Carl has already thoroughly fisked it over at EFFin’ Unsound (yes, I know Carl, you hate the etymology of the term, but find me a better word that describes what you do), still, I just couldn’t let this Seattle Times editorial pass without comment.
METROPOLITAN King County Council members must be forward-thinking and willing to select an independent or moderate to fill the council seat vacated by new County Executive Dow Constantine.
You know, exactly the kind of “independent or moderate” (whatever that means) the voters of Constantine’s predominantly liberal Democratic district would never choose.
Why? Well, according to the Times, despite that fact that the office nominally became nonpartisan last year, council members still tend to caucus and vote along party lines, leaving a 4-4 split between Democrats and Republicans in any effort to choose Constantine’s replacement. So the Times’ solution: the Democrats must cave.
That’s right… it’s not up to the Republicans on the council to do the right thing and accept a replacement who largely reflects the values of the voters of Constantine’s district, but rather it’s the Democrats’ responsibility to settle this quickly by appointing a so-called “independent” who would surely tilt the balance of power on the council to the other side, and perhaps marshal the advantages of incumbency to win the seat for good next November.
What a load of crap.
Constantine won and held that seat as a progressive Democrat. Constantine ran and won the executive’s office as a progressive Democrat. It would thus be a disservice to the voters of his district and the county as a whole to appoint anybody who doesn’t largely share Constantine’s values. And if the Republicans on the council choose to be obstructionist about this, then they’re the ones who deserve the criticism.
Of course, this whole logjam wouldn’t have been possible if that incredibly stupid, naive, dishonest and shortsighted charter amendment making the council nonpartisan — you know, the one the Times strongly endorsed — hadn’t passed. Under the old system, the Democratic PCO’s would have presented a list of three suitable candidates to the council, eliminating the opportunity for kind of partisan gridlock the Times now claims it seeks to avoid.
Kinda ironic, huh?