August 09, 2006
Steve Beren: From Socialism To The GOP

Leaving the Left beats anti-depressants. The Seattle Times' Bruce Ramsey today profiles Steve Beren, the forthright GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Tikrit). Beren is a former member of the Socialist Workers Party, and former Democrat who finally came to appreciate capitalism, military strength and national security. Sept. 11 was a turning point. He tells Ramsey:

"My goal is to make more people realize that the war on terrorism is real," he says. Of all the major cities in America, he says, "Seattle may be the most in denial."

Steve works as director of operations for an Internet company. I've talked with him and heard him speak at a number of events and have come away very impressed. He's a smart, solid, focused candidate. The time is not quite ripe for turning out McDermott, unfortunately, but I hope Steve will land somewhere in public life where he can apply his no-B.S. approach to good effect. Like maybe the Seattle City Council.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at August 09, 2006 10:53 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Sounds like a good G.I. JOE Republican to me...all bravado...rhetoric... and NO BALLS!!!

Posted by: Pacific Grove Phlash on August 9, 2006 11:08 AM
2. Seems to that it takes a lot of guts to walk away from angry, mean-spirited leftists and speak out against them.

It's pretty sad that it simply takes supporting America and our soldiers fighting the War on Terror to earn the left's fury?

Posted by: MJC on August 9, 2006 11:20 AM
3. PHLASH, I respectfully disagree. To run against McDermott now in Seattle's 7th Congressional Dist., you either have to be either gutsy or mad. Steve definitely falls into Category One. No it's not QUITE the same as dodging RPGs in Sadr City, but some real grit is required. And Beren has been seriously working the grassroots in this camapign already, I can tell you that.

Posted by: Matt R. on August 9, 2006 11:21 AM
4. PHLASH, Thank you for such intelligent, enlightening commentary.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on August 9, 2006 11:43 AM
5. Steve's a great guy.
During the Washington State GOP convention in Yakima earlier this year, his speach was the best received and had the troops fired up more than any other speaker outside of perhaps McKenna's.

Beren shows why it's important to have good candidates on the ballot. Is he going to beat McDermott? No. But an "insurgency" campaign like his will siphon off more attention from the Democrats that would be used elsewhere.

A qualified congressional candidate will get more Seattle Republicans (and yes there are still some) to the polls. If we can raise the number of people who are used to voting for Republicans in Seattle from 20 percent to 30 percent that makes are job in electing statewide office holders that much easier.

Posted by: Reporterward on August 9, 2006 12:10 PM
6. I can relate very personally to Beren's conversion. Back in the '60's and '70's I leaned left. I remember how angry most of those people were. A lot of them were unabashed communists. I realized I wanted nothing to do with these miserable people. One leftie friend I knew even saved his own personal waste so he could produce methane as an "alternative fuel". We were lucky he didn't blow us all to kindome come.
You can't make this stuff up.

Back then I saw a poster promoting a play that evidently was only supposed to be seen by members of what then was called the "women's movement". The play, according to the poster, "renews anger". What kind of people would want their anger renewed I wondered?

I'm sure Beren has seen plenty of the same stuff. He's to be congratulated for coming over to the side of sanity especially here in the kooky 7th district.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on August 9, 2006 12:11 PM
7. His goal is to make people realize the war on terror is real? That would be the easy part. Now, if he could come up with some ways to start winning the war on terror, then I'd be interested.

Democrats don't want to fight the war. Republicans fight, but they botch it badly.

Posted by: Sstarr on August 9, 2006 12:34 PM
8. Beren is a former member of the Socialist Workers Party, and former Democrat who finally came to appreciate capitalism, military strength and national security.

Which would make him (GASP) a neocon.

It's revealing how this word is thrown around as an insult by those on the left - and its definition amended to justify the insult - when it simply defines a person who switched from left to right, and embraces a pro-active foreign policy and a strong military. Kinda like, oh, I don't know ... Scoop Jackson.

Posted by: jimg on August 9, 2006 01:00 PM
9. "Democrats don't want to fight the war. Republicans fight, but they botch it badly."

That's the party line of the MSM from the NYT to the Economist. None of these savants have furnished any clear alternative action which would, in their opinion, unbotch the war to the point of winning it, and neither has Sstarr.

It is the line of the second-guessers, the backseat drivers and henpeckers. Were the MSM not the source of information that molds public opinion, the line would be merely an irritation. However, until the blogs remove the wool from public eyes, this line is pernicious and severely damages any honest debate of alternatives other than the 'cut and run' cliche.

Posted by: Hank Bradley on August 9, 2006 01:28 PM
10. "Kinda like, oh, I don't know ... Scoop Jackson."

Or Harry Truman. Or JFK. Or LBJ. Or Zell Miller.

Or even Andrew Jackson.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on August 9, 2006 01:50 PM
11. Geez "Sstarr" Beren is just the designated loser in my wacko 7th district. You want him to come up with a plan to win the war? Give the guy a break.

I think his idea of hoping he can get a few more people to realize how serious the war is against the terrorists is commendable. Most of the denizens of the 7th district are Bush haters who won't take the war seriously until terrorists attack us on our own soil again. Then they will scream that Bush hasn't done enough to protect us.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on August 9, 2006 02:04 PM
12. Opinions change; personalities and IQs don't. Beren seems to be as gutsy and quixotic now as when he was active in the SWP.

It puzzles me that someone as bright as he appears to be would take this long to drift to the center-Right, but I expect to vote for him anyway. (An equally quixotic gesture.)

Posted by: Tom Rekdal on August 9, 2006 02:57 PM
13. "Most of the denizens of the 7th district are Bush haters who won't take the war seriously until terrorists attack us on our own soil again."

Bill, most of the denizens of the 7th District are Bush haters who would happily tolerate terrorist attacks on our own soil 1) if they made Bush look bad and 2) "because we deserve them anyway." Doubt me? Look at who they keep re-electing.

Posted by: TB on August 9, 2006 03:02 PM
14. Bill,


You're right. Steve Beren is just there to get squished like a bug by my sanctimonious, annoying and silly Representative.

I'm just frustrated. Jim McDermott and Steve Beren SHOULD be debating the best way to achieve a peaceful democratic government in Iraq that is able to secure its borders and not be a haven for armed extremists. Instead Jim will just say "I didn't vote to go to war in Iraq. Nahh nahh ne nahh nahh." And Steve will reply "I support the troops!"

Posted by: Sstarr on August 9, 2006 03:09 PM
15. TB, I so wish you weren't right but I fear that what you say is true. I know these people.

And Sstarr...I couldn't agree more. I expect the scenario you outlined to play out just that way. How sad that it's come to the point that there can't be intelligent discussion of the issues.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on August 9, 2006 03:21 PM
16. I will continue to press McDermott for a debate of the issues. And I do believe that the debate can be substantive and intelligent, which would be beneficial for the Seattle area. A glimpse of what is possible can be seen by some of the brief encounters I have already had with McDermott. See www.berenforcongress.com/memorialday.html and www.berenforcongress.com/pistasanayon.html

Posted by: Steve Beren on August 9, 2006 04:33 PM
17. I read Steve's web site and I read Jim's. Sorry Steve, I am going to vote for Jim. You have not put much effort into communicating your position on the issues and I doubt that I would be impressed by your positions even if you had. Homeland security is important and so is peak oil (which you have touched on). But so is our national debt, global warming, health care costs, the growing desparity between rich and poor and the cluster we know as Iraq. As far as I can tell you are not qualified to represent the 7th in Congress and you probably will get your hat handed to you this November.

Windmills are good, haven't you heard! So you might as well put away your lance and get off your high horse before you make a fool of yourself.

Posted by: xbalance on August 9, 2006 06:07 PM
18. xbalance: Global warming is based on silly suppositions, the national debt exists because politicians (local as well as national) don't understand the concept of don't spend more than you take in, and health care is a mess because of constant lawsuits and the insistence hospitals treat anyone who walks through the emergency door. But all this is going to be moot if we don't wake up to the fact muslim extremists are doing their damndest to destroy our way of life. That is why the war on terror is so important. And unlike Baghdad Jim, Steve is willing to speak the truth on this even in the moonbat haven of Seattle.

Hmmm, let's see, muslim males blew up the plane over Lockerbie, Marine Corps barracks, the trade center, the USS Cole, US embassies in Kuwait, Kenya, Tanzania, and Beirut, and airports in Rome and Vienna. Muslim males decide to shoot up people at the El-Al counter at LAX and the Jewish Federation of Seattle. Steve is exactly right at making this a major issue in his campaign.

Of course you can certainly vote for the candidate of your choice. In this country one can disagree without the fear of reprisals. However, when you pull the lever for your buddy Jim, keep in mind among other things that he is more concerned about the civil liberties of child predators than he is about our children even if you share his sympathy for muslim terrorists.

Posted by: Burdabee on August 9, 2006 07:15 PM
19. War on Terror? Is that like in 1917 when the US got involved in the War on Machine Guns and Mustard Gas or in 1941 when we got involved in the War on Blitzkrieg?

We are fighting the Muslims.

There are two types of Muslims - those who are born into their religion.

And those who believe it.

We fight the second group.

The first group are no more Muslims than those who call themselves Christians are Christians because they were born in America and believe in the idea of God.

In World War Two there were two types of Nazis. Economic Nazis who became Nazi to survive and feed their families and true believers. My Grandfather in law is an example of an economic Nazi - a poor tailor who was forced to join the party to feed his children and wife. He could not get work (the only work being tailoring uniforms) without being a member of the party. One child has already died. My Grandfather in law was denied medicine for him because he was not a member of the party.

A similar case in Oskar Schindler, an economic Nazi, although one who exploited the party to much greater wealth than my relative (and to good effect too).

Two types of Nazis. Two types of Muslims.

True believers are the ones we fight. Alas, since we will likely not ever call this war by its true name we will as a result likely lose this war.

If we do ever get serious about this fight and defeat the Muslims the terms Islam and Muslim should subsequently have the stigma of the name Nazi. Some may still pursue Islam like some still persue Nazism but the masses should revile it.

(On a side note America is currently much more fascist economically than Germany was pre-1939. Not much of a stretch to adopt the ideology once the right Fuhrer comes along. Of course we have a few new names for our post-modern, post- thinking, economic fascism. Here are some of them: Corporate subsidy, public-private partnership, tax stimulation, tax incentive, budget incentives, disaster relief.)

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