I recently read a letter on these pages decrying the cozy relationship between our elected officials and the Democratic Party, and I couldn’t agree more. As a young voter, I consistently vote for candidates with a record of championing progressive causes. That being said, I am uncomfortable with the perceived lack of independence from our representatives in the other Washington, specifically Sen. Patty Murray. On issues from NSA spying to health care, Sen. Murray has largely echoed the Democratic Party’s official, focus-tested positions. Her reaction to the partial government shutdown was particularly disdainful, with a canned response about Congressional Republicans throwing “tantrums” in order to get their way. When did our democracy sink so low? Has name calling really replaced negotiation as the primary means for legislating?
Washington state has a long history of electing independent-minded candidates who aren’t afraid to buck their own party if it means getting results. Just because our state is reliably blue shouldn’t mean that our representatives walk in lock-step with the Democratic Party. On the contrary, it should give them more political room to come up with real, pragmatic solutions to our problems. Bring back the mavericks!