Elections are about change. Or not. Throw the Rascals Out! | Views from the Rain Shadow

Donald Stull
Posted 10/14/20

I have been a political and news junkie since I was a kid. When I was a student at UW in the 70s, I used to take a Greyhound bus to Gardiner (to what used to be the General Store) and meet my …

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Elections are about change. Or not. Throw the Rascals Out! | Views from the Rain Shadow


I have been a political and news junkie since I was a kid.

When I was a student at UW in the '70s, I used to take a Greyhound bus to Gardiner (to what used to be the General Store) and meet my grandmother to spend the weekend with her at Diamond Point.

We would watch all the PBS news shows on Friday and jointly yell at the TV, complain about the politicians, shrug our shoulders about the economy. It was like our one-minute hate. With the exception of taking bets on which relative of the mayor would be elected to the city council or appointed to a key position or reading the latest “outrage” published by Lesser Seattle, there wasn’t much to liven the political scene. At least not until the Owl Party came flying onto the scene.

I generally keep my political views to myself and it’s only when my wife tells me to take my blood pressure meds that I realize I’m probably being a bit more vocal than I mean to be.

However, a person would have to be living under a rock, stuffed in a log, and tossed deep into a cave not to notice this election cycle. The level of vitriol, obfuscation, dodging and weaving questions, and outright white lies on steroids seem to be wearing on the American public. Even family members and long-time friends have nearly come to fisticuffs over which candidate is better. (Hint: Neither. It’s like Coke Classic and New Coke. They’re both awful, so you hold your nose when you pick one.)

Elections are often about change. Or not.

In either case, I think Americans could use something a bit more light-hearted politically BUT with some practicality. Take the case of the Owl Party. They were a bona fide political party in Washington State prior to the 1976 election.

Hatched in a Tumwater nightclub, all members of this political “party” felt that the regular denizens of the bar (not the law bar but the drinking bar) could run the government at least as well as the crop of lawyer-politicians at that time was doing. In addition, they would bring fresh perspectives to address the political needs of the State and its people.

What started as a joke became a movement and then a short-lived political party (which, by the way, pissed off mainstream politicians in Olympia so much that they changed the way in which people can file to run for political office).

How can one not take seriously a political party that has a motto, “Throw the rascals out!”? Or better yet, “We don’t give a hoot!”

The Owl Party (an acronym for both “Out With Logic” and “On With Lunacy”) focused on numerous, serious social issues without necessarily offering pragmatic solutions. And, yet, in today’s political climate, their perspective and “solutions” could provide the respite that Americans need from the minute-by-minute thumping of tribal drums.

Take, for instance, the promise of Jack “The Ripoff” Lemon who ran for Lieutenant Governor: Within 24 hours of being elected he promised that heads would roll at the state capitol.

First he would purchase two porta-potties and put them on wheels. Then he would shove them off the edge of the bluff behind the governor’s mansion. “Fast” Lucie Grirswold, who ran for Secretary of State, took an unequivocal stand against the heartbreak of psoriasis, bed wetting, and post-nasal drip.

And if that wasn’t enough, she devised two new baking recipes to help with two critical social issues: unemployment rolls and welfare rolls.

Each required special yeast. Red Kelly, the owner of the nightclub, ran for governor. It’s clear he had a good grasp of the political and economic needs of the State when he astutely pointed out that unemployment wasn’t working. Moreover, he noted that once you make an issue of issues and you respond to those issues, they are no longer issues but become answers.

Besides “Fast” Lucie and Jack “The Ripoff,” there were other highly reputable candidates. I mean, how could you not vote for someone for attorney general with a name of “Bunco” Bob Kelly, or Archie “Whiplash” Breslin for insurance commissioner? They just don’t make political candidates like that any more.

So, if you’re tired of the mainstream politicians and lawyers failing to listen to you or care a jot about your physical, economic, and emotional well-being, then let’s get 250,000 signatures, resurrect the Owl Party, and Throw the Rascals Out!

Wishing you peace and happiness. VOTE!


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Justin Hale

Where do I sign up?

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Tom Camfield

I wasn’t really looking forward to welcoming a guy named Donald to this forum, but I must say that your your blog was a welcome joy to read in today’s world. So welcome many times over. Pushing 92, I will vouch that life is too short to be lived without humor. I was in my 40s back when you were attending UW. Humor was grasped eagerly by readers, but was a tough sell here and there at those times that money ruled the roost and I wasn’t so much able to stay in step with my own drummer.

I grew up mucking about in the mess left behind by Herbert Hoover. He campaigned (I’m told) a lot like Donald Trump, but was a lot smarter in some ways, despite his ruination of the economy. Kept secrets with his wife in Chinese. Some years later I was surprised when I asked my Dad whom he’d voted for—and it wasn’t FDR. I seen to recall it was Norman Thomas, six-time Socialist candidate who was running on an anti-war ticket in 1940.

I actually voted for one Republican with regularity some years ago—Daniel J. Evans, governor from 1965 to ’77 and U.S. Senator from 1983 to ’89. I trusted him as a man of the people. Still do. He’s still pushing on a couple of years ahead of me somewhere. He had a nice op-ed article in The Seattle Times a year or so ago.

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Justin Hale

Tom, I worked in Dan Evans house in Windamere/Seattle years ago, he and his wife Nancy were very nice to me, good people. I also voted for him.

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Donald Stull

Thank you for your kind words, Tom. I'm pleased that I can add some smile to at least one person's face during these challenging times. I try not to get into a public contention over politics (I'm happy to let you wear that mantle!) as I get enough of it when I'm with my family. And it's bad for my blood pressure.

Dan Evans was the only Republican I ever voted for. A very reasonable man, I always thought.

I think I could learn a few things from you about life in the Pac NW, since you have longer experience than me. I look forward to further exchanges.

Justin: We should talk about getting the Owl Party up and running again ;-)

Friday, October 16, 2020
Tom Camfield

Seems to happen to me a lot. No sooner did I mentioned 'Dan Evans than he showed up in Saturday's Seattle Times. Couple of nice photos of

him and his wife—and article. I was a bit close many years back after the family vacationed here and young Danny caught a fair-sized salmon. I took his photo, ran it in the paper and engaged in some mailings. Danny also later played some high school football at Charles 'Wright, which was on the P.T. schedule.

I was right. Dan is a couple of years older than I and both he and his wife look good. Jean remembers him as an "honorable man" and I don't think he's changed any. He also had a agent respect for the environment.

Saturday, October 17, 2020