Halloween brings the rare opportunity for grown-ass adults to dress up like damn fools. The man in the banana suit I just saw walking down Western Avenue can attest to this. And so can a group of activists in Olympia donning cat suits this afternoon, though at least their costumed frivolity comes with a purpose greater than collecting bite-sized Snickers bars.
As Brad Shannon of the Olympian notes, a litter of "left-of-center activists" dressed in cat costumes plan to present U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and congressional candidate Denny Heck - who are both campaigning in Oly today - with a pledge designed to solidify their support for maintaining Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Referring to this effort as a "cat food pledge" (get it?), the activists in cat suits want Heck and Cantwell to promise not to cut funding to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and plan to present the pledge to the candidates during a planned stop at Ramblin Jack's restaurant in Olympia at 4:30 p.m.
It should make for quite the photo op.
As the Olympian notes:
We think that cutting those programs to strengthen them is a trick, not a treat," says Gar Lipow, an Olympia author and computer consultant who has long advocated for a single-payer health-care system and plans to dress up as a cat to meet Cantwell in Olympia.
Lipow said he's aware that Cantwell already signed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' letter to the Senate pledging not to cut Social Security benefits for current retirees. But Lipow said he and a half-dozen other left-of-center activists want to be sure that Cantwell will help close any "loopholes" in her basic position so they plan to present their pledge - including stating she would oppose cuts in benefits for future retirees or an increase in the retirement age.