Opinion: ‘Democrats have been much better at the game of politics and elections than Republicans and that is hurting people like me’

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance pleads with Republicans to focus more on winning the war with Democrats than the battle with each other.

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance pleads with Republicans to focus more on winning the war with Democrats than the battle with each other

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – American philosopher George Santayana, as stated in his work, “The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense.’’

This isn’t going to please some of my Conservative brethren, but it needs to be said. Democrats have been much better at the game of politics and elections than Republicans and that is hurting people like me. 

Editor Ken Vance
Editor Ken Vance

I’m a conservative because I believe in a smaller, less-intrusive government. I believe individuals should have an abundance of freedom and individual rights. I believe they should be taxed less, not more. I believe they should be allowed, or forced, to stand on their own two feet, or those of their friends and families, rather than be dependent on the government. I believe politicians should represent the people who elect them. I believe they should uphold the U.S. Constitution and the vision, spirit and wisdom provided by our Founding Fathers. These are supposed to be the ideals of the Republican Party. Folks like me are dependent on the Republican Party to uphold these ideals because the Democrats surely don’t represent them.

I’ve been watching the dysfunction in the Republican Party, both locally and nationally, for far too long. I believe the disappointing showing by Conservative candidates in the midterm election and the battle in the U.S. House of Representatives to name Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker are recent examples that Republicans are often not very good at working and playing well with others in their own party.

People like me with a voice are not supposed to talk about it publicly. We’re supposed to sweep it under the rug, keep it hidden behind closed doors. It’s as if we don’t speak about it, it doesn’t actually exist. But it does, and it’s impacting my life and I’m tired of it.

A local debacle

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance pleads with Republicans to focus more on winning the war with Democrats than the battle with each other.

Those of us here in Clark County need only to look at November’s general election for a local example of what I’m talking about. Republican Jaime Herrera Buetler had served as Congresswoman in the Third Congressional District since 2010. But she wasn’t conservative enough for many Republicans in the district and her vote to impeach President Donald Trump was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. The members of the Executive Board of the Clark County Republican Party issued a strongly worded statement against Herrera Beutler’s vote and Republicans across the district immediately went to work to defeat the Congresswoman in the next primary election.

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance pleads with Republicans to focus more on winning the war with Democrats than the battle with each other.

However, in typical Republican fashion, members of the party couldn’t agree on a candidate to challenge Herrera Beutler. The two highest profile Republican candidates were Joe Kent and Heidi St. John. It seemed everyone in the party agreed it was important to settle on one internal candidate, but neither candidate, nor their supporters, would stand down and support the other candidate. Add to that, former state Rep. Vicki Kraft entered the race at a later date so conservatives in the district had three quality candidates to choose from with the hope that one would defeat Herrera Beutler in the primary. 

After a brutal campaign that spanned about a year and a half, a bloodied and broke Kent narrowly defeated Herrera Buetler in the primary and advanced to the general election where he would face Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez.

As a journalist, I try to remain as objective and neutral during election season as I can. I believe I am more informed than the average citizen, but I will confess that I knew almost nothing about Gluesenkamp Perez before the primary. She wasn’t seriously challenged by any other Democrat and, as that party’s lone legitimate candidate, she hardly even had to campaign, or spend any of her war chest, to advance from the primary.

You all know the net result. Sure, we no longer have a moderate Republican in the Third Congressional District seat. But, what we now have, by all appearances, is an extreme liberal that is so unqualified and incapable that it would be laughable if it wasn’t so frightening. 

Gluesenkamp Perez at work in Washington, D.C.

Our liberal representative for the Third Congressional District was put on blast on Twitter this week for sharing her personal experience of a miscarriage and using it to support her position on abortion. On Sunday (Jan. 22), Gluesenkamp Perez wrote on Twitter

Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez
Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez

Three years ago I miscarried in the second trimester of a pregnancy. It’s a painful memory but something many women have experienced.

“I traveled hours to the nearest clinic, and I encountered anti-choice protesters. Thankfully I got the care I needed that day.’’

And that was followed by a second Twitter post the same day:

I had been told without an immediate abortion, or dilation and evacuation, that my life was at risk. That I could die, or not be able to have children in the future.

“I got the care I needed, and now I’m the mother of my 17 month old son.’’

And, finally, the Congresswoman added this third comment:

“On what would’ve been #RoeVWade’s 50th anniversary, I’m thinking of the millions of Americans with stories like mine who are forced to go without access to safe reproductive care.

“I won’t stop fighting to restore this fundamental right and defend reproductive freedom for all.’’

Obviously, we are all saddened to learn that Gluesenkamp Perez suffered a miscarriage, which is the loss of a valued life. And, we are also very happy that she has since been blessed with a healthy son.

As you might expect, the reaction to the Congresswoman either confusing her own miscarriage to an abortion, or using it to promote her abortion rights agenda, has been loud and strong. Here are a few examples:

“I’m sorry for your loss, which is what it was. You did not have an unwanted baby killed through abortion. You lost a wanted baby through a natural process.

“Please don’t conflate abortion and miscarriage. They are not the same things.’’ – Fuzzy Chimp/Twitter

“Serious question…why would you not just have gone to a hospital or medical center that was closer? They deal w miscarriages on a daily basis and the treatment you received would have been rendered in the same manner.’’ – CarolinaConservative3/Twitter 

“Quit telling lies lady. The town you are from in WA is a mere 23 miles from Portland, OR.  Also, there are no less than 15 women’s clinics/health facilities within a half hour drive of your registered hometown of Washougal,WA.’’ – mardi Gras/Twitter

As a conservative, am I better off being represented by Gluesenkamp Perez than Herrera Beutler, who by the way had a pretty good record of opposing legal abortions and federal funding for abortions? I don’t see how I am better off. Despite that, I know Republicans who have actually taken solace in the fact that they were successful in getting Herrera Beutler out of office. That is unfathomable to me as I watch and listen to our new Congresswoman.

Our ideas are better

When it comes to the ideals and political ideology that I shared earlier in this column as the reasons for my conservative views, I don’t believe they are best only for me. I believe they are what’s best for our community, our state and our nation. I want the Republican Party to be successful for very selfish reasons. I want a better life, for me and my neighbor. For my son, who I hope will be living in this country long after I am gone. I’m sure the Republicans who I am being critical of right now want the same thing. 

On the local front, after years of embarrassing ineptitude and failures by past leadership, the Clark County Republican Party elected new leadership at the end of 2022. Let’s hope the party will unite and have more success getting quality candidates elected to local, state and federal positions. 

For me, priority one is uniting behind one candidate in the next election to defeat Gluesenkamp Perez. We need better leadership from leaders with better ideas. As you know, I don’t endorse political candidates so please don’t interpret this as an endorsement for any individual candidate. 

Joe Kent
Joe Kent

That said, Joe Kent has already announced he will run against Gluesenkamp Perez in the next election and he is trying to raise funds to do just that. He was defeated by Gluesenkamp Perez by just 2,629 votes (less than 1 percent) in November. Republicans need to decide now if Kent is their candidate and if he is they need to put 100 percent of their effort and resources into supporting his candidacy rather than forcing him to go through another grueling primary battle similar to the one that likely kept him from being elected in November.

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  1. Lew Waters

    Kent may have lost the district by only 2,629 votes, but he lost Clark County by 22,187 votes.
    So how’s that ‘purity purge’ workin’ out for you?

  2. Joe

    Sure, Ken. Keep running Joe Kent out there. You’re never going to have another conservative represent district 3. You’ve got GenZ coming up, women that are super pissed about congress getting into their business. Lots of Californians moving into Clark County as well. Kent was the worst thing you people could have done and you went ahead and did it anyway, and now you have a representative who will finally be a voice for the majority of this district. Thank God for Maria Gleusenkamp Perez, and thank The Almighty we beat down the hatred and partisanship of Joe Kent. And secondary thanks to Donald Trump, for which none of this would possible if not for him. Proud to be an American.

  3. Mike S.

    Former Republican here (pre-Trump), now an independent. Of the three candidates, Kent was the worst in that he typified the Republican candidate: false statements and complaints about the past, with no plan for the future. Vague ideology is no substitute for identifying a concern and then a plan to fix it. I’m pleased Perez was elected. At least she has a brain and cognizant proposals for achievement.

    And if you don’t agree with her? You’ll get a chance to speak with her at a real public meeting.

    While I don’t agree with her on some issues, I see her being reelected again, especially if the Republican party, both nationally and locally, continues to sink into false, almost treasonous narratives. And most destructive, a refusal to allow all but the most strident right-wing wackos into the GOP tent.

    1. Joe

      It killed republicans in November. But do they learn? Of course not. They just give those nuts in the House a bigger voice. And another thing: the same thing will happen if they run DeSantis out there next year. He’ll lose the independents and moderate Republicans votes with his love of big government and desire to shoot down anything that has to do with democrats. The majority of people want our stupid government to work together. Like you said, Maria is the rep the majority of district 3 wanted, because everybody is sick and tired of all the filthy lies. Republicans are still tied to Trump and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why. He is the nail in the Republican party, and they’re just letting it happen. I can’t believe they are all so scared silly of him. Scared enough to continue to shoot themselves in the foot. This article is spot on about unvoteable (yes I realize it’s probably not a word) Republicans. They better change and change quick. The rest of the country is moving on. They are gonna be left behind crying about “stolen” elections.

    2. Robert

      So, a man who served his country honorably, completing combat tours, then is taken into the intelligence world to serve some more, and subsequently loses his wife and mother of his children to the same terrorists he fought is what? A right-wing wacko, is it? You claim to be a “former Republican..” That seems….unlikely. You may have been registered as such, but your take on Perez argues otherwise.

      I met and spoke to Joe Kent several times, and nothing about him, or his positions on issues, were outside the conservative mainstream. I would be interested in which positions you found as vague ideology. Was it the idea to have smaller government? Less taxation? Insistence, perhaps, that the issue of abortion is an issue reserved to the individual states, and should not be funded with federal taxes for that reason. Perhaps you resist the idea of a strong national defense capability, including a secure border?

      Also, if political policy positions are not based on ideology, what, precisely, are they based on? Well, money and power, obviously. In that respect, if you would be so kind, please indicate to me how Perez is any different. I will save you the time – she isn’t.

      Seriously, Mike, I respect your right to have the opinion that Perez will deviate from supporting the extreme positions of the far left that currently controls the Democrat party. It is delusional, but it is your right to believe that.

      1. Joe

        Go on and on about how great Kent is, Robert. I’ve got one word for you: unelectable. Don’t you people understand that the majority of people in this country are done with MAGA republicans? His stance on issues may excite you and not seem extreme at all, but to the majority of district 3, we don’t like it and we said no to it. Pretty simple. You say he’s not extreme? The ONLY thing he campaigned on is “impeach Biden. Hunter’s laptop. No abortion, no exceptions. Braaawk fox news” and Gluesenkamp Perez took advantage of those views, and won. It’s delusional at best to keep running these MAGA nut jobs and think you’re still going to win. Try catering to your independents and moderates. Oh, right. I forgot. If they didn’t vote for Trump or believe the election was stolen, then they’re just an extreme liberal. Sounds like a fantastic plan. You are pandering to one extreme faction, and it honestly is smaller than the majority of Americans. Your party has some major problems that have nothing to do with fake election lies or liberals. So, go ahead and point the finger at everybody else and call us all wrong. Take a look deep inside the republican party and maybe, just maybe the biggest threat to you is…well…the republican party. Just like the greatest threat to Christianity is American Christians. So, bang on about the mainstream media and liberals, they aren’t the problem. But please, continue to blame everybody else while your party destroys itself. Keep catering to the Kents, Greenes, Goetz, and Booberts and you will never win the majority. Good luck and godspeed.

        1. MetaWorld2

          Joe? There is no unification whatsoever in your remarks!
          Don’t you see? This is no longer even about Political Parties!
          We are in an era of “AWAKENING” end of story. You can no longer claim who you ‘think’ is the majority, or claim disenchantment with Christians.

          THE MOVEMENT taking place now ALL across the world is no longer a political issue at all! OUR Movement is the greatest and biggest movement ever to exist and what it embraces is ONLY ONE virtue. TRUTH. Only TRUTH!
          Why is that so important right now? Because as a species we have reached ‘critical mass’ in understanding that probably 96% of EVERYTHING we’ve been fed since birth? Is a LIE.
          We have reached a ‘Lack of Moral Values’ like I have never seen in my 75 years!
          In the near future you will understand more, why I say this.
          The word ‘Apocalypse’ means “The Unveiling of Truth” , “The unraveling (revealing) of Knowledge!” It does not mean physical annihilation.

          Now anyone can chose to lag behind all they want. Therein is ‘choice’ each person choosing, but know this: “WE are smack dab-in-the-middle of a Spiritual War (not religious), spiritual. We are totally in a battle between ‘Good, and Evil’ and no one will be able to escape it. So may I suggest we ALL take a personal inventory, and understand what is really going on! Peace to all

        2. Anna Miller

          Yep, by all means let’s keep voting for more Democrats like Perez. Washington State is a perfect example of why that is working with a Democrat controlled legislature. Not. With D policies, crime is skyrocketing. Once beautiful Seattle is a —-hole. Burdensome taxes are becoming even more burdensome. Infrastructure is crumbling. Trash all over. Homeless encampments all along the roads, left to freeze in the winter. Anti-police policies sending out an invitation to criminals that they can flourish here. Grown men dressed in grotesque characterizations of women reading to little kids in the libraries. Men in women’s bathrooms and women athletes forced to compete against men while we are all supposed to play “pretend”. School libraries with pornographic books available to kids in grade school and so on.

    3. Jen

      An independent what? Your mendacious posts here regarding Kent are extremely telling about you and your own agenda, Mike.Thoughtful people wonder why you feel compelled to mislead and resort to overt falsities in order to support Marie. Contrary to your intention, you’re reinforcing support for Joe Kent.

      1. Don Jones

        Wow, excely what did you see about Mikes post that was mendcious or proting his own agenda. I don’t see how thoughtful people could possibly see anything misleading or false. Many of us left the Republician party due to Trump and his followers like Joe Kent and MTG anf their conspiracy throries.

        1. Anna Miller

          Don, “many of us left” may be true. However, many also came along side. A commentor said this is not about the Party affiliation anymore. As a person who is very politically active for 30 plus years, I can tell you that I have never seen a more diverse group of supporters than Trump supporters. Conservative, independents, former Democrats, black, white and all demographics. I was most gratified to see so many African Americans who say they are fed up with the meaningless promises of the Democrats at election time and learning the true history of the once racist D party and what that meant for the struggle.

  4. Tisia

    If there s was so, why are we in a recession? Has is high, food prices have doubled we have more crime and the homeless rate has gotten worse.

    1. Joe

      Yes, the entire world is in a recession, not just us, gas prices are high due to greed and sure, there is very high crime. At least 60 people have died in mass shootings THIS YEAR ALONE. It’s not clear exactly what your comment is referencing?

    2. Mike S.

      Actually, the US finished 2022 with a positive GDP. A recession is 2 consecutive quarters of declining GDP. But are we concerned about a potential recession? Yes. But we’re not there yet. And as tempting as it might be to blame high food prices on whoever is in power, that won’t pass the truth test either.

      1. MetaWorld2

        I’m sorry Mike, but seriously? What planet are you on? You have NO idea how close we are, to a complete CRASH! More and more countries are refusing the American Dollar, our current Administration is happy go lucky to finance and fight a Proxy War in Ukraine; thats being run by an ex-comedian actor; laughable entirely.

        There is a very specific reason Putin is in Ukraine which unread Americans have no clue because you have a biased, lying, Corporate owned Media, who will never tell you the truth and never has! Sadly that is coupled with citizens who do NO independent research on their own. Surely you understand there are always two sides to every story.

        The reason you cannot understand why President Trump is still front and center, is strictly because you dont have, the other side of the story.

        Positive GDP? Where did you ever hear that? No, its WAY worse than what your apparent limited knowledge can serve you. Time, and not too much longer will show you.
        EVERYTHING about the current Admin was planned to do harm and that it has. Methodically and precisely, its arm has brought our country to its knees.

        ONLY those in denial, who refuse to see that, will hold on to the idea of how great we are doing. I predict this year to be the biggest MOMENT of Truth ever. Its not going to be pretty; probably even shocking.

        Pay close attention because its already dripping out in huge doses.
        Pettiness will no longer hold up anymore, and peoples hatefullness towards each other as I have seen, will not sustain itself under what is coming.
        The STORM is already here, and none of us can stop it. There is SO MUCH more I could go into but I will only say this: “Focus, prepare, love, protect and take care of yourselves and your families.” PEACE be to us all

    3. Don Jones

      We’re not in a recession yet. Some food and gas prices have come down. Exxon had record 4th Q profits. In case you haven’t read many crops were lost in Califrnia and Florida due to weather conditions. Lack of water in many regions of California wil continue to be a poblem. The bird flu epidemic caused huge shortages of eggs. There are housing shortages because they didn’t build as many houses in past few years, many from other areas are buying 2nd and 3rd homes in our area. Short term rentals and Air BNB make fewer homes available. Many are homeless because they can’t afford rents, some don’t work and many are on streets because of drug addiction and mental health issues and there are limited resources for them. Anything else???

  5. Margaret

    Democrat Perez’ website stated she would “protect funding for Planned Parenthood.” Is it right to use taxpayer dollars for the gruesome practice of surgically killing a vulnerable infant who suffers the torture in their mothers’ womb?
    Joe Kent’s website stated he would work to protect the rights of the unborn child and work to cut off federal funding for abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

    “A middle school in (Tacoma) Washington distributed flyers to 8th grade students teaching them that sex for kids as young as 11 is acceptable as long as the partners are under 14. The source of the flyer was Planned Parenthood who operated at the school in the past.”
    full article, “School distributes Planned Parenthood flyer teaching about sex with partners under 14”

    1. MetaWorld2

      Thank you Margaret. It was actually comical to me, to see masses of people take the streets as soon as Roe V was reversed!
      #1 All that did was to say that approving abortions or not, was NOT a Constitutional matter! Yeah!
      #2 Main Stream Media as usual was twisting the narrative, AGAIN; to rile up the masses. AGAIN!
      #3 Perez, and other liberal members continue to rant about how she is going to fight for the right to abortion! (Sure. Groovy. There have been 66 Million of them since the late 50’s )
      #4 Veep Kamala yesterday strutted to the audience, over the podium, squeezing out loud cheers from her crowd: “Isn’t this about ‘liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’?”
      SORRY Kamala, it reads “The inalienable rights to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!”

      Nice try.

      1. MetaWorld2

        Independent researchers dont hold on too every single source, because we comb about 6-8 different sources, including comparing it to MSM. When you begin your own Independent Research, you wont need someone else to share their homework with you

  6. Myrna Leija

    THANK YOU, Ken Vance for your well thought out editorial. You hit the proverbial nail on the head. The Republicans ( I’m one of them) have to focus, vet candidates, Precinct Committee Officers (PCO’s) attend meetings, meet your neighbors, encourage your neighbors to vote and look for good strong, fearless, conservative candidates and spread the word.

    Marie Glusenkamp Perez’s gaslighting Twitter posts were silly at best but not believable. I had a miscarriage at nearly 6 months in 1969. I was driving home to Seattle from visiting family in Iowa, in a blizzard. The pain and hemorrhaging was unbelievable. On Christmas Eve we stopped at a hospital in Tremontan Utah. I was in hard labor all night as the nurses gave me morphine for the extreme pain. On Christmas morning I delivered a beautiful ( no longer alive) baby boy. There was NO ABORTION preformed. I lost my baby due to a miscarriage. It offends and breaks my heart that you would compare a miscarriage to an abortion.

  7. Dawn Seaver

    Don’t hold your breath. That new leadership is largely made up of Joe Kent supporters intent on pushing their unelectable candidate through yet again. Kent lost about 9% of Tiffany Smiley’s voters, while Perez outperformed Patty Murray by 8%. So, Kent turned off Republicans and Independents while motivating Democrats to come out and vote against him. Not a winning combination.

    The problem, as I and others detailed in previous letters to the editor, is that Joe is not a Conservative. He pushes big government, Socialist-type policies that denigrate the free market, call for more government regulation of businesses, big tax credits, limited land ownership, seizing the land of private citizens, etc. In addition, he wants a 20-year moratorium on legal immigration. These are not Republican ideals. In fact, they are directly opposed to the party platform and core principles listed on the Clark County Republican Party website, a fact that so far, no one in leadership is willing to acknowledge.

    I completely agree that Republican ideals are best for individuals, families, our state, and nation. But we need a candidate who shares those ideals, will advocate for them, and work to unite people in the party. You can’t expect everyone to ignore the fact that the candidate they’re being asked to vote for has views opposed to fundamental beliefs they and their party have always held.

    1. MetaWorld2

      Oh my goodness! Your comments have absolutely NO basis what so ever! Everything you stated was untrue. #45 Positively DID all the things you said Joe Kent was against.
      If what youre saying is true, why did #45 Endorse Kent? Hah! The $64,000 question! If your going to profess things at least have them be true. #45 tried in fact was SUCCESSFUL in Uniting people, and The MEDIA would NEVER LEAVE HIM TO DO HIS JOB !
      A small percentage of people REALLY do not want UNITY> Oh they claim they do, but selfishly hang on to their hard stubborn lack of principles.

      UNITY isnt up to someone else! It is up to each and every person ! We dont get to blame or expect someone else to do it.


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