Okay, so the Seattle Times editorial board has endorsed zillion-term Democratic incumbent state Representative Frank Chopp over his Socialist challenger Jess Spear. No surprise there. But there is one line from the endorsement that jumped out at me:
Seattle’s agenda is not the agenda for the entire state.
Huh. That may be true. But Chopp doesn’t represent the entire state. He represents Seattle’s 43rd Legislative District. And I’d argue that much of the discontent that many rank and file Seattle Dems feel towards Chopp and the rest of the Seattle delegation stems from a desire that they more forcefully represent the partisan interests of Seattle.
Same goes for our discontent with the Seattle Times editorial board, for that matter.
Politics is an adversarial process, and while you certainly need to be able to negotiate and compromise to get shit done, effective negotiation starts from the point of what your side wants, not from the point of what you think the other side needs. I mean, levy equalization and levy swaps, for example, might be the right thing to do for rural schoolchildren, but what do Seattle’s underfunded school kids get in return? Bupkes!
When the Seattle delegation is focused on doing what’s good for the entire state while the rest of Olympia is focused on fucking Seattle, Seattle’s interests ultimately get fucked.
And Chopp’s role as “representative” is further undermined by his role as House Speaker, where his primary responsibility is to build and maintain a Democratic majority. Kudos on that, Frank. But in the process, the 43rd LD has effectively been left with only two legislators instead of three.
No, Seattle’s agenda is not the agenda for the entire state. But our delegation’s failure to promote and defend our agenda in Olympia as vigorously as legislators from the rest of the state promote and defend theirs, has left Seattle at a political disadvantage.