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Opinion >  Column

Sue Lani Madsen: Decluttering the desktop

This month marks seven years of weekly columns. It’s been an honor to be driving traffic to the letters to the editor since 2015.

And sorry to disappoint those prolific letter-writing critics, but this is not a farewell column. It’s time to clear the desktop of inspirational notions jotted in journals, on the backs of old calendars and scribbled on scrap paper. Herewith are a few topics that may never make it into a full-length column.

• To start, let’s talk about Eags. It’s an obvious rip-off of Zags and it’s unworthy of Eastern Washington University. You sound a little desperate, Eagles. Just embrace your majestic bird and get over being jealous about how your cousin got a cool nickname. Psst … you still don’t have a cool nickname.

• A perennial pet peeve every election season is Democrats talking about women as if women are “their” voters. Even more annoying are reporters and op-ed writers who do the same. This is fingernails on a chalkboard to conservative women all over America. It pretty much comes across like candidate Joe Biden in 2020 telling the presumably Black fans of Black radio talk show host Charlamagne that if they have a problem figuring out if they’re for Biden, “you ain’t Black.” It didn’t play well during the campaign and he walked it back, something he has staff to do for him now. And it’s doubly ironic when so many Democrats don’t want to answer the question, “What is a woman?” without first earning a degree in biology.

• Then there’s this memorable phrase overheard somewhere: “A human having a baby is a woman. Doesn’t matter if Mary thinks she’s a sheep, she’s not giving birth to a lamb.” Found that next to a note about how reading the term “pregnant people” is a clear tip-off to biased reporting.

• Speaking of reporting with a leftward slant, there’s the obligatory reference to “climate change” regardless of topic. CNN reporting on the migrant caravans headed to the United States border in 2018? Couldn’t possibly be corrupt governments and violence in Central America, it must be climate change. Play the climate change edition of “Where’s Waldo?” – how high up in the story are the magic words, and how close to the end of the story is the disclaimer “Studies have not definitively tied this (insert awful phenomenon here) to (you know what).”

• Then there’s this thought triggered by gun-free zones, or rather, by signs declaring gun-free zones. If someone is legally exercising their right to carry a concealed weapon and they’re doing it right, no one will know. They’ll just walk into the gun-free zone because what else are they supposed to do? Take their lawfully carried handgun out of a purse or holster and set it on the sidewalk next to the sign until they’re done with their errand? Leaving it home isn’t an option for a woman carrying because of a threat of domestic violence or high crime in her neighborhood; she needs it on her when she arrives home. If a sign doesn’t stop law-abiding citizens, why in heaven’s name would anyone think it stops anyone else?

• On the subject of crime, Brandi Kruse on her “(un)Divided” podcast pointed out the blatant bias from the Seattle Times in a supposedly straight news report claiming Tiffany Smiley was fear-mongering. She recorded a campaign ad talking about rising crime and inflation in front of a Starbucks in Seattle, one that was closed because of worries for employee safety. The “reporter” called it Seattle-bashing. Actually, Seattle’s been doing a pretty good job of bashing itself ever since the CHAZ/CHOP takeover in 2020 … but I digress. The subject is political fear-mongering, like the ad that earned Sen. Patty Murray four Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact-checkers for running ads claiming Republicans want to end Social Security and Medicare. It’s worked in five elections, heaven forbid she should have to run on her record after 30 years.

• Last but not least, there’s calling all Republicans MAGA Republicans unless they’re Liz Cheney. Politics is quintessentially nonbinary, with Democrats and lean Democrats, Independents and Libertarians, lean Republicans and Republicans. Then there’s the ends of the spectrum, where the MAGA Republicans and Yellow Dog Democrats hang out. The latter is a useful term, refers to someone who would “have sooner voted for a yellow dog than for a Republican,” according to the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat caucus. The Blue Dogs have been losing ground as the progressive extreme rises on the left. There were 54 in 2008. The Hill predicts they’ll only be eight Blue Dogs left after November . About time for a resurgence of the silent majority. Get ready to vote, ballots drop in a couple of weeks.

Contact Sue Lani Madsen at

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