By Tim Eyman
Olympia’s Democrats threw a huge childish hissy-fit on Friday, stomping their feet, spitting venom and bile, holding their breath and turning blue … all because (gasp!) they didn’t have the votes but Republicans did — and they’re still pouting about it.
In November, if Democrats lose their majorities in the state House and/or state Senate and/or lose the governorship, it’ll be because they deserve it based on Friday’s childish hissy-fit. In multiple floor speeches, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown could not have been more patronizing, superior, holier-than-thou and condescending. Wants-to-replace-congressman-Norm-Dicks-who’s-retiring Derek Kilmer nearly bawled like a little baby girl — quivering lip and all. Craig Pridemore was a sanctimonious blowhard who’s still “searching for a word.” They humiliated themselves publicly but their own lack of humility and self awareness stops them from feeling embarrassed by it.
Why were they so upset? In the state Senate on Friday, three Democrats voted with the Republicans to pass a budget and a couple of reform bills that’ll be used as a negotiating tool to make the House Democrats’ budget less gimmicky and more sustainable.
Cry me a river.
They’ll never admit it, but what was so exasperating to Democrat leaders was why these three rank-and-file Democrats didn’t just do what happens in Olympia every day: why didn’t at least one of them simply trade their vote? Brian Hatfield did (his “pulp is renewable energy” bill). It happens literally every day. They couldn’t conceive of a politician, especially a Democrat, not just trading their principles for pork.
Maybe there’s a point when even three Democrats get tired of the arrogant, dictatorial, slave-master method of legislative manipulation employed by House Speaker Frank Chopp and Senate leader Brown and Gov. Christine Gregoire over the past eight years. Maybe there’s a point when even three Democrats can’t just prostitute themselves one more time, trading their vote for a bridge in their district and selling out their principles and constituents. Maybe there’s a point when even three Democrats observe the railroading of minority Republicans on a daily basis for eight years and think to themselves, “We’re not omnipotent gods, let’s give some other reform bills a chance to be considered.”
All night long on Friday, the floor speeches by Democrats were pious, hypocritical and pathetic. Condescending lectures about abuse-of-process were pathetic and almost laughable.
Imagine how fed up Tim Sheldon, Rodney Tom and Jim Kastama had to be to agree to vote with Republicans, knowing how emotional and irrational and dictatorial their Democrat colleagues are, knowing they’d face legislative and electoral retaliation for expressing independence and allegiance to their principles.
From the Seattle Times: “Kastama said he went along with the GOP because a series of bills, including a proposed constitutional amendment to require a balanced state budget, are languishing in the Legislature. He wants them passed. ‘People are shocked, (b)ut this is what you do when people can’t get bills through the process.’ Tom said he was frustrated by the Democrats’ spending proposal, along with the failure to pass government reform. ‘Another budget that is unsustainable, relies upon accounting gimmicks and sets our state up for a perennial deficit is simply unacceptable.’”
Gregoire said “This is not how we do business in Washington state.” That’s correct … here’s one time the Democrats didn’t get 100 percent of what they wanted. Is it really the end of Western civilization for the Democrats in charge of Olympia to be reminded that they are mortal? That they do not have a monopoly on wisdom concerning public policy? The initiative process is a chance for the citizens to propose ideas that Olympia won’t consider — there’d be less need for initiatives if more than once every 25 years, there was some indication by the electeds in Olympia that reform takes priority over knee-jerk party allegiance.
Chris Gregoire, Lisa Brown, Frank Chopp, and the other slave-master Democrats in Olympia have ruled with an iron fist for too long. Power corrupts — absolute power corrupts absolutely. These immature, power-obsessed Democrats are illustrating the need for new leadership in Olympia in November.
If there’s a special session, it is because Gregoire, Brown and Chopp are too superior to accept a budget that isn’t 100 percent what they want. If taxpayers are forced to pay for a special session, it is because one-party rule in Olympia has proven itself a failure.
Tim Eyman is an initiative activist from Mukilteo (425-493-9127, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com).