To the Right of Reality

Democrats should pay attention to right-wing media since most of it is aimed at denigrating Democrats by Rush Limbaugh wannabes who use outrage to sell air. If Democrats knew a tire shop in town advertised on a program that ginned up hatred of them, called them communists and riled up listeners by lying about Democratic politicians and voters, would they do business at that shop? They do if they don’t know. There is a malevolent force running through our community and as distasteful as it is, we need to pay attention and push back or continue as easy marks aiding in the enrichment of unconscionable people.

Homeless people are apparently more fun to denigrate than liberals, according to last week’s conversations on the Bill Meyer Show. Of course, liberal policies are blamed for all the homeless camping along the sidewalks in Portland and in the Grants Pass parks. Eastern Oregon statehouse Rep. Werner Reschke blamed “rampant drugs” caused by the approval of Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, making drug screening and treatment available to addicts and removing criminal penalties for low-level drug possession. Callers reacting to the possibility of turning the former Elks Lodge in Grants Pass into a shelter were fairly unanimous in their depiction of the homeless as dirty scum that prey on children who should be kicked out of communities. The only caller suggesting where they should go proposed a camp at the Oregon/California border where they should all be shipped.

When discussing the election it appears Republicans won’t accept their losses in Oregon with grace and dignity. Reschke said the Drazan campaign has attorneys at the ready because the loser could mysteriously come out the winner and alluded to 2020 election mistrust for that preparation. Meyer added that when Democrats are losing magic boxes of ballots tend to show up in Multnomah County. Meyer also said “I’m not a fan of vote by mail. It doesn’t have a real chain of custody and you never really know who fills out the ballots.”

Josephine County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger, during his Tuesday call-in, said he’s been criticized for “my lack of human kindness” then repeated his story about visiting homeless camps and finding people who were perfectly happy living that way. When Meyer said he didn’t understand that Baertschiger replied, “that’s the point. We can’t understand it and trying to make them like us won’t work.”

Meyer swung to another subject saying he still gets a lot of emails asking why Baertschiger supports Betsy Johnson, the former Democrat now running for governor as a non-affiliated candidate. Baertschiger tried to explain that his support for her was part of a scheme to get more Democrats and Independents to vote for Betsy, thus allowing Republican Christine Drazan to win. He said without a drain of Democrats there is no way Drazan can win in Oregon, then recalled trying to get Republicans Dennis Richardson and Knute Buehler elected governor in this state. Buehler even came out as pro-choice but he still lost miserably, Baertschiger lamented.

“My attitude was by legitimizing Johnson’s campaign by having a few high profile Republicans support her Democrats might say ‘hey, maybe she can win so we’ll vote for her.’”

Meyer seemed a bit skeptical of this story.

Baertschiger went on to say at this point he doesn’t know who will win, but as commissioner he can work with either Drazan or Johnson. He isn’t looking forward to working with Tina Kotek if she becomes governor, however.

Bringing up Measure 114, Baertschiger said supporters are trying to say the gun safety proposal will help prevent suicides. (He equates supporters of 114 with Democrats but this was a non-partisan effort with several churches involved in getting enough signatures to qualify for the ballot) Baertschiger claimed Japan has a high rate of suicide and they don’t have guns. Bill asked why Democrats were worried about suicides when they love death? “So what if you kill yourself and you’re not using the doctor than something’s wrong with you? he asked, referring to Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act which is also non-partisan. “But if you do it with the medical system and an MD prescribing you the pills then it’s a morally superior way! I love it!” he added.

Advertisers during Meyer’s show all seem to target men. They include construction companies, auto repair shops, heating and cooling businesses, some prostate pill pusher, a Jonathon Knapp for Sheriff ad and a whispery Drazan ad.