The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, August 24, 2015, Image 6

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Founded in 1873
The tortoise and the hair
New York Times News Service
STEPHEN A. FORRESTER, Editor & Publisher
LAURA SELLERS, Managing Editor
n politics, the smallest things often
turn out to be the most telling ones,
and so it is with the man who was sup-
CARL EARL, Systems Manager
posed to be the Republican front-run-
JOHN D. BRUIJN, Production Manager
ner, who once inspired such rapture
DEBRA BLOOM, Business Manager
among party elders and whose entrance
into the presidential race they yearned
HEATHER RAMSDELL, Circulation Manager
and clamored for.
They not only got their wish, they
got it with punctuation: Jeb! That’s Jeb
Bush’s logo, and the exclamation point
is the tell. None of the other Republican
presidential candidates has anything
like it. None of the Democrats either.
It’s a declaration of passion that only
would issue. Methinks thou doth ex-
claim too much.
Before Bush announced his candi-
dacy, talk of his vulnerabilities focused
largely on certain positions — his de-
fense of Common Core educational
regon’s self-image is about an iconoclastic, pioneering standards, his advocacy for immigra-
spirit. Oregon enacted a b ottle b ill in 1971. Nine states tion reform — that were anathema to
many voters in the Republican prima-
have imitated it. Oregon voters agreed to death with dignity leg- ULHV+HZDVVXUHWRFDWFKÀDN
islation — physician-assisted suicide — in 1994. Two states —
Washington state and Vermont — have followed Oregon’s lead. bellicose candidates, he’s a whisper, a
Every time another state, such as – there is no broad trend of discussion blur, starved of momentum, bereft of
urgency and apt to make news because
Massachusetts, puts this proposal on the in Oregon.
ballot, eyes turn once again to Oregon.
The number of Oregonians who he stumbles, not because he soars. Can
Not surprisingly, there is a misinforma- have used physician-assisted suicide is he soar? Or even sprint?
“I’m the tortoise in the race,” he told
tion industry that aims to turn Oregon’s relatively small. And that was always a group of voters in Florida not long
law into something it’s not.
the expectation. It is not forced on any- ago. “But I’m a joyful tortoise.”
Last week’s contribution to re liti- one. On the contrary, a patient must ask
And Donald Trump’s a demented
gating Oregon’s law was Dr. William to use it. And the patient must take the peacock and I’m a crotchety hippo. Re-
verse anthropomorphism is a fun game,
L. Toffler’s article on the opinion page barbiturates on their own.
but if you’re playing it in the service of
of The Wall Street Journal. Toffler is
The reality is that many Oregon selling yourself, best not to summon a
an Oregon physician and professor of physicians choose not take part in the sluggish creature with a muted affect
family medicine at Oregon Health and SUDFWLFH 7KDW RIWHQ PDNHV LW GLI¿FXOW and an impenetrable shell.
Republicans should have seen this
Science University.
for a patient, especially in a rural area,
coming. In some sense they did.
Dr. Toffler is accurate in saying that to obtain the barbiturates which the law
fans and backers praised him as
Oregon voters narrowly approved phy- GHVLJQDWHV 6RPH ¿YH \HDUV DJR WKLV
a thoughtful “policy wonk” and con-
sician-assisted suicide . The ballot initia- newspaper described the wrenching ex- ceded that he wasn’t any dynamo at the
tive won 51 percent of the vote. But he perience that Rod Gramson of Astoria lectern or on the trail.
failed to tell WSJ readers that when The had in helping his partner use physi-
But they downgraded the impor-
tance of dynamism, maybe because
Oregonian and the Catholic Conference cian-assisted suicide .
of Bishops promoted the law’s repeal in
The initiative’s opponents in 1994 they didn’t expect so much competition,
1997, the “no” vote was 59 percent. In based their case on religion and morality.
other words, the law had gained credibil- What the opponents misread was a ba-
ity with time.
sic motivation for the death with dignity
Dr. Toffler’s basic mischaracteriza- movement — widespread mistrust of the
tion of the experience in Oregon is that medical profession on end of life choic-
“there has been a profound shift in atti- es. It is no secret that some physicians are
Washington Post Writers Group
tude toward medical care — new fear not good at pain and symptom control.
An excellent outcome of the law ,
“This was not a subject that was
While it is true that nationally there ZKLFK'U7RIÀHUGRHVQRWPHQWLRQLV on anybody’s mind until I brought it
is more candor about issues of death that hospice and palliative care have up at my announcement.”
— Donald Trump, on immi-
and dying — as the Baby Boom demo- gained increased visibility and empha-
gration, Republican debate, Aug. 6
graphic moves into its seventh decade sis in Oregon.
ot on anyone’s mind? For years,
BETTY SMITH, Advertising Manager
Quit distorting state’s
assisted suicide law
Misinformation industry turns
law into something it’s not
In a bloated fi eld of bellicose
candidates, he’s a whisper, a
blur, starved of momentum,
bereft of urgency and apt
to make news because he
stumbles, not because he soars.
most on the economy, on
including Trump. (It’s “the
immigration and on battling
race between the tortoise
Islamic extremists.
and the bad hair,” cracked
He runs afoul of the mo-
Jay Leno last week.) They
ment. Voters right now are
couldn’t envision the way in
more enamored of outsid-
which 16 rivals would rob
ers than usual, as the trac-
Bush of clear distinction and
tion of not just Trump but
also two other Republican
Sure, he speaks Spanish
candidates who have never
and has a Mexican-born
wife, but Marco Rubio also
and Carly Fiorina —
speaks Spanish and has two
Cuban-born parents. Sure,
Voters have had enough
he was twice elected gov-
ernor of a state that’s not reliably red, of protocol and pieties. Thus Trump
but so were Scott Walker, Chris Christie thrives in a party that he constantly
browbeats and shows no real loyalty
and John Kasich.
He’s not the most eloquent or the WRZDUG ZKLOH %HUQLH 6DQGHUV ÀRXU
most inspiring, so his backers began to ishes among Democrats though he
pitch him as the most adult. But at that has repeatedly railed against them and
¿UVWGHEDWH.DVLFKVWROHHYHQWKDWVX doesn’t technically identify as one.
For some alienated voters, support-
perlative from him.
What’s left? He’s raised the most ing either of these two insurgents is the
money, some of which he’ll use for tele- VDPH DV UDLVLQJ D PLGGOH ¿QJHU WR HV
vision ads much sooner than anyone had tablishment politicians and to politics as
anticipated. He’ll try to buy the oomph usual, and tactful, tasteful Bush can nev-
that he can’t organically generate.
The pinkie may prevail. In the
Oomph is what that big speech last
week — in which he blamed Hillary Bush camp there’s a theory, or perhaps
Rodham Clinton for the rise of the an anxiety-quelling fantasy, that the
Islamic State — was largely about. Trump mania and the related craziness
pendence, showing that his surname cally build support and incrementally
wouldn’t cow him from going after a lengthen his stride while the glare and
Democratic rival on any matter, includ- heat are on others.
ing Iraq. It took gall to edit his older
brother out of the diatribe. It took guts ly winnows and Bush is saved by a su-
perlative after all. He’s the most durable
Did it help? Polls suggest not. A candidate.
It’s a plausible scenario. But it’s
CNN/ORC survey that was released
Tuesday showed that he doesn’t fare hardly a joyful one. And there’s only
nearly as well as Trump when Repub- one way to punctuate it — with a ques-
lican voters are asked whom they trust tion mark.
The immigration swamp
Alderbrook discussions
lderbrook is very much its
own place, a self-contained
residential enclave that even long-
term residents elsewhere in the
county and region may barely no-
tice as they pass above it on U.S.
Highway 30. Residents like it this
way, as they made quite clear at
last Thursday’s town hall meeting
to consider Alderbook’s compo-
nent of Astoria’s Riverfront Vision
The Neighborhood Greenway
along the Alderbrook waterfront
essentially just needs to be left the
way it is. Residents at the town hall
said they want their river views,
water access and village-like at-
tributes preserved. Unlike much
other waterfront along the small
Columbia River peninsula that
Astoria occupies, there don’t ap-
pear to be near-term threats to this
community vision — no big hotels
are on the horizon.
Leaving Alderbook completely
alone, from the standpoint of ac-
tive planning, would not be advis-
able. It only takes a brief attempt to
travel from one end of town to the
other this summer to realize that
Astoria has been discovered. All
its neighborhoods need proactive
measures to stay ahead of devel-
parking shortages and other trends
continue to be problematic and
are not simply byproducts of one
summer’s inland heat and idyllic
coastal weather, pressure will rap-
idly grow from all residents — not
better ways to hold the line against
urban-type encroachments.
Astoria has relatively sophisti-
cated planning efforts and an ac-
tively engaged citizenry. Possibly
the bigger shoreline conservation
challenges are elsewhere.
Pacific County, Wash., and its
four incorporated cities are in the
midst of a roughly once-a-decade
revamp of their Shoreline Master
Programs, a state-mandated plan-
ning process that is Washington
state’s expansive effort to man-
date a thorough vision for pres-
ervation and growth along the
Department of Ecology is operat-
ing on a policy of no net loss of
wetlands, and is generally cranking
down on past practices that allowed
more in the way of mitigating for
shoreline losses by preserving
wetlands elsewhere. There is an
increasing awareness in the state
that past practices have not worked
very well, especially around Puget
In Clatsop County beyond
Astoria, perhaps the biggest poten-
tial impacts to the shoreline would
stem from the proposed Oregon
LNG project on the Skipanon
Peninsula. Not only would there be
a massive LNG storage facility, but
its installation might open the door
to more industrial development on
a waterfront where it might not be
As in Alderbrook, the key with
all these decisions is for area cit-
izens to be actively involved in
voicing preferences for future di-
rections. Often, they will want a
minimum of change. Sometimes,
they may opt for development and
associated jobs. But in every case,
well-informed community desires
should take the lead.
Moreover, the real is-
ground — they are forced
sue is not the birthright
into a debate about a re-
babies themselves, but
pulsive fantasy.
the chain migration that
Which, for the Repub-
follows. It turns one baby
lican Party, is also political
into an imported village.
poison. Mitt Romney lost
Chain migration, how-
the Hispanic vote by 44
ever, is not a constitution-
points and he was advocat-
al right. It’s a result of
ing only self-deportation.
statutes and regulations.
immigration has been the sub- These can be readily
Now the party is discuss-
ing forced deportation.
ject of near-constant, often bitter ar- changed. That should be
It is not just Hispanics
gument within the GOP. But it is true the focus, not a quixotic
who will be alienated. Romney lost
that Trump has brought the debate constitutional battle.
the Asian vote, too. By 47 points.
Mass deportation.
nouncement speech, about whether
Last Sunday, Trump told NBC’s And many non-minorities will be of-
Mexican migrants are really rapists, Chuck Todd that all illegal immi- fended by the idea of rounding up 11
and now with the somewhat more grants must leave the country. Al- million people, the vast majority of
nuanced Trump plan.
though once they’ve been kicked out, whom are law-abiding members of
their communities.
Much of it — visa tracking, we will let “the good ones” back in.
Donald Trump has every right to
E-Verify, withholding funds from
On its own terms, this is crackpot.
sanctuary cities — predates Trump. Wouldn’t you save a lot just on May- advance his ideas. He is not to be be-
Even building the Great Wall is not ÀRZHUPRYLQJFRVWVLI\RXFKRVHWKH grudged his masterly showmanship,
particularly new. (I, for one, have “good ones” ¿ rst — before sending his relentless candor or his polling
been advocating that in
SWAT teams to turf success. I strongly oppose the idea
this space since 2006.)
families out of their of ostracizing anyone from the GOP
Dominating the discus-
homes, loading them or the conservative movement. On
sion, however, are his would all
on buses and dumping whose authority? Let the people de-
two policy innovations:
them on the other side cide.
But that is not to say that he
(a) abolition of birth- be merely
of the Rio Grande?
right citizenship and
frivolously, should be exempt from normal
ridiculous it is estimated by the scrutiny or from consideration of
(b) mass deportation.
Birthright citizen-
Amer- the effect of his candidacy on con-
if it
ican Action Forum servatism’s future. If you are a con-
If you are born in
that mass deportation servative alarmed at the country’s
the United States, you
would take about 20 direction and committed to retaking
are an American citi-
years and cost about the White House, you should be con-
zen. So says the 14th
billion for all the cerned about what Trump’s ascen-
obscene. $500
Amendment. Barring
police, judges, law- dancy is doing to the chances of that
some esoteric and rad-
yers and enforcement happening.
The Democrats’ presumptive can-
ically new jurisprudence, abolition agents — and bus drivers! — needed
would require amending the Consti- to expel 11 million people.
tution. Which would take years and
This would all be merely ridicu- KDYHDQXQXVXDOO\WDOHQWHG¿HOGZLWK
great political effort. And make the lous if it weren’t morally obscene. a good chance of winning back the
GOP anathema to Hispanic-Ameri- Forcibly evict 11 million people presidency. Do they really want to
cans for a generation.
from their homes? It can’t hap- be dragged into the swamps — right
And for what? Birthright citizen- pen. It shouldn’t happen. And, of now, on immigration — that will
ship is a symptom, not a cause. If course, it won’t ever happen. But make that prospect electorally im-
you regain control of the border, the because it’s the view of the Repub- possible?
Yes, I understand. The anger, the
number of birthright babies fades to lican front-runner, every other can-
LQVLJQL¿FDQFH7KHWLPHDQGHQHUJ\ didate is now required to react. So frustration, etc., etc., that Trump is
it would take to amend the Constitu- instead of debating border security, channeling. But how are these alleviat-
tion are far more usefully deployed guest-worker programs and sanctu- ed by yelling “I’m mad as hell” — and
securing the border.
ary cities — where Republicans are proceeding to elect Hillary Clinton?
Where to write
• U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici
(D): 2338 Rayburn HOB, Wash-
ington, D.C., 20515. Phone: 202-
225-0855. Fax 202-225-9497.
District office: 12725 SW Mil-
likan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton,
OR 97005. Phone: 503-469-6010.
Fax 503-326-5066. Web: bonami- gov/
• U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D):
Washington, D.C. 20510. Phone:
202-224-3753. Web: www.merkley.
• U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D):
Washington, D.C., 20510. Phone:
202-224-5244. Web: www.wyden.
• State Rep. Brad Witt (D): State
Capitol, 900 Court Street N.E., H-373,
Salem, OR 97301. Phone: 503-986-
1431. Web:
• State Rep. Deborah Boone
(D): 900 Court St. N.E., H-481, Sa-
lem, OR 97301. Phone: 503-986-
1432. Email: rep.deborah boone@
928, Cannon Beach, OR 97110.
Phone: 503-986-1432. Web: www. boone/
• State Sen. Betsy Johnson (D):
State Capitol, 900 Court St. N.E.,
S-314, Salem, OR 97301. Telephone:
503-986-1716. Email: sen.betsy Web: www.
P.O. Box R, Scappoose, OR 97056.
Phone: 503-543-4046. Fax: 503-543-