wrong with parents buying them million dollar condos in foreign lands, as the desperate multitudes flee the burning South for the cool refuge of the Emerald City. It has no loyalty to the old vision of Seattle, the rough-hewn hard-drinking town of stevedores and loggers and their loud music of conflict: it sees the future as a vision from Bladerunner but with less privacy and higher costs.

To be frank, there's not much you can do about this. As Canada plugs up the money spigots pushing Asian cash into their housing and pharamaceutical markets, it spills into us, and our electeds never have understood that they are the very people who created Abscam, the very sellouts who were crushed by the Feds for their corruption, and the cycle repeats.


No matter who gets up there, the vox populi is suppressed when any one corporate sponsor goes Saruman on an election and buys their personal Grima Wormtongue whip on the small council. Brought to you by Shitizens United; corporations are people, and each one of those people shares an equal voice as I do, so long as money that is speech always flips a 0 t a 1, turns a yes to a no, turns a critical free thinker into a duckspeaking outrage slave. When we eliminate that, we open our elections to the highest bidder, worldwide, and get played like fiddles while fighting each other over the petty concerns of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. That is what is at stake here; can you be bought or not?

And if Sawant is so bad at her job (Según tú), perhaps you should stop hurling heavy objects at her and complaining that she didn't clean up the mess you made. Be constructive with your blues.


@16 Honestly, I'm surprised he's even noticed she exists. He's the Übermensch building the first Free City in outer space for the benefit of all humanity, isn't he? Why would this transcendent being waste time worrying about the mites on the flies on his earth-boots?

Then again, the nemesis of King Koopa the sorcerer king is... um, an immigrant plumber? So maybe you're onto something after all.


Look, I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I'm in it for the money.


I think that the big worry will be the loss of about $72,000 a year that the Social Alternative party receives from Sawant. If she loses the money tap will be shut off.


Another desperate shot at reframing this race.

It’s isn’t about socialism v capitalism. It isn’t about cosmopolitanism vs whatever the fuck you are going on about... it’s about a city council member who has proven herself useless on the matters that she theoretically has domain over v somebody who has a record of getting stuff done.


@5: You know what's even more desperate? Stating your opinion as fact when you know full well you can't actually deliver those facts: "...previous chest-beating claims that the election would sweep all the lefties out of the council on a wave of righteous hobo-loathing."

Now watch, in risibly helpless impotence, as I make you into an example of such desperation: Provide full quotes, with urls, of my strident ("chest-beating") claims (multiple quotes) that "hobo-loathing" was the driver for any upcoming change in our Council. I've asked you for this proof already, and you've either ignored my request, or tiresomely re-stated that your (groundless) opinion was indeed a fact. Let's watch as you do either of those again.

What I have said, quite clearly, is what @20 noted: voters can -- and should! -- use elections to reward aggressively incompetent policy-making (Amazon is taxed! The Showbox is saved!) by removing those aggressively incompetent policy-makers from office. Please feel free to argue with that all you like. (At least you can quote me on it.)

@9: "You seem rather certain that this is going to go your way."

Unlike @5, I can actually read results of primary elections, and put them in context. I can also read public-opinion polling. ("Poll: Seattle voters want change on council and are split on Durkan
Disapproval of the city’s handling of homelessness is high as an election looms." Neither augers well for either our current Council incumbents, or their wanna-bees (Shaun Scott, Money Morales).

And even if CM Sawant gets enough out-of-city money to buy another term, so what? No one on the Council even listens to her any more. She's nothing more than an object lesson in how not to legislate on the local level.


tensor, do you even realize what a self-important little shit you're being?

Nobody is obliged to go and re-read your miserable, bloviating comment history on your demand.

And nobody needs to, thank God. This is a pretty small room, and you've been screaming in the corner long enough for all the regulars to know exactly what you think.


@21 he doesn't have to use the Stranger's horrible search function because anybody who reads these pages on a regular basis can confirm that you have been chest beating prematurely and ad-infinitum about kicking city council to the curb while demonizing the homeless has been the primary weapon used by anti-tax zealots like yourself to exempt your corporate overlords from taxation. You even dare claiming that taxing Bezos amounted to taxing you, so unless your name is Jeff, I'll assume that you are a complete moron.

Polls are clear on one thing: Seattle voters want to tax big business to fund affordable housing, like the head tax proposed to do, by a large margin (16 points). Your propaganda has been debunked and election day will show whether voters have bought into Amazon and co's undermining of city council.


Alright, I'll bite (back) with another quite from Voltaire, "common sense is not so common." Common sense dictates that while she is a well-intentioned idealist, she's an incompetent city council representative.

The fight to save showbox is great (ignoring the cost of tilting at that windmill she effectively built), but she only cares because it draws headlines and human interest, her favorite intersectionality. Large vehicles sliding down Boston because her office won't respond to repeated requests to post signage forbidding trucks? Happened 5 times this year and represents imminent danger to public safety. I guess she'll care when trucks aren't just dangling over the freeway and we pay the price in blood, lawsuits and taxes to buy her some more press.

She needs to pursue national office, and give her current office to someone who is interested in doing the job.


@21 I'm not sure how the primary results back you up. I'll go out on a limb here: you are very likely to be disappointed. I think it is maybe legit to criticize Sawant for being indifferent to the fact that she represents a district, but for being 'divisive'? Nah. I don't see where we need more colorless non-entities on the council.


[Great pic, Chas!]


@13 that's the "paradox" of tolerance and it has a pretty simple resolution: as a tolerant person it is your duty not to tolerate intolerance. To do so would lead to an intolerant, oppressive society. There's really nothing mysterious or hypocritical about it, it is just you, as a tolerant and rational person, not tolerating those who would oppress and brutalize others and claim that the time for discussion is over. It is simply remaining focused on the goal which is liberty and justice for all, rather than a skin-deep "contradiction" of those values, such as a neo-Nazi being barred from speaking and recruiting at a college campus. It is not a contradiction at all, if you view the tolerance as a means to that actual goal, as opposed to the goal itself.


@1 -- I think you nailed it. The obsession with this race is bizarre. It is by no means the most important thing happening politically in this city right now, and it isn't even the most important city council race. These candidates agree on practically every issue. The differences between them are minor, and largely inconsequential.

In contrast, just about every other race could make a huge difference in the city. Morales, Scott, Juarez, Strauss and Lewis all support increased density (in one form or another). Their opponents all want to lock down the single family zones, preventing apartments from being built in most of the city. The result will be a continuation of the high rental prices, which in turn leads to more homelessness. Cheaper market rate housing won't eliminate homelessness, but it helps. Most of the homeless are simply poor. They aren't addicts (alcohol or otherwise), nor do they have mental illness. They simply can't afford the sky high rents in this city. The agencies are overwhelmed, and can't provide enough subsidized housing. The agencies charged with reducing homelessness have to spend too much time helping "regular" poor people, and can't address those with addiction or mental health issues (the folks on the street that many wrongly assume are a majority of the homeless).

The point is, if Sawant or Orion wins, it won't make much difference. They both support more apartments. But there are plenty of candidates who are running on reactionary, NIMBY policies, even though they call themselves liberals.


@22: " you even realize what a self-important little shit you're being?"

The kind who constantly insists his unsupported opinions have the status of proven facts? Yeah, that's pretty full-of-oneself attitude, I'll admit.

"Nobody is obliged to go and re-read your miserable, bloviating comment history on your demand."

Nobody is obliged to treat your ignorant opinions as facts, no matter how many times you demand it. Assertions made without evidence will be dismissed without evidence. Even yours.

@23: "...he doesn't have to use the Stranger's horrible search function..."

'He didn't do the math because math is HARD' doesn't exactly qualify as a ringing endorsement, but it's the closest to one he has earned, I'll give you that.

Followed by a 50 (!) word-salad. (Charles, is that you?)

"You even dare claiming that taxing Bezos amounted to taxing you, so unless your name is Jeff, I'll assume that you are a complete moron."

Again: no quote, no citation, no happen, but here's what your self-described great powers of recall may be totally misremembering: CM Sawant et al called the EHT the "Amazon Tax," or "tax on Bezos," even though the city's own estimates showed ~75% of the tax would be paid by firms not named "Amazon", and upon the jobs of 125+ thousand persons not employed at Amazon. (I'll assume your complete failure to pull your head out of your ass accounts for your confusion on these points.)

"Polls are clear on one thing: Seattle voters want to tax big business to fund affordable housing, like the head tax proposed to do, by a large margin (16 points)."

Since you didn't put anything original into your error this time, I'll just quote in full my previous evisceration of it:

'I did not dispute that the poll showed "Seattle voters want to tax big business to finance affordable housing." I noted the EHT's revenues would not have been spent ONLY upon affordable housing, and the question you reference cites affordable housing -- and ONLY affordable housing. By making an incomplete and misleading statement about what the EHT's revenues would have been spent upon, you're making a claim the very text of the question you cite simply does not support. And yet you accuse someone else of spewing propaganda. Priceless!'