I thought this was an interesting article that my Texan readers might appreciate. A former Texan come to Washington excited to live in a liberal state on the perils of single party governance. I’ve observed the abortion law in TX with dismay, though I haven’t written about it; one of the major reasons, perhaps THE most important reason, I started voting Democrat in the first place in 2004 (the first time I voted) was my belief in the importance of reproductive freedom. The Republican hypocrisy in their hysterics about vaccine mandates and mask mandates while trying to erase reproductive freedom is the other side of the Democratic hypocrisy coin.
When I moved to WA, we weren’t a single party state. Republicans had a tenuous hold on the state legislature, and while we’d elected Democratic governors for a long time (not sure how long, but you know, a LONG time), there was a competitive race for governor. In 2004, Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, won a very close race. We always had “liberal Republicans” on the West side of the state, often or even usually prochoice for example, but there was no blank check for Democrats.
How things have changed. Thanks, really, mostly to Amazon and a huge increase in population in the Seattle areas of liberal voters, the legislature is now solidly Democrat. My district is one that flipped, actually. The Republican representative, who was probably more liberal than a Texas Democrat, retired, and the Republicans didn’t contest the seat. The governor is still a Democrat, but the difference is that it’s not contested. The last Republican candidate for governor was an absolute joke. He made Trump look like a dignified statesman. Seriously, he was awful. I voted for him anyway to make a point, but I would have panicked if he’d won. (Now worries there – it was a landslide.) Meanwhile the Democrats decide who will be their candidate, and no other serious candidates show up for the primary, so you basically have no voice in the choice for governor. As a result, the Democrats now have total uncontested control in this state.
What this has meant in the last couple years is particularly insidious. Inslee has kept the state under a “state of emergency” since February 2020 and has been ruling as a benevolent dictator ever since. When will he decide the emergency is over? Nobody knows, but don’t expect it to end any time soon. One of the reasons I’m selling my rental property, for example, is that evictions are still suspended in WA, and I’m not willing to take the risk of a bad tenant.
Meanwhile in the last few months, the legislature has passed such gems has forbidding car insurance companies from looking at your credit rating to set insurance rates. Our car insurance went up 50%. Worse, we are now mandated to buy into the state long-term care insurance at 0.5% of our salary, indefinitely, for a $30,000 benefit IF we live in WA and require it. 0.5% of 200K adds up, folks. That’s tens of thousands of dollars we’ll never get back. And there’s so much more.
Single party government. It’s a disaster, no matter which party is ruling. I’ve complained a lot about Covid. I’m in no hurry to move to TX. But my “dream state” would actually have two parties, not single party governance.