Joe Crackpot for Congress

Rep. Jaime Herrera-Butler (R-WA) probably will be re-elected.

Age 41, now serving her 7th term in Congress, Herrera-Butler’s never had a “real” job. She’s a career politician, of the sort wingnuts want to “term limit.” They have another reason for term-limiting her: She voted to impeach Trump.

So Herrera-Butler will be “primaried,” including by a Trump-endorsed foe (I’ll get to him shortly). But no worries. The crackpot vote will be split among two or three challengers. And the party will back her, because she’s electable, and they’re not; and the GOP wants to keep that seat.

Anybody can run for Congress, as long as they’re a citizen, at least 25 years old, and live in the state they want to represent. Any further winnowing, and there usually is some, is left up to voters. We trust the collective wisdom and judgment of the people, you see.

Herrera-Butler understands Trump lost the 2020 election. Unlike some Republicans in Congress, she can count. And while not a lawyer, she grasps that if 7 or 8 dozen election fraud lawsuits are tossed out on summary judgment, by an eclectic mix of conservative and liberal judges, some appointed by Trump, the lawsuits probably lack a factual or legal basis, or both. She also gets that inciting violent insurrection to overthrow our democratically-elected government ought to be an impeachable offense.

Now enter Joe Crackpot, er, I mean Joe Kent. He’s a talented guy in his own sphere of competence, which is fighting wars at the foxhole level. He’s a retired Green Beret with 11 combat tours of duty under his belt, and lost his military wife in Syria to an ISIS suicide bomber. He graduated from Norwich University, America’s oldest military college, and after retiring from the Army worked for the CIA. His military credentials are gold-plated; he’s the kind of guy you’d want helping Ukraine fight off Russia.

Except he’s on Russia’s side of this war, or at least, opposes sending military aid to Ukraine. It’s not clear he’s even a Republican. He opposes giving money to the Republican Party, and when he lived in Oregon (some say he still does), he registered as a Libertarian there, and then a Democrat.

Joe Crackpot, er, Kent, is running for revenge. Specifically, revenge against Herrera-Butler for voting to impeach Trump. While Herrera-Butler works on things that matter to her district, like getting money for a Columbia River bridge linking Vancouver and Portland, the crackpots are bent on getting even. Kent wants the GOP to kick Herrera-Butler out of a party it’s not clear he belongs to. “That’s the kind of consequences that Republicans should face when they go against the America First agenda,” Kent told the Longview Daily News (see story here).

The other crackpots primarying her agree, although one of them has a name for Kent: She calls him “Portland Joe,” an apparent reference to what she believes is his actual residence.

To the extent Joe Crackpot has a platform, he’s against money for the bridge. And immigrants, including those working for Microsoft on H1b visas; and, not putting too fine a point on it, Ukrainian refugees. He doesn’t want any immigrants, period; he’s a pull-up-the-drawbridge guy. America has a labor shortage, which was building up even before Covid-19 killed a million of us, which can be solved only with immigrant labor, because more natural-born Americans are dying than being born. (And that’s before Joe subtracts U.S.-born babies he thinks shouldn’t be citizens.)

Joe Crackpot does have Day 1 priorities. Here they are, courtesy of the Longview Daily News again: “Impeach Joe Biden. Impeach Kamala Harris. Maybe install Donald Trump — or one of his children — as Speaker of the House.” The newspaper noted, “Kent admitted the odds of his plan succeeding are slim.” But he doesn’t care, because to him, “obstruction and revenge are the point.” He says, “In a lot of ways the process is the punishment. That’s what they did with Trump. We’ll do it to them.” I’m not sure who “them” is, but it seems to include at least some Republicans.

Joe Kent, er, I mean Joe Crackpot, also believes the 2020 election was stolen (it wasn’t) and calls arrested Capitol rioters “political prisoners” (but the guilty pleas and verdicts make them criminals).

Do you think someone like this should be in Congress? Of course not. So, let’s take a look at the other crackpots seeking to replace (displace?) Herrera-Butler.

Heidi St. John, a podcaster and “Christian author and homeschooling advocate” who runs a home-school business with her husband, is running on a platform of “I’m from here and he’s not” and public schools are lousy.

She’s an election denier, too, calling Biden’s victory “the greatest vote heist in American history” (with zero evidence), but her loyalty to Trump has limits. She broke a promise to support his endorsee when that turned out to Joe instead of her.

She claims “the real problem” is not enough Republicans vote, and then “we whine and cry we can’t win anything.” I disagree. Their real problem isn’t non-voting Republicans, but not enough Republicans (she can’t count, either). Another reason they don’t win is they don’t deserve to. Not with platforms like that.

Herrera-Butler’s other primary opponent, if she’s running, is GOP state representative Vicki Kraft from Vancouver, who “jumped into the race in late November, but has not yet been as visible a campaigner.” Maybe because, having been elected to something herself, she can calculate the odds of primarying a 7-term incumbent. There’s not much to be said about her, except she’s “also floated 2020 election conspiracy theories.”

The other two seem to have no idea how to get elected to Congress, or how to represent constituents if they do. They should ask someone who knows. They should ask Jaime Herrera-Butler. Or at least Vicki Kraft.

Photos: Above left, Joe Kent; above right, Heidi St. John; below left, Vicki Kraft

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