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Friday, March 24, 2006

Joel Connelly doesn’t think I’m funny :(

Posted by on March 24 at 11:52 AM

But maybe he would if he grew a sense of humor.

In a PI article today titled “Cantwell’s vilification by left is bizarre”, devout SLOG fan Joel Connelly censures me for criticizing Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell here and here and here.

Courtesy of the PI:

The senator was pilloried again in a profane article on The Stranger’s blog for remarks after Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was nominated as interior secretary. Cantwell told a news-service reporter that Kempthorne “knows the Northwest.”

The blogger, who grew up in Idaho, has a real hate for Kempthorne; witness this line: “I bagged (Kempthorne’s) groceries once in the Boise Co-op when I was 16, and that night my parents told me they were getting divorced. Coincidence?”

[Confidential to Joel: It’s pretty weak that you lifted a joke from my original Kempthorne slog post to illustrate local Cantwell slandering. It wasn’t even a joke that “pilloried” Cantwell. How does that prove your point at all?
You could have at least referenced Kempthorne’s hideous enviro-record, which led to the subsequent concerns I had about Maria’s nonchalance about working with him. I cannot overlook your poor reporting any more than you can overlook my sense of humor, it appears.]

Elected officials are not above reproach, Joel, Honey. And I have not vilified Cantwell, in fact, on several occasions I have given her mad props for winning a swimsuit competition. Other than that, what I’ve done is bring attention her squirrelly acquiescence to work with an environmental villain.

Here’s an email I wrote morning after reading Joel’s article:

Time will tell how Cantwell handles working with Kempthorne. It’s not like I want her to punk out on the environment, but preserving it is obviously not Kempthorne’s main concern (given his record—which I’ve pointed out many times), and Cantwell’s eagerness, or even friendly acceptance of Kempthorne still makes me confused and wary. This is what I was trying to draw attention to, and it’s reason enough for enviro-lovers to demand that she explain herself. Can we get some clarity? Just exactly what issues does she think she can work well with him on?

Because I called Cantwell’s local offices, and they weren’t able to offer any clarification whatsoever. The most I got out of them was, “She likes that he’s from the Northwest, and she thinks he understands Northwest Issues.”

Vague and Dissatisfying. I was then told someone would get back to me in 4 weeks with more information.

Being from the Northwest doesn’t mean shit to me if you’re not going to work to preserve it, and I still have no clue what these “Northwest Issues” are that Cantwell and Kempthorne will work hand in hand to resolve.

Every environmentalist who is glancingly familiar with Kempthorne’s record is biting their fingers to the knuckle about thisexcept Cantwell. Why?

Kempthorne was one of the governors who sued to undo the Clinton Administration wild forest protection rules; he’s advocated weakening protection for wildlife, has been outspoken in his desire to strip protection from America’s grizzly bears — and is a strong advocate of drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

I am not casting Cantwell as a villain, but I do think she is casting herself as a fool. Someone is going to have to compromise in this imperfect unioneither Cantwell or Kempthorne. And by not acknowledging Kempthorne’s hideous enviro-record, and instead expressing vague enthusiasm for working with him, I believe Cantwell has already shown a readiness to compromise herself.

Suck that, Joel.

CommentsRSS icon

In this example, Joel is misguided at best. I think you are funny and right, but who the hell am I?

Oh, Cienna. I was waiting to hear your reaction to that column, and I knew it wouldn't be pretty. But "suck that"? Oh dear.

Connelly's column was kind of peculiar, because right after he mentioned you, he said "let's look at the evidence" and then brought up exactly the kind of environmental issue that backs your point: Kempthorne led the fight to allow new roads in wilderness areas. So he did in fact "reference Kempthorne's hideous enviro-record".

I think what Connelly was TRYING to do was point out how Cantwell HAS stood up to Kempthorne before, but what he succeeded in doing as well was back your real point, which was surprise that Cantwell would now turn around and blow wet kisses at the fucker.

I think the attack on you, such as it was, was more a matter of him not fully grasping the SLOG style, which is kind of harsh compared to the mellifluous P-I sound.

Connelly's basic point, that local radicals always attack progressive Dems every time they stray as much as a millimeter from the orthodoxy, not unlike Muslim clerics who uphold an ideal Sharia, instead of the right-wingers who are actually destroying America, is correct. And Cantwell is a major recipient of these unjustifiable attacks. But I think he picked the wrong example in you.

But "suck that, Joel" isn't going to convince the guy. He's a pretty good columnist, especially on the environment. You two should make up.

Connelly is perhaps unable to understand or appreciate the Stranger Snarky(TM) style. But as he lumps Cienna's legitimate gripes in with those of the nefarious "loony" lefties, he fails to address the need to hold our elected officials accountable. Just because we need Maria Cantwell in the U.S. Senate doesn't mean we shouldn't be confronting her about odd comments (supporting Kempthorne) and support for mistakes (the Iraq war). Blind support is not progressive, it's loony.

Cienna, stop being so profane!

"I still have no clue what these “Northwest Issues” are that Cantwell and Kempthorne will work hand in hand to resolve."

I assume Hanford is right at the top of the list.

"...what I’ve done is bring attention her squirrelly acquiescence to work with an environmental villain."

I really don't think you should slander squirrels in this manner. Not when talking about the environment, at least.

Fresh from the Idaho potatoe fields - let us all intently see waht this politial miracle voice has to say.

Actually, I only lisent to Lesbian friends from Seattle on political matters. They are the only ones who ever make any sense.Will have to consult them in the next weeks.

Sorry, Ms. Madrid. Not impressed.

Or could be if you are gong to lead the next anti- Bush rally - makeing up for the ones all the yuppies rads have not bothered to stage.

Poor Maria. Sending her another 100.00 today.

Fnarf, I'm pretty sure that "Suck that, Joel" was Cienna's sense of humor again. Right? Who's with me?

dude you misspelled "potato" lol

Yes, I'm sure it was.

jake, take an ambien and sign off the internet.

if he take's an ambien he'll be making ZOMBIE comments.

no we wouldn't want that ... or would we?

Isn't it our duty as constituents to make sure that Cantwell occasionally gets "pilloried"?

The mindless support that Connelly is advocating for seems pretty antithetical to everything that being a liberal is all about.

Fractious? Maybe. But it comes with the territory.

And yes, Joel should suck it. A united front isn't as important as a thoughtful one.

Aha! Squirrelly with two ls. And thus Cienna removes my last lingering disagreement with her position.

And Joel maybe should read what the grown-ups are saying about Kempthorne's collaborative nature: More Charm Than Substance (LA Times).

Hm, whom should I look to for more political insight?

The P-I's Joel Connelly, who has covered nine presidents, has personally known every influential politician in the Western U.S for the past 40 years, and has forgotten more about politics than the cumulative political knowledge of The Stranger staff...

Or, Cienna Madrid, a potty-mouhth punk from Bumfuk Idaho thinks she's an "insider" because she has a BA in women's studies and has voted in two presidential elections?

Tough choice.

misogynist, ageist, and poor spelling? HOLYMOLEY it must suck to be you!

Actually, my BA's in creative writing.

And I've only voted in one presidental election; I'm 22.

I agree we totally need to retain Cantwell in Congress. Non-voting Dixon will at best siphon off some votes from the Democrats, but he has no chance of actually winning. And if you think Cantwell's environmental record is imperfect, imaging what kind of environmental policy we'd get from McGavick. Ultimately, what is needed is at least the house or senate to change hands, or we'll end up with another 2 years of complete Republican control of all branches of government with no checks and balances. From a national perspective, Cantwell must be re-elected.

Having said that, much as I want to see her re-elected, I think it is totally fair to call her on the carpet when she makes stupid decisions. Just because I support her doesn't mean I have to agree with her every word.

Her support of Kempthorne is baffling. Sure, I can see that politically it wouldn't help future working relations to publicly call him an asshole. But there is a lot of middle ground between gushing support and rabid name calling. Probably the best thing she could have done was to remain silent.

So... Maria, I'm gonna support you and vote for you, but fer chrisakes don't toss your otherwise unblemished environmental record in the toilet by actively supporting this nutjob. Thank you.

cienna, honey, i know you're like only 22 and that gives you carte blanch to say whatever you want, but all i'm asking you is to look at some of the "issues" here.

believe it or not, the interior does have a lot of non-environmental northwest issues that may or may not be of interest to you (hello, questionable bureau of indian affairs?) and your environmental brethren. interior is big and it affects the northwest in a lot of ways.

also, it's often nice to establish somewhat decent working relationships with those who don't share your views. a fine example comes from our very own arch liberal guy, jim mcdermott. yes, he's taken some laudable stands (iraq), but can you tell me what kind of pork he's gotten seattle lately? has he been effective in his role? maybe you should go across the room and ask josh feit what he thinks about mr. mcdermott's efficacy. point being, i want a senator who can get stuff done. i want someone who takes the right stands when she can, and to take some tactical blows (this kempthorne thing being one of them) when the moments require them. (yes, i understand there's a certain leap of faith involved here, but cantwell kicked ass on ANWR and i'll let her spend some of that political capital on this issue)

on a sidenote, the maggie/scoop, murray/cantwell parallels are just too rad to give up.

i'm glad you're staying vigilant on what cantwell does. you should. all i'm pointing out is that politics is often about compromise. that's what we learned in kindergarten and it applies to high-level policymaking, too. i hear what you're saying, i just think you need to take into account a few of the realities of cantwell's situation.

to sum all that up: applying the deep ecology literature to current events can only take you so far. cienna, honey, i think you hit the wall.

p.s. this is NOT an apology to connely's reporting, which is often fraught with errors.


could people be more condescending and sexist toward cienna? honey?!

well, i guess they could be worse. like:

"Connelly's basic point, that local radicals always attack progressive Dems every time they stray as much as a millimeter from the orthodoxy, not unlike Muslim clerics who uphold an ideal Sharia, instead of the right-wingers who are actually destroying America, is correct."


get that? cantwell is by definition progressive. criticizing cantwell's bad enviro policy makes you radical. which makes you not unlike an islamist (forgot to mention terrorist!). and makes you complicit, by dividing the Dems, in destroying America. suck on that!

anyway, connelly makes a living by defining what is acceptably progressive and what is the "loony left." that's what happens when you get too full of your insider status. you get lazy, and cynnical, and condescending, start taking pleasure in easy pot shots at people without power. sad. cause actually his commitment to environmental politics and clean elections, and his and jamieson's willingness to take original/ unconventional stands makes them better than anything the seattle times has had since it sacked its editorial staff during the strike.

"could people be more condescending and sexist toward cienna? honey?!

Seriously, WF, i agree. she's only 22, she's from "bumfuk Idaho", etc. etc. Well, Jake, Cian and all(including Mr. Connelly)maybe being from "bumfuk Idaho" is why she feels so strongly about Kempthornes appointment and offended by her senator's rolling out of the welcome mat for this guy. Thank god somebody is staying on top of our politicians and attempting to keep them honest because Connelly is obviously done doing his job as a journalist and is ready to toot the party horn as long as the person blowing has a D next to their name. The Stranger writers have done us all a service the past couple weeks pointing out Cantwells many questionable votes, statements, etc. THis stuff is very good to know and the stranger is why i know it.

I finally got around to reading Joel's column, and in addition to being totally unfair to you, he was a big poo poo head about it, and he used the term "loony left," which destroys any street cred he might have had with me.

Uh, toots.

Take Connelly's attention as a badge of honor. One of the unwritten rules of being a columnist is that you only pick on people your own size. (I'm using size metaphorically). Connelly's been bashing bloggers a lot lately, myself included. I take that as a sign he considers us to be his equals, if not his betters.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot: Joel asked "Shouldn't our activists be working for this agenda, rather than backbiting?"

I don't know about him, but I can multitask.

is it just me, or isn't saying SUCK THAT and the many versions - playing on all the old homophobic slurs?

I guess it is somehow OK from an Idaho wench? Perhaps some of you other queens need to explain to Madrid that GAY MEN LOVE TO SUCK a lot of body parts of other men. It does no lend worldy credentials to use all that old redneck blather.

The focus of this year and the elections is much larger than Cantwell. It is about the future of Democracy and nuclear war sacking the environment and the stopping the emerging fascist state.

Maria is one small piece of the political front that says no to Bush and the neocons.

Get it ---- if you think the world can easily endure decades of the new America and its cultrure of war, corruption and envro maynem - you all need to suck on something.

It is so intellectualy chic to sit is the cool digs of Seattle and throw barbs and feel so confident that you have the time and space for the exercise.

I do not feel we have any time left.

There are years to go for George Bush. There must be some braking effect on his satanic game.

Don't get diverted by a neophyte with strong opinions but no focus on he real game.

We must fight Geroge Bush and his buddies who have our country in a horrible choke hold.

The first step is a majot political setback called DEMOCRATS in control of the Senate - led by feisty Harry Reid.

It is also so interesting to watch comments on spelling rather than content. Is there credit in some Jr. High for working on this blog? Juvenile minds - it seems - focused on the wrong purpose of a blog - and missing the point entirely.

Stefan - above You are a piece of shit. I read your anti transgender crap on your right wing blog several days ago. How dare you come here and offer your scum bag opinion on anything. Your version of the issues surrounding the trans community are cruel, mocking, uninformed and medieval. Go back under the rocks and join your buddy Tim Eyman. Too weird, posting on the Stranger site and being a practicing homophobe and anti trans political voice. Factual background - King County is poised to add trans folks to its long standing anti discrimination laws. Stefan has a horrible negative commentary on his blog aout the issue and the postings are even worse. Try to get into 2006 on this issue. This is Seattle not trailer park Centralia.

I'm with Cienna.

This 52yo lifelong Dem is sick of Cantwell's "moderate" votes for the Iraq war, the bankruptcy bill, the Patriot act (twice!), Ashcroft, and Condi (I could go on...). Her failure to support the Alito filibuster and Feingold's censure resolution disgusts me. I'm not a bit surprised that she's sucking up to another Bush toady.

And to think I was excited to meet her at the People for Puget Sound picnic in 2000.

"Maria is one small piece of the political front that says no to Bush and the neocons." Huh? When has she ever said no to the neocons? Until Cantwell repudiates her pro-war position, I won't be voting for her. (pause) OK, I may hold my nose & vote for her in Nov, but I'll be voting for an anti-war candidate in the primary.

As for Connelly, his "looney left" slur, taken straight from Rush Limbaugh, shows that he's no progressive - and neither is Cantwell.

- billr

Support the war? Watch Armless Ali lose his family at

Right on - DEMOCRATS in control of the Senate.

That would be a brake, and it can be done.

In this election cycle I could not live with myseld if I did not vote and work for Democrats.

This is not polite political frivolity. The NSA is watching and they will be at your door someday if there is no change.

Bush is not fond of political dissent, and his spawn might be worse.

Maria is getting some stupid advice.
But Mc Gavick is a right wing shill.

yes I suck a lot, don't be an idiot.

I guarantee there's no homophobia here, but there sure is some blatant misogny in your post. Idaho wench?

I'm her homo roommate. SUCK IT.

Where exactly is Ciena's hometown? North or south Idaho?



Stand on your head and do yourself.

I am glad you know the comcept of miscogny, now think of self oppression and why some HOMOS allow obvious insults - forgot, it is cool. And all good fun. Like the old game, kill the fag.

First time in my life I have ever used the word wench. Shoul I call her a lady?

I hope you don't tweeze your brows, that is a less than manly thing to do, I guess. As in too fag. Oh, how can I think that was the intention of that off the wall comment.....Isn't there a book on The Good Fag Hag, just a few simple rules.......

your queer politics are so beyond pedestrian that it's funny. equating a "suck it" throwaway to sissyphobia and internalized homophobia is riduclous to say the least.
I appreciate that you are sensitive to normative language being harmful; unfortunately, it's hugely misdirected and not fully reasoned in this case.

I'm ashamed that it's devolved to this and that I am only contributing to the devo, but I am a fag and I tell people to "suck it", "suck my dick", and call people I dislike "cocksucking mothefuckers" all the time. It's post post something, not even sure what, but it hardly means "you're a queer" these days. I don't think it has, even, at any point in my life, and I'm approaching 30. Indeed, in a way, it is telling someone "you're nothing but a prison bitch cocksucker!", but it's wide use is so far removed from any original and derogative homophobic intent that to complain about it just makes you seem like... well, a whiny prison bitch. Just sayin'

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