Oh, our dear, adorable Richie Cunningham of a governor. He said all sorts of crazy stuff when he was running for office—like that he'd veto any new tax increases. He can't possibly believe that crap because he's a Democrat, and because our schools are underfunded, and because we have the most regressive taxation system in the entire country. If Governor Jay Inslee actually believed all new taxes are bad, Inslee would be a Republican. He's not a Republican, of course; he was just shamelessly pandering to voters last fall by making an immoral pledge that results in screwing over students, the old, and the poor.
But Inslee is overjoyed now the the Washington State Supreme Court has issued its delightful ruling to strike down Tim Eyman initiatives that require a two-thirds majority of the legislature to pass any tax. He doesn't think one-third of the legislature should be able to scotch a tax. Giving the "minority the power to squelch ideas" is "undemocratic," he thunders. Only one man, Jay Inslee, should have the power to block all taxes! Vetoes are nuclear, vetoes give the power to squelch ideas the tiniest possible minority—one person—but vetoes are the governor's democratic power.
You should read Inslee's weirdly adorable kabuki theater statement to the media in which he tries to wriggle between his stupid pledge and a ruling that is great news for Democrats:
The state Supreme Court did the right thing today in ruling that a supermajority requirement for ordinary legislation would alter our system of government. The supermajority requirement gave a legislative minority the power to squelch ideas even when those ideas had majority support. That is inconsistent with our fundamental form of representative democracy.
Majority rule is a foundation of our system of government. Alexander Hamilton understood this and warned that giving ‘the minority a negative upon the majority’ would cause ‘tedious delays; continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good.’ James Madison understood this. And the framers of Washington’s constitution had vigorous debate on the issue and were deliberate in embedding the principle of majority rule in our constitution.
Those principles have served the people of Washington well, and I’m heartened that the state Supreme Court acted today to protect our constitution.
Hear my prediction now, Inslee will break his stupid anti-tax pledge (I'd give him two years). But, man, until he admits that the position is untenable, particularly given the state's constitutional obligations to fund education, it's going to be so much fun to watch his contortions.