Brendan William's frank analysis of the Rodney Tom debacle, and the Dems' dilemma

Former progressive legislator Brendan Williams says, in The Inevitable Republican Coup and Its Inevitable Silver Lining, that the Democrats’ embracing of Rodney Tom a few years go had a predictable outcome: his turning on them the way the scorpion turned on the frog.

By rejecting the man [Rodney] Tom refers affectionately to as “Rob” [McKenna], Washington voters made it clear that after decades of Democratic governors they still want to chart a progressive course. The actions of Tom and Sheldon are, quite simply, aimed at invalidating the election. Every eight years the frog gets a chance to drown the scorpion. Will we take it? …

We were told an all-cuts bipartisan budget was equivalent to the moon landing! We heard the safety net was saved and the budget “spectacular”! We read education and higher education were, by not being cut further in a supplemental budget, saved!

Meanwhile, in truth, the safety net was gutted; the state workforce was cut to a degree greater than any other state; and education funding plummeted while tuition rates soared.

Perhaps the Democrats would reply: “if we didn’t go along with the Tim Eyman-inspired budget cutting, anti-tax mentality, we’d get booted out of office.  Blame the misguided voters, who consistently vote almost two to one against income taxes and for 2/3 super-majority initiatives.!”  After all, 64.5% of Washington voters approved Eyman’s I-1185 this year: see

Washington Two-Thirds Vote Required to Raise Taxes, Initiative 1185 (2012)

I think Gov. Gregoire should now be using her soapbox to educate the public about these issues. She’s called for new revenue but needs to be louder about it.

Governor-elect Inslee has vowed not to raise revenue.

The Left in Washington State needs to mount a concerted effort to educate the public about how they’re getting screwed by the regressive tax system. The voters’ ignorance is the fundamental problem.

There also should be a cleaning of house in the Democratic Party, in which progressives kick out the DINOs (Democrats in name only). But such a battle would be difficult, because ex-Republicans and “centrist” Dems abound, and some of them are quite good on women’s rights, gay rights, and the environment.

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