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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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April 17, 2008 11:20 AM

Dems say Sound Transit art is culturally insensitive

Posted by David Postman

Capitol Hill Democrats don’t want a New York artist’s kissing warplanes sculpture at their local Sound Transit station. The 43rd District Democrats passed a resolution this week protesting artist Mike Ross’ proposed hanging sculpture that would feature chopped and pink-painted fighter jets.

The Democrats say there “are many more culturally sensitive themes for public art in Sound Transit's Capitol Hill station instead of warplanes.” The resolution also said that given that the neighborhood is a “major hub of artistic activity,” Sound Transit should hire a local artist to decorate the planned underground station.

Janice Van Cleve, a precinct committee officer and coordinator, said that people also will send letters and e-mails “protesting the cultural insensitivity of Sound Transit to the Capitol Hill neighborhood.”

When the proposal was unveiled, Ross said he would arrange the planes in “a non-aggressive way” that would show two fuselages sort of kissing in the air.

How loud a message can the 43rd Democrats send? Well, their dislike of the Pledge of Allegiance has traveled far.

The Stranger’s Eli Sanders wrote earlier this month about the district caucus.

At the mere mention of doing the pledge there were groans and boos. Then, when the district chair put the idea of doing the Pledge of Allegiance up to a vote, it was overwhelmingly voted down. One might more accurately say the idea of pledging allegiance to the flag (of which there was only one in the room, by the way, on some delegate’s hat) was shouted down.

This week, that anecdote led the Sunday column of Jack Kelly, who writes for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio.

Kelly used it, with a mention that it is home to Congressman Jim McDermott, as a piece of evidence of what he says is the Democrat’s wrong-headed approach to the world. Other examples cited by Kelly included former President Jimmy Carter’s planned trip to Syria and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move that stopped a vote last week on a free trade agreement with Colombia.

I'm not questioning the Democrats' patriotism. (They're doing a fine job of that all by themselves.) But Democrats do exhibit a disturbing tendency to subordinate the national interest to narrow partisan interests.

Wow, from Pennsylvania our little 43rd Democrats look as important as the House Speaker and a former president.

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