A wedge divides progressives and women in Washington State

Washington State Senator Steve Hobbs is a founding member of the Road Kill Caucus of centrists Democrats.  The Road Kill Democrats are known for often voting with Republicans on fiscal and labor issues.

Hobbs recently voted against the Washington Investment Trust (state bank) that progressives had been passionately promoting.

Steve Hobbs

Despite his role in the Road Kill Caucus, Hobbs is a hero of the women’s rights movement.  Hobbs was the prime sponsor of the Reproductive Parity Act that recently passed by the state Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee.  As reported by NARAL:

“NARAL Pro-Choice Washington applauds the committee for standing up for women’s health care access and approving the Reproductive Parity Act, and we thank prime sponsor Sen. Steve Hobbs for bringing this legislation forward,” said Christi Stapleton, Interim Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.

In a similar manner, NARAL gave its  endorsement to Republican Steve Litzow, who narrowly defeated progressive Randy Gordon for the 41st LD state senate seat. (See this article. )   NARAL gave dual endorsements: to both Gordon and Litzow.    Gordon lost by about 200 votes, due in part to attack ads funded by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity,and, presumably, to the endorsement of Litzow by NARAL.

Like Hobbs, Litzow did not support the Washington Investment Trust bill.  [Added: moreover, Litzow cast the deciding vote against the Reproductive Parity Act!]

Steve Litzow

I asked women’s rights activists about why NARAL endorses Republicans and Road Killers.  The answer was simple: they want to show that they’re bipartisan. Like many Catholics, for whom abortion is the only issue that matters, some women’s rights activists seem to care only about women’s rights — to the extent that they’ll endorse candidates like Litzow who, on other issues, are very conservative

The Road Killers and Republicans are very smart to divide the Left in this way.    I hope NARAL gets on board with the rest of the progressive movement and stops aiding the enemy.

Is this sort of wedge driving new?  That is, are socially liberal, fiscally conservative politicians driving a wedge into the Left elsewhere in America? Certainly it’s not happening on the national political stage, where Republicans have become increasingly conservative on both social and fiscal issues.

This is an unpleasant issue to bring up, but it needs to be raised.

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