State Senate Democrats will end this legislative session having thoroughly discredited themselves as lawmakers. As Shift reported, Senate Democrats provoked the ire of editorial boards across the state—and the general public—when they decided to backtrack on a previous agreement and refused to vote for the suspension of the Washington Education Association’s (WEA) money grabbing initiative, I-1351.
Instead, Senate Democrats demanded that the Senate first pass a completely unrelated (but WEA-backed) bill that would water down high school graduation standards before they would vote to delay I-1351. Essentially, Senate Democrats created a hostage situation, threatening to blow a $2 billion hole in the state budget if Republicans would not play along with their effort to appease the WEA.
Senate Democrats succeeded in suspending a biology test requirement for two years. But, the fiasco did not end well for them. Their stunt proved, to the entire state, that they prioritized special interests over the people’s interests. But, that’s not all they proved.
By their out-of-line actions, Senate Democrats proved Jay Inslee is an ineffective leader who cannot even muster enough respect from members of his own party to smoothly pass a budget that was already agreed upon. Inslee commands so little respect among the members of his own party that Senate Democrats where able to stand next to him as he signed the budget knowing full well that they would not, in the end, vote on all the terms to balance said budget.
In fact, Inslee appears to command so little respect that those same lawmakers have a nickname for him: “Gov. Dangerfield.” According to GOP state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, lawmakers sometimes jokingly refer to Inslee as “Gov. Dangerfield” because he is such a “non-factor in what is going on and his ideas don’t get a lot of respect.”
Check out the Sen. Baumgartner’s Facebook post revealing the interesting bit of information:
Check out the video below of Rodney Dangerfield to get a picture of the comparison: