Nineteen members of WA’s Republican Senate Caucus (and yes, Tim Sheldon is a member of the Republican caucus) have issued a letter calling on their Democratic colleagues to join them in defying the Washington State Supreme Court over its recent McCleary contempt order. The Senate GOP caucus (the press still dutifully refers to them as the “Majority Coalition Caucus,” but that’s just Orwellian bullshit) goes so far as to cite Abraham Lincoln’s own unconstitutional actions as precedent for their call to follow suit. Really. Personally, that’s not the part of Lincoln’s legacy that I would choose to honor, but I guess that’s what the GOP means these days when it proudly proclaims itself “the party of Lincoln.”
Well, now that these 19 Republicans are on the record in favor of violating the rule of law, it’s time for the citizens of their districts to respond by filing recall petitions against them—at least those senators who aren’t already up for reelection in 2016.
Generally, I’m not a big fan of recall elections, and I think Washington State does it right by making the process so difficult. Unlike say, California, you can’t just file a recall because you don’t like a politician or their politics. In Washington, you can only recall an elected official on grounds of “malfeasance,” “misfeasance,” or “violation of the oath of office.” And that latter ground is defined in statute as “the neglect or knowing failure by an elective public officer to perform faithfully a duty imposed by law.”
I’d say refusing to obey a Supreme Court order more than qualifies under that definition.
No doubt most or all of the signatories to this letter would win a recall election—I mean, being a total dick is pretty much a prerequisite for office in some of these districts—but they’d still have to spend time and money running their campaigns when they might otherwise be raising money on behalf of colleagues. And that couldn’t hurt Democratic efforts to retake the senate and restore some sanity (let alone respect for the rule of law) to the body.
So yeah, now that they’ve given us the legal grounds, let’s recall the bastards. Because the only way to avoid a constitutional crisis may be to replace the lawmakers who spit on our constitution.