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Senate candidate: ‘We’re all going to die.’

A San Francisco attorney’s guerrilla campaign to succeed Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate rests upon a laser-like focus on combating climate change and a hefty dose of sarcastic humor.

“ISIS. Obamacare. Russia. The NSA. Wealth disparity. Immigration reform. Gun control. What do all of these hot issues for the 2016 election have in common? None of them matter because we’re all going to die,” says the home page at IWillNotDoNothing.com, the campaign website of Mikelis Beitiks, 32.

“Every forecast on climate change predicts severe consequences without dramatic measures. And yet, federal legislators do essentially nothing,” the Democrat wrote. “In light of this, I offer myself as a candidate for U.S. Senate. If elected, I vow to address global warming like a human being with basic reasoning and any sense of proportion.”

Here’s the basic pitch:

Beitiks on Tuesday published an open letter to Boxer (on letterhead emblazoned “From the Dining Room Table That Doubles as the Desk of Mike Beitiks”) thanking her for her service, particularly her work to combat climate change.

“In your 32 years on the Hill, you have undoubtedly formed bulletproof alliances, banked countless favors, and compiled mountains of insider knowledge. Imagine the possibilities if, to save future generations of Americans, you torch all of that in your final year of service,” he wrote. “Hear me out here – You don’t have to worry about re-election, and you never have to work with these people again. This is freedom that could change the world.”

Beitiks then proceeds to urge Boxer to “abandon courtesy, call in favors without mercy, blackmail – stuff like that” to force the Senate to approve the most ambitious climate treaty possible when President Obama goes to Paris in November for the United Nations Climate Conference.

“Then, filibuster all legislation that makes its way up into the Senate until concrete solutions on climate change are created in the house,” he wrote. “Sure, you’ll get roasted in the media for it, but so what? In 15 short months, you’ll be retired and off the grid – daiquiris, Grafton and sandy toes in Aruba, popsicle-blue surf shushing the stateside wonk jibber-jabber.”

“And, you know, I’m just spit-balling now, but the next time a fellow Senator says something untrue or unproductive about climate change, consider slugging him/her,” he continued. “Imagine how you’d change the national conversation with a well-placed right hook! Squaring up would be ideal, but a sucker-punch would work, particularly as a metaphor.”

Beitiks said Wednesday he’s a stay-at-home father of two who realized in January, when Attorney General Kamala Harris declared her candidacy to succeed Boxer, that she’s “a very qualified candidate and I’d be very excited if she got elected” yet she lacks a strong platform position on climate change.

Given that he has “a certain amount of unresolved anxiety” about the climate-change crisis, he said dryly, “It seemed like a reasonable avenue to offer myself as an idiot with a bulletproof premise … an act of political self-immolation.”

“I know a lot of people feel this strongly about it – that’s the response I’ve been getting to the campaign so far,” he added.

Read more about Beitik’s quixotic campaign, after the jump…

His letter to Boxer this week is the latest salvo in a campaign that has gotten attention in recent months from MSNBC, Grist, The Awl and other media outlets.

“Let it first be said that I am not a scientist, or an engineer, or a time-traveler, or whatever the kind of person is who will hands-on actually fix this problem,” Beitiks wrote on his website’s “qualifications” page. “However, I am someone willing to use every single government resource you grant to my discretion or indiscretion to get the right people in the right positions to stop us all from dying.”

“I am totally willing to make mistakes. Huge mistakes. I don’t care about re-election, and I believe that when it comes to preserving life on earth as we know it, an honest mistake is better than a dishonest anything.”

Beitiks also offers a platform entitled “Things I Will Do That Are Not Nothing,” including greatest hits such as:

    “Take all of the rich people’s money, put it toward fighting climate change. Then, take all of the poor people’s money, put that toward fighting climate change. Basically, nobody gets money anymore until no more climate change.”
    “Cutting down a tree will now be called ‘arbortion.’ You can’t perform an arbortion unless the government says it’s OK.”
    “Withdraw military from Middle East. Deploy military in people’s driveways to make sure they’re not taking unnecessary trips, driving when they could be walking, etc…”
    “On a related note, probably no private cars, period. Not like socialism, per se, but like a species that wants to survive, per se.”
    “No more daylight savings time. Actually, whenever it’s dark, it’s just going to be dark. Welcome to the real world.”
    “Schools will no longer teach any subjects other than Earth Sciences and Math. The rest of the time, kids will be forced to brainstorm ways we can stop climate change. In the dark.”
    “Stop Volcanoes.”
    “Filibuster all legislation from any party that does not address climate change until we have a plan in place, and advocate for widespread amendments to the Constitution that will enable some pretty serious changes in the way we do things around here.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    In the long run, we’re all dead—attributed to JM Keynes.

  • JohnW

    Most of all, I like his position on Daylight Savings Time. This seems like something around which we could form a bipartisan coalition.

    No more daylight savings time. Actually, whenever it’s dark, it’s just going to be dark. Welcome to the real world.”