Who Is Really The ‘Puppet’ John?

by lewwaters

The Columbian’s political page editor, John Laird, known for his acerbic and outlandish editorials every Sunday has shown he knows how to push the community’s buttons over the years. A staunch liberal apparently, he has shown himself to support and promote just about anything liberal Democrats desire. About the only time he has shown himself to be agreeable to a Republican or conservative point of view was when they crossed the aisle to adopt the Democrat point of view.

Like most liberals I have spoken to, his idea of “bipartisanship” or “Compromise” appears to be when conservatism is abandoned and liberalism embraced. It never seems to cross in the other direction in his editorials.

But I was somewhat taken aback to read his Sunday, March 3, 2012 editorial, ‘Puppet’ accusations don’t always hold up to scrutiny where he is defending Republican first term Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wa. 03) against frequent allegations of her just being a “puppet.”

In the political sense, a puppet is “a person, group, government, etc., whose actions are prompted and controlled by another or others.” Many of Herrera Beutler’s actions do give that impression to conservatives. From her time in the Washington State House of Representatives where she co-sponsored and twice voted to approve a bill that would have forced child care centers into union to crossing the aisle to help Democrats raid the last $120 Million from the state “Rainy Day Fund,” claiming she did it to prevent further tax increase. Taxes increased anyways.

She has shown herself to be an “establishment Republican” more so than a conservative Republican. Hence, many label her a “puppet” doing the bidding of others to retain her “cushioned seat of authority” at $174,000 a year salary plus generous benefits.

That John Laird spent an entire editorial in defense of young Jaime indicates to me that even he considers her more of a “liberal” Republican than a “conservative” in spite of his claim of her being “almost squarely at the ideological center of the House.”

But, even though Jaime is the main subject of his editorial that is not what glares back at me reading it.

John Laird has long labeled people critical to the current Columbia River Crossing project, those of us seeing that the process is severely flawed, too costly and that it won’t solve the problems that is claimed to solve as “Hounds of Whinerville,” “BANANA Bunch (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything)” and “ankle biters.”

To John Laird, we are all just a bunch of know-nothing hicks holding back progress if we dare speak out in favor of a more affordable project, oppose light rail from Portland, Oregon or favor a project that might actually solve the traffic congestion problems seen on the I-5 corridor.

John Laird and the paper he works for have been largely in support of the current design project that has cost us over $140 Million so far without a single shovel of dirt being turned. Questioning the veracity of the CRC immediately relegates you into one of his favorite classifications listed above.

But lo and behold, what has been coming out lately?

We saw the release of forensic accountant Tiffany Couch’s independent audit of CRC finances that raised several troubling questions and almost immediately dismissed by many supporters with state officials countering by claiming a quick review of her excellent work by those inside of the Department of Transportation as an “independent review.”

Around the same time, we were treated to several articles and op-eds in the Columbian and the Oregonian to bolster support of the project. As we have seen, it has primarily been the Willamette Week’s Nigel Jaquiss in Oregon who continues publishing the ‘straight scoop’ on this costly mess.

Even though analysis has shown a major flaw in the projected funding for the project, tolling the bridge, it continues full speed head.

Even the recent revelation from TriMet’s General Manager Neil McFarlane on costs to the union employees being more than the system can handle have not raised the eyebrows of supporters like John Laird.

Enter the Willamette Weeks Nigel Jaquiss again revealing just what many of his claimed all along and have been ‘gaveled down’ and ridiculed, an Oregon Supreme Court ruling included that all along, the project has been a vehicle to manipulate Clark County into accepting Portland Oregon’s financially failing light rail.

I have to extend credit to the Columbia for this latest revelation, but now we read that in spite of years of being told, CRC cannot obtain an “essential permit” from the Coast Guard to begin construction as the design of the bridge is too low for proper river navigation.

On top of that, simply raising the bridge any higher runs into problems with the FAA as they have their own requirements for height restrictions due the bridge being in the flight path of both Portland International Airport and Pearson Airfield in Vancouver.

These are many of the very problems we that have been labeled “Hounds of Whinerville,” “BANANA Bunch (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything)” and “ankle biters” by John Laird have been complaining about.

John needn’t be worried about Jaime Herrera Beutler being called a “puppet.” That comes with the territory of attaining higher office and if she can’t handle it, she can always step down. We cannot just step away from what the CRC is ramming down our throats, though.

No, what John Laird should do is take long look in his mirror to see the real “puppet” as he keeps deflecting legitimate concerns over this boondoggle called the Columbia River Crossing project.

6 Comments to “Who Is Really The ‘Puppet’ John?”

  1. Laird was specifically hired by The Columbian to thumb his nose at the community and to enrage as many people as possible. That’s his job.

    It’s a real pity that The Columbian doesn’t try to get people to read the paper by truthfully informing the community and being a voice for the community, rather than to constantly be trying to goad the community into reading by pissing them off with Elitist “snipes”.

    Of course, Elitists don’t want to empower the average person, they despise the average person and think they are “above” the average person.

    Funny though, The Columbian depends upon those “average persons” that they constantly piss off to buy their damned rag. Maybe that explains why The Columbian is headed down the sewer with the rest of the Leftist Media.


  2. Of course, you’ll notice that Laird “culled out” a lot of the comments…Typically Liberal. Lefties can’t stand the true voices of the people to be heard, you know.


  3. Lew, you’re being kind of glass-half-empty aren’t you? At least Laird’s opinion was a positive one. He didn’t give voice to his usual polemic against anyone to the right of progressive.

    I think Jaime’s doing a pretty good job myself. I don’t think she’s turning out to be the empty suit you’ve said she is. She’s shown that she can consider all sides of an issue and pick a side that doesn’t always reflect the Republican majority. She’s being proactive in her work on behalf of the unemployed in her district, and she has come down firmly in the favor of listening to what voters in Clark County have to say about the CRC project and light rail.


  4. Craig, you missed the entire point of the post.

    It isn’t so much Jaime, but Laird’s description of all of us who have spoken in opposition to the CRC and the recent revelations coming out proving all of us right.

    He is who I am accusing of being the puppet.


  5. Well yeah, I got that. I don’t know if he’s Scott Campbell’s puppet or the puppet of progressive dogma, but he certainly hasn’t shown the ability to think for himself.

    I just thought it was a good opportunity to tweak you about Hererra. I like her for the same reason I like Probst. Both are closer to the middle than most politicians in the area. I wish we had more like them rather than extremists on both sides that can never get anything done.


  6. What makes you think that we need to “get anything done”, Craig? Hasn’t government just about thoroughly trashed this nation already by “doing things”?

    People who stand in the middle of the road usually get run over by trucks, Craig. America has been run over by trucks. Time to get the hell out of the middle of the road and stand for something.


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