This is the first in a two-part series on the overreach of Governor Jay Inslee and what can only be called a far-left Democrat legislature this year, and the blow back they are already beginning to see which could lead to a shellacking, rivalling the one Democrats took at the ballot box in 1994.
It’s a history worth remembering, especially since there are not whole lot of first-hand observers still involved in local politics (or media). Back in 1994, local elections were heavily influenced by the national Republican surge that took place during the first midterm election of President Bill “I did not have sex with that woman” Clinton. The Republican wave, led by soon-to-be Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his “Contract with America”, washed away the Democrats’ U.S. House and Senate majorities, as voters across the nation rejected the tax-raising and big-government policies that were pushed in the first two years of the allegedly moderate Clinton administration.
The Washington State delegation to D.C. was a poster child for the liberal wipeout, as Spokane Democrat Tom Foley became the first House Speaker to be defeated for re-election since 1862, along with another five of his in-state colleagues, including first-term representatives Maria Cantwell and Jay Inslee. Unfortunately for most of us, the latter two continue to plague our state’s politics, while Foley never ran for office again.
At the state level, Republicans saw their House minority status swing to the majority overnight, adding 26 seats and taking control of the Washington State House by a margin of 58-40. Republicans followed the House takeover with one of the state Senate two years later, though not by such a dramatic margin (at 26-23). This, incidentally, began a two-year period of Republicans majorities in both the Washington Senate and the House for the only time since Ronald Reagan was in his first term.
Political observers pointed out then that the significant swing in the electorate was caused by the overreach by both national and Washington State Democrats, who had campaigned as tax-averse moderates in ’92, then spent two years jamming through tax increases, creating new government agencies, passing gun control, and attempting a government takeover of health care.
National Republicans subsequently went on to pass all but one of the promises in the Contract with America, including a capital gains tax cut, welfare reform, and a zero-based budget which cut federal spending and led to the first balanced federal budgets in memory.
Fast forward to 2021, and the landscape looks eerily familiar to 1993. Democrats arrogantly control the Washington House, Senate and Governor’s mansion, and are using the cover of a pandemic to frantically pass a wish list of radical, far-left ideas which have been rejected for years by more sensible elected officials. Almost with no regard for the economic consequences, and seemingly oblivious to the growing anger of the electorate, Democrats have gone too far.
Just as they did in 1993, Democrats have passed a massive package of tax increases, including two energy taxes and a state income tax on capital gains, which are allegedly focused at the “polluters” and the “rich”, but will quickly reach into the pockets of just about everyone in the state.
On the liberal social engineering front, Democrats pushed radical left ideas on defunding the police, critical race theory, allowing felons to vote without completing their sentences, legalizing hard drugs like heroin, and injected government oversight into even more aspects of our daily lives. Democrats even attempted to ban gas-powered cars starting in 2030.
And don’t get us started on masks and banning outdoor fishing in the name of “flattening the curve”.
On gun control, Democrats passed bans on open carry around state-owned property, and they have only just started. Seemingly most Democrat legislators want to see mandatory gun registration, rifle bans, and more restrictions on when and how you can purchase a gun.
Just like the election in 1994 showed, Washington State voters can react quickly to roll back far-Left Democrat agendas they did not vote for. State voters can assure that this won’t end well for the so-called “moderate” Democrats who went along for the ride this year, and Republicans seem poised to retake control of the House and Senate.
In the second part of our series, we’ll be looking at the positions of the vulnerable Democrats in legislative districts where incumbents are not living up to their campaign promises to not legislate like Seattle liberals.